Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Agony Aunt Letter

Dear Friends,

It was quite a pleasure to hang out with some of you when Michael and I came up for the KBOO meeting on January 26th.

I am at a crossroads in my life or perhaps we are at a crossroads. As many of you know the original plan had been to move to Greece once the kids were out of high school and the house. Well one kid, Zeke, took a couple extra years to move and due to my lay off at HP in 2001 (two weeks before 9/11) I didn't have the luxury of taking a sabbatical to test out the Mediterranean waters and then I worked for OPW which was a huge loss of $$ and almost crippled me due to the drive between Corvallis and Salem. And then Michael's condition deteriorated due to his hip (he will most likely need surgery). And I realise that at least the outside of the Π (Pi) in the Sky Ranch is very much what one would call a landfill (or a hippy dump) and neither of us are up to clearing it together or separately (at least at this point).

It was also, very much a pleasure to be hosted by Michael's son Nic and his wife Jess as well as his daughter Katie over the X'mas holiday week in Santa Rosa and SF. There is a wonderful group of people there who more or less support each other although sometimes with some attitude that is inimical to folks who have been together a long time on a communal project much as Star Mountain or KBOO for that matter are. And Santa Rosa is just an hour away from Berkeley and SF and not much further to Sactotoon where I have many relatives who I don't get to see very often.

Hence I am trying to figure out what to do next. We are not so in debt that selling the house and buying another gracefully is totally out of the picture (the financial deities willing). But there is of course a cash flow issue as I am now again unemployed and feeling like a professional job seeker (I mean I can write mocking cover letters as jokes to friends) and I have been living off credit card checks for the last little bit.

I have talked with Ani a bit about this and I know she would love to have me/us up in Portland Town and I think that would be better for my health (public transit, walking, not driving to concerts, just hanging out with friends face to face, mano a mano―it was so wonderful to be around you Conch you bring laughter and lightness). But would Santa Rosa be much different? I love those kids, they are fun, have good food and they let me be me even when I'm a bit tipsy. They are so awesome! You see the landscape in the Santa Rosa area especially between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol is so much like the landscape around my native Bishop, CA only greener and the hills remind me of going to Summit from Corvallis only with cactus. It's very perfect. But so is Portland Town in its way. I mean it reminds me a lot of Berkeley when I left only my friendships are deeper there than in Berkeley I mean I have folks who I consider soul mates, yet there could be many wonderful soul mates in Santa Rosa. Plus I could go take sax lessons at the Church of St. John Coltrane every week. Anyway. . .

And just a few minutes ago another of the trees fell (an oak that had rotted away) at least it fell on another tree! So I say it s a sign that the land is telling us to leave, it is looking for someone else (most likely younger who can maintain it better). When I moved her nearly 15 or more years ago (The Π in the Sky Ranch that is not Corvallis which was 25 years ago this summer―damn nearly half my life in a place that has never embraced me and that I have not really found soul mates) anyway as I was saying when I moved to the Π I was very much needing a house to hold my three kids as they all left their dad when he moved to Buffalo. And I never thought I'd be at this house that long, I mean I guess it was a choice-whatever real choices life gives us.

But it is time to move on from the Π and I say this with the background of how painful the move from Berkeley to Corvallis was; how poor we (Russ and I) were; how we lived in crappy places with splintery floors at times, dirt basements, cardboard walls. It was the hippy dream (nightmare) and what more was I to expect? The Π was at least safe for the kids. And I haven't been malnourished except for the first year here in Cornvalley. But I just can't do that type of a move again. So what am I supposed to do, can I have a real job please, and a nice house and will you come to potlucks/hang out, etc.? I know some of you may be thinking that I'm being quite the high maintenance valley girl here--but I've had enough funk (not funky music mind you--although) it almost broke my heart to see Liberty Hall when I've seen what folks can do to make a community place. (I know it's what's available and folks have put lots of effort into it yet take a look at Damanhur and you'll see what I mean.)

So my dear Portland friends what say you about me moving up to Stumptown? I can admin and coordinate as you all know. Do you think that a busload of you might come down on Cool (providing it's available and Joe is willing) and help us with the yard? Or something like that. Will anyone step forward to be a point person to organize that up there? Or is this something better left to say JunkBeGone (I've written them but they've yet to reply―I know there's one also in Salem―but maybe they don't service here?).

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