Reaping the Magic, Holding the Key

30 08 2015

Yesterday Trish and Robert took Bo and our two kids on a day trip to San Francisco. They went to the aquarium, shopped the Haight, didn’t come home until at least 9:30. This gave Danae and I ample time to take a van load of stuff over to the new house, and to do a little bit of demo, a little bit of planning.

Kaherdin and I had unloaded about a third of the attic yesterday morning, so it was quick work to load it all up and be on our way. Danae and I had fun taking loads up to the house in the Polaris.  Truly, loading up the back of the vehicle and driving up the steep driveway saved us hours of small, exhausting trips.  Without the Polaris each of us could carry maybe one box or bag at a time. With the Polaris we were able to do four large boxes or up to 12 large bags in one trip.

After we got everything up on the driveway, I climbed up into the rafters of the old barn/garage so Danae could hand items up to me that we knew we didn’t need — one attic to another. Time capsule sort of stuff…oh, and Christmas decorations.

Once we finished with the attic, Danae said, “Come on, let’s go look for your friend.”

Odd as it is, I have fallen in love with a newt. I think it is a California Newt, and that she is hanging out in the pool from which she hatched in order to lay her eggs. Last week we were down in the creek and noticed some gelatinous masses attached to rocks and weren’t quite sure what they were.  After a little research it would seem that those are her eggs and that, once they hatch and her babies reach adulthood, they, too will return to this pool to lay eggs of their own.

The last time I went down to the creek, I couldn’t find her and was disappointed. Newts will spend some of their lives on land and I really don’t know when I see her if it will be the last time. We returned to her pool and waited, a fish raced by and Danae got excited. She hadn’t yet seen one. Then we spotted her. She hung out for a little bit as I tried to get a good picture of her, but I think my movement bothered her — a little too excited — and she swam under a rock.  Still, I was thrilled.  For some reason, seeing her is like spotting a favorite celebrity. Seeing wildlife on the property, to me, is an indication of the health of the land and the water.

When we first made an offer on this property we talked about fortifying the sides of the creek to make a natural pool.  There are naturally existing swimming holes (in non-drought years we have two on our property) that can get upwards of 6-7 feet deep. But the more time I spend “looking micro” here, the less I wish to alter much of anything.  I realize that the land is not entirely here for our use, but rather that we are meant to be protectors, benevolent landlords to the resident wildlife.

We climbed back up from the creek then took out Kaherdin’s new mattress from the van and brought it upstairs. Jim is gone to Burning Man for two weeks, so the work he started up there is largely unfinished. Before we could get to K’s bed, we had to haul down large pieces of plywood and sheet rock. Piece by piece, we hurled it over the deck railing onto the road below to be put into the ever mounting garbage pile. Once done, we swept, unwrapped the mattress and put it on K’s bed.

While I am excited for K to get excited about having his great grandfather’s brass bed, I am equally excited to have a place to lie down when I am beyond depleted these next two weeks before the move.

I began dismantling shelves in what was Joanne’s (the previous owner) closet, but what will be the bed wall in the master. I love doing this stuff. The more I take out of that house, the bigger it gets and the less it becomes hers. The smell of her cooking, her must, the dust bunnies and Pez candy fallen behind book cases, forgotten Girl Scout photos of her kids, their toys, everything.  The more of it that goes, the less the house looks and smells like her life and the more it becomes about ours. I’m trying to create a blank slate for the contractors that will begin work on the downstairs tomorrow. I’m trying to create a blank slate for us.

It’s getting late and Danae and I have to make it back to Sunnyvale to pick up a 15′ truck to move some larger items. We lock up the house and stand out on the deck. We hear the sound of a kitten mewing. There are no neighborhood cats that we are aware of. Not that it isn’t possible that a stray has had a litter, but I do know that mountain lions give birth July-September and suddenly I am wondering if there is a den nearby. I don’t investigate too closely.

As we stand still on the deck listening, we hear an owl off in the distance and decide to walk up the trail to the sunny hilltop. We talk a little about the 1966 Peugeot 403. It’s rough and has no engine. We love the idea of restoring it, but it would likely cost way more than the car would ever be worth. We will need to tow it out of it’s current position before we fence in the goat run.

The owl starts up again. Up on the hill we are closer to it.  We stand in silence just to acquaint ourselves with the sounds of the forest.  We are both wide eyed and excited. I lean into Danae and I say, “This is us now. This is the soundtrack to our future.”

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2 responses

30 08 2015
Your Big Sister

LOVE it, J. XO

15 09 2015
bonnetj

Thanks, Love.

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