moving

Trapped

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Pocket Door of Terror

When I was very young I was at a neighbor’s place and had to use their bathroom. What happened next haunts me to this day. As I tried to open the pocket door, I discovered it had other plans for me. I was trapped. Being so young I didn’t really know what to do so I screamed and screamed hoping my mom, who was two houses away, would hear me and rescue me. After what felt like forever, someone heard my screams and broke me out of the death trap. I’m pretty sure I never closed that door all the way again.

So imagine the flashbacks I had when I moved into my new apartment to find another bathroom with a pocket door! Luckily for me, one of the best things about living alone is never having to close doors. If you’re planning to visit, consider yourself warned.

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road trip, travel

The Trunk Incident

Have I ever told you about the last day of my 2010 California adventure? It includes one of my favorite stories to tell. Below is what I wrote at the end of that day.

Ohhhh, what a day. Got up a little later than planned because I figured not having a lot of time to kill in San Fran wasn’t that bad. Had my final buffet breakfast (really? eggs, sausage, cakes & cereal every day? mix it up Hotel Charlotte!) and went out to my rental car to get some things out of the trunk and into my suitcase.

I had a few bottles of water rolling around back there and a couple of them were wayyyyy far into the trunk, all the way at the back and impossible to reach by just reaching in. I was wearing a sun dress and tried putting one leg into the trunk to crawl in but decided it wasn’t really the best idea. I saw a kid on a bike and had a better idea! Ask the kid if he would get into the trunk of a stranger’s car to get a couple of water bottles for her!!! So I asked him and being a sweet kid he hopped right in my trunk and handed me the water bottles. I gave him a couple of bucks and his eyes lit up as he hopped on his bike and told me that he’d have to go put it away at home because he didn’t have any pockets. So I made his day for at least a couple of minutes – when he got home and told his parents about getting into a stranger’s trunk, well, that might have been another story.

Shortly after getting out of Groveland I passed a massive reservoir that was so beautiful. I kind of regret not taking a few pics but I really just wanted to get on my way at that point. I saw quite a few very nice ski boats making their way there – I’d have to say that’d be my perfect Sunday, just cruising on a lake surrounded by huge hills/mountains. Maybe someday I’ll have that. Or a boat, at the very least.

One weird thing I noticed while driving these back Cali roads is that a lot of homes are gated. Just what is it that they are trying to keep out way out there?

Also, my love of Mexicans has returned. Not the really little ones though.

While beautiful, the ride to San Fran was mostly uneventful. I had planned to go straight to the Golden Gate but ending up on Embarcadero (the waterfront/pier area with all the shops and touristy attractions) on my way there I figured I’d stop there first for a bathroom break and something to eat. It took about 30 minutes to find a parking spot where I was (I later learned all the parking I could ever want could be found a little ways down – though it seemed like miles down on foot) and then I rushed to find a bathroom. I ended up at a public toilet at the same time as 6 kind of burly biker guys. I told them there was no way I was going in after them and we all laughed. Though they were in their 50’s – 60’s, one of them was way hot! I wish I had taken a picture of them, we had a good time waiting for the guy ahead of us to finish and then for the bathroom to finish cleaning itself. The guys let me go first, which I regretted as soon as I realized there was no toilet paper and then subsequently not knowing how to wash my hands in there. So I scrambled out of there, wishing them luck and hoping nothing was dripping out of my dress.

I saw another one a little while later and decided I’d go in to listen to the instructions to find out where I had gone wrong. Big mistake as this one didn’t appear to have cleaned itself recently. Since I was in there I pressed the instructions button anyway only to find I couldn’t understand a word of what the voice was saying. I think I’ll be fine never knowing and never using one of those again!

I made my way from Pier 1 to Pier 4000 (ok, maybe it was 39) very quickly knowing that I only had a few hours before I should be to the airport. I got a sourdough bowl full of the best clam chowder I’ve ever had and enjoyed some people watching before speed walking back the way I came. While I was being particularly conscious of what my dress was doing in the wind, I discovered I was wearing it inside out!!! This is becoming more and more of a problem for me lately – do people usually need others to dress them at 32?? I continued on and ran into the bikers again who yelled “There she is!!” They let me know they made it in and out of the crazy toilet just fine and we parted ways for the last time. Nice to have some friends in a city not your own!

And now I must apologize to all the visitors of San Fran that day for possibly showing them far too much of me for at one point I had yet another issue with my dress in that it seemed to be far too high up in the back. I’m sooooooo sorry!! And quite embarrassed.

I decided I’d skip the Golden Gate as it was now cloudy and I didn’t want to worry about traffic. So what do you do with a little extra time? Stop at a little patisserie and get yourself some coconut mousse cake and graham cookies. I took them to go and made my way back to my car. I quickly put my dress on the right way and took off for the airport.

