Wednesday October 24. The truck was ready to be loaded with most of the contents of our storage unit, odds and ends we had stored at our daughter Jessie’s house, bits of things we had left at a friend’s house, and the accumulated pile of things we would need from our Seattle apartment. But, we had not yet signed the loan docs. The signing had been pushed back to accommodate the required fixes from the appraiser, who promptly then went on vacation. The required “fixes” were: hard wired baseboard heaters, and a hand rail on the stairs. We wasted a week arguing over the requirements before we hired someone to come and install what we would later remove.
For weeks we were informed that the loan was very close to being completed, but the days stretched into weeks. The few days before our scheduled move date, we told the mortgage company, “We have the truck loaded and we are driving to Moscow in the early morning of October 25th.” At around 3:00 pm on the 24th we drove south of Seattle to sign the papers. We waited for over an hour for the paperwork to come through and we finally signed with joy and relief. I admit, that until we signed those papers, and until the money posted, it was hard for me to believe that this beautiful piece of heaven was ours.
Or at least ours for safe keeping and stewardship.
Thursday morning October 25th. I drove the car with my friend Cino, while Rick finished up packing the moving truck and left a few hours behind us. This would give us time to get into the house and start cleaning up. As we drove through Troy and turned off of the highway onto Little Bear Ridge Road, I had the familiar feeling of joy, and panic. I had a fear of creating isolation for myself in this remote location. We had been city dwellers for the past 30+ years, how would we transition to the quiet, remote, stillness of a country life?
This still seemed like a dream, an unrealized hope, with so many unanswered pieces. How would this all come together? We drove onto the property and opened the front door. We immediately started unpacking the car and setting to the task of taking ownership. For me this meant moving out all of the accumulated objects they had left behind, and giving everything a good scrubbing. We started in the kitchen, filling so many large bags with drawers full of a family’s life.
It became quite apparent that there was no waste in the Nelson house. People who grew up in the depression, as my father had, have an aversion to waste. Every rubber band and paper clip, every box and container made of paper, plastic, tin, or cardboard, was hauled out and put on a fast growing debris pile, accumulating in the front yard. It took all day and into the night to get through the kitchen and to clean the bathroom. That night we cooked a steak dinner under the stars, and gazed up at the full moon, and toasted one another with a glass of champagne. We were in our Idahome!
The next day we started upstairs. Cleaning years of accumulation of fly shit off of the windows, hauling out more debris. Boxes of fabric, boxes of books, and drawers full of art supplies mixed with mouse shit. We started a burn pile to make space for more and more removal. We swept, vacuumed, and mopped. I was very happy to have such a sweet and hardworking companion with me. We worked, and talked, and laughed, and marveled, at what had been left behind. She was protective of me in a way I have never experienced. She was concerned for my back, knowing that over working it caused more pain, watching me and reminding me to take it easy. This simple act of kindness, was so incredibly foreign to me. I am used to pushing through the pain and doing what needs done. To have someone present and watching over me, felt lovely and nourishing. We all slept fine that night even with the moon in its fullness shining through the windows. I found myself syncing with the rhythms of the darkness and the light. Waking early, with the sunrise, I was ready for more clearing.
Sunrises and sets here are breathtaking. The views from every window are commanding. I lay in the bed and watch the sky change with the movement of clouds and the rays of sun as they move up from the horizon. I rise, and start the water for tea. That afternoon we pull up the old carpet from the living room and the down stairs bedroom, and take down the old curtains. We have been here now for a few days so taking some time to explore outside a bit, feels good. The days have gone by quickly, but we have made space for our roots to grow.