Returning my rental car was far less time consuming than I thought so I had a ton of time to spare even after venturing off into the city of Brisbane for 30 minutes to find gas. (cute city!) I had forgotten that there wasn’t much action in the Delta terminal at SFO so I didn’t see a ton of people but there were a few characters to amuse me in the couple of hours I was there. I grabbed a sandwich at the cafe there, turkey, cranberry mayo & stuffing on some kind of wheat bread. It was pretty good! I think I will try that with my Thanksgiving leftovers this year.

I landed in Mpls around midnight and that was the end of one of my best vacations yet. While I wasn’t solo the entire time, (that reminds me, theme song of trip: “Ridin Solo”) it really is nice to get away alone once in awhile. Though with all that time to think I still haven’t figured anything out. ūüėõ

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moving, Seattle

Going Back

Tuesday morning was a lot like many other Tuesday mornings. Hopped on the 667 headed for downtown. Looked forward to one of my favorite scones for breakfast and a noon appointment with my favorite hair gal, Nina. Thought about which of my frequent¬†skyway lunch spots or food trucks I’d visit. But those other Tuesday mornings were more than a year and a half ago and this was just a temporary walk down memory lane.

It was kind of neat to see some familiar faces on my old bus and in the skyways as I walked around. I got all caught up with Nina and made plans for another visit next time I’m in town. Visited the new brick and mortar shop of one of my food trucks¬†and was happily greeted and questioned about my new life.

This was after Sunday at a hip-hop festival with a bestie, then a beautiful Memorial Day spent with my college roommates and sister, like it had only been days since I’d seen them last. And those were followed by a Twins game, again with my best friends, in a place I loved so much I bought season tickets to watch¬†a dreadful team I never really followed, where I ran into another friend and was just as excited to be there as I had ever been.

And then dinner with my best friend from high school at one of our most visited dinner spots. I took the long way home and drove the parkway where I learned to drive, then continued on past Brownie & Cedar Lakes where I often enjoyed spending my time.

Thursday brought lunch with my dad in the neighborhood I grew up in. Then happy hour with old coworkers, people who brought me so much joy every day even the most dreadful work days were somehow ok. Saturday I returned to the cabin I once loved so much I lived there for six summers. Celebrated my dad’s birthday with my best friends and fam and sang with the classic country band I sing with whenever they’re around. And, to really top it all off.. my old bowling crush showed up at my step brothers’ bar! One hundred miles from the place I knew him from. This week was like a highlight reel of life before my move.

I felt… almost at home.

Going¬†back couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. As I’m in¬†a particularly frustrating phase¬†right now, some might wonder if perhaps I regret my move and some of the choices I’ve made. Though I was incredibly happy to be back in my old routine for two days with a schedule packed full of time with my family and friends, I didn’t once feel like I was home.

It feels somewhat bad expressing that, as I mean no offense to those here I love. I miss them and always look forward to seeing them again. But there’s just something I’m missing when I’m here. A friend in Seattle, also from Minnesota and now moving back, expressed to me recently that when she was visiting MN a few weeks back, she just felt content. And that is how I feel in Seattle, at least for now. I still don’t imagine myself ever moving back to the midwest, but can picture myself in many other coastal or mountainous lands.

It was tough saying goodbyes again today and yesterday but this morning I flew back to Seattle and I’m happy to be home.

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love, moving

Moving, Yet Again

Tonight I went to a going away party for a friend originally from Minnesota that’s moving back there. When we were talking about it, she said that the last time she went back she just felt content. And I completely understood, as that’s how I feel every time I come back to Washington. I never felt that going home to Minnesota. That doesn’t mean I’ll live in WA forever, but confirmed for me that if it’s something you don’t feel somewhere, move where you’ll feel it. Do not hesitate to go where you are most content.

That said, it took me way too long to put my current moving plans into action. Had I known how much better just telling my roomie of my plans would make me feel, I’d have done it so much sooner. I’m sure I’ll miss my place a little, but I’m excited for another new adventure.

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dogs, love, moving, Murphy

Bifurcation

— River bifurcation may be temporary or semi-permanent, depending on the strength of the material which separates the distributaries.–

Tonight I went through my second split¬†of the year and I’m hoping that a third is coming soon.¬†I just told my roommate that I think it’s time I live alone. And hopefully I’ll find a new job soon.

The first, I’d give just about anything for it to be temporary. For whatever has split us to be a passing obstruction.

The house I’m in is nice, lots of room, great neighborhood, yard for Murph, friend for him too. But the dogs have too much energy together and though I am usually easy-going,¬†I feel a little like a forceful flood behind a very weakened dam.

The team I’m working on right now is great for the most part. We started off kind of quietly but now we get along great and joke and laugh a lot. But the work¬†has me¬†near breaching.

My ex-boyfriend, well, he’s amazing. He’s funny, kind, handsome, and smart. And when I’m with him I’m so incredibly relaxed. Yet we went our separate ways. There is no way of knowing whether we will meet up again downstream.

This is the lowest I’ve been in quite some time. But I know, no matter what happens, the low is only temporary. Some day I’ll be flowing once again.

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Seattle

Sunshine

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Just between those two center cranes, I was walking with Murphy when I heard someone belting out “You Are My Sunshine.” I looked up and saw the singer, a construction worker, about 5 stories up. I stopped to enjoy the rest of his performance and yelled “that was nice” when he was done. He laughed and I continued on, my morning made.

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dogs, Hiking, love

The Best Hike

It’s been some time since I’ve felt like writing and perhaps it’s because some of the excitement has worn off, or I’ve just been too busy exploring or maybe it’s that I’ve feared I’d reveal something that I wasn’t quite ready to reveal.

It had also been some time since I’d been hiking as the rainy season came and it’s hard to keep a rental car clean with a wet dog and having fallen on my last hike I feared slipping.

But a few weeks ago I returned to the trail with my favorite guy and though it was a bit messy and the hike was hard at times I was no longer afraid. And I look forward to many more.

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Uncategorized

Neighbors

(I wrote this a couple months ago and for some reason didn’t post it…)

When I bought my house I was so excited to have neighbors. People invested in their neighborhood who saw me as invested too, not just a temporary tenant. I couldn’t wait for the block parties! Unfortunately for me I didn’t really have those kind of immediate neighbors and with my house being on a busy street we didn’t have any block parties. I did chat with my neighbors though, and they looked out for me. One stopping over when the porch door was open for days and she hadn’t seen anyone and the others giving home and garden tips. (More so since I’ve moved, I’ve heard.)

When I was staying with my friend the first few months here I met a lot of neighbors in her building. Though most of them were quite a bit older it was nice to chat with them here and there. One, as I posted previously, collected bags for me to collect dog things. Another just loved to see Murphy after having lost her dog the previous year. She and another neighbor expressed sadness when I moved.

Upon securing a place where I could finally assemble my bed I gave my dad the address to send me a piece of my bed frame I had somehow managed to forget. I waited and waited. And waited. It never came. And then one day it showed up back at my dad’s office. I was so confused how it could happen! Then something else went missing. Being at work when I found out about it, I opened up Google maps and looked at the street view of my house. I had given my dad, and who knows how many businesses, the wrong address! Everything had been going to my neighbor. I immediately went to her place but found a note indicating she didn’t open the door for those she didn’t know. So I wrote a note asking if she could collect any future deliveries and also apologzing for our barking dogs. Not too long after that, a note appeared at my house in reply. She would gladly take my packages for me and she didn’t mind the dogs at all, in fact, she enjoyed them. It’s four months later and I have yet to actually run into her but I appreciate having had that contact and at the very least, knowing her name.

The neighbor on the other side I met one day while I was moving in. Carol was sitting in her back yard and was eager to chat. She told me all about how long she’d been in the house (her mother had owned it) and her three cats. I only ran into her a few more times but she was always friendly and she’d say hello to the dogs when she came and went. Over the weekend I noticed that her bathroom light had been on for at least 2 days. My roommate had mentioned the medics had been there last week so with that we were a little concerned. I went to her door but no one answered. I called the police department who advised me to call 911. I hesitated, as it felt odd to call an emergency line for what might just be misunderstanding. I called the next morning. (and gave them the wrong address but they managed to figure it out. i’m good at that.) My roommate was home when they came and said he’d let me know what happened. Shortly after they arrived, they confirmed that she was dead. I felt pretty sick. I didn’t know a lot about her but I never saw anyone there and I felt awful that she died alone. And awful that I waited. When I returned home last night and saw the Medical Examiner’s truck I broke into tears, at the same time wondering why I was so sad about someone I hardly knew. I ran into the ME when I let the dogs out and he let me know they got a hold of her brother and I was relieved somewhat to know that someone would be taking care of her and her things. Animal control took 2 cats. When I asked the ME about the third he said he had been there all day and hadn’t seen another but that there was plenty of food out should one come out of hiding.

This morning I woke to find an envelope addressed to me. Inside was a nice note from the woman who so kindly accepted my packages. She heard Carol had passed and wanted to make sure that her three (emphasis on the 3 multiple times) cats were taken care of. She also left her phone number. So I called her today to tell her what I knew about what happened and she told me a little more about Carol, and a little about herself too. And how she had often helped Carol around the house when she was ill. I assured her I’d try make sure someone came to to find the third cat and let her know when they did.

This isn’t at all the way I had hoped to grow closer to my neighbors but it’s a great example of why I was so excited to have a home in the first place. Though some prefer it, we’re not meant to be alone. There will be some time in all of our lives when we need a neighbor to watch our pets, help around the yard or house or notice when something isn’t right. If you don’t know those who live around you, why don’t you go say hello?

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Transit, travel

Alaska

This week last year I was in Alaska for the first time. I traveled by plane to Fairbanks, by train to Anchorage, then Whittier, by ferry to Cordova, plane again to Anchorage and then of course by plane back to Minnesota. Loving both trains and boats, it was the perfect trip for me.

In Fairbanks I Couchsurfed for the first time and couldn’t have found more gracious hosts. Though I arrived pretty late in the evening the lady of the house stayed up and chatted with me for a good two hours. We quickly became friends and¬†I continue to look forward to her Facebook posts about all they see and do up there. If you’re not familiar with Couchsurfing, it’s pretty much just crashing at a stranger’s place. Of course you read all about them and weed out the creepies first. Being that I love meeting new people, I highly recommend it but realize it’s not for everyone.

Early the next morning I was up to catch the train to Anchorage. It took me far too long to discover that I could hang out in the open air vestibule as much as I wanted, but upon that discovery that’s pretty much what I did the rest of the day! I now understand what a thrill it must be to hop a train. So far removed from roads, seeing landscapes few others will see.

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Reflections on the train.

It was the clearest, bluest sky I have ever seen and Denali was out in full the entire day. Absolutely breathtaking. It was tough to find an open vestibule whenever it returned to view but I managed to get a few good shots.

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The ride to Anchorage was a little over 12 hours¬†but it never once felt too long. If anything, it wasn’t long enough. Should you ever visit (and you should!! now! and take me with!), make sure to add the Alaska Railroad to your itinerary.

I stayed one night in Anchorage at a hostel, also my¬†first time doing that. I was looking forward to meeting people there but never really got that part of the experience as I wasn’t there very long. The only thing remarkable about my stay was that my phone died. Luckily I had the Kindle Fire I purchased for the trip so¬†that I was able to connect when I needed to.

The next morning I boarded another train for Whittier, where I needed to catch my ferry to Cordova the next day. Another beautiful ride.¬†I had read a little about the town and it sounded interesting enough to stay the night in but as I was chatting with one of the employees on the train he mentioned a catchphrase of those not living in town is “There’s nothing shittier than Whittier.” With that, and his belief that I could possibly catch the ferry leaving in 5 minutes, I ran towards the ferry terminal. Quite the sight I’m sure with a 30lb pack on my back. No real surprise, I didn’t make it. I briefly sulked but soon picked myself up and explored the little town. Not much to explore but large enough that it took a considerable amount of time to find a shoe I lost while wandering. (from my pack, not my foot.)

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Marina in Whittier

I found lodging with a bar and spent a large portion of the rest of my day and night there, chatting with local fishermen. So many stories! I don’t think you’ll find a group of guys with better tales to tell. I wrote down many of the details somewhere, but as I was recalling my dead phone it reminded me that the Kindle I brought with me has since died and may have taken my notes with it.

The next day I hopped on the ferry to Cordova, another amazing ride. To be on the water surrounded by mountains is my dream come true. I lived it for 3 hours or so that day.

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Cordova is a pretty neat town, only accessible by boat or plane. I spent all 6 nights of my stay there in a boat, did some hiking, danced at Salmon Jam, experienced gillnetting (pulled the salmon from the net with my bare hands!) and was pretty much awestruck every day by the beauty around me.

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View from my “bed” one morning.

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Just a glacier. And one of my favorite pics of the trip.

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I was told this boat is kind of a big deal.

I hadn’t really planned my departure from Cordova but enjoyed it so much that I decided I’d fly back to Anchorage so I could spend as much time there as possible. Though I didn’t consider it so at the time being it caused me to miss my office summer party, the plane I was supposed to take out of there couldn’t land and I was gifted with¬†an extra day in Alaska. And over 12 hours in the Anchorage airport. In case you should ever have to sleep there, it’s a little drafty. Be sure to pack a blanket! (recalling that part reminded me I did hand write my notes this trip. whew! now to find them. so happy my brain is still able to connect some of the dots.)

Though I had long wanted to leave Minnesota, it was Alaska that ultimately set the wheels in motion. I knew I couldn’t live away from the mountains any longer. Could I live in Alaska? Maybe some day. I still loved city life too much. The decision to move to Seattle was largely due to its proximity to Alaska (in addition to having mountains, lots of water and a huge city), thinking I could more easily travel there. I thought I’d get back there this year but have been pretty smitten¬†by this wonderful new city I have to explore. Hopefully 2015 will afford me the time to enjoy both of them.

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