My body woke at six today, local time. I think it has adjusted; yesterday I rose at four local time, feeling the craziness of cross-country travel.
A mist lies over the park. I can see that it will dissipate but as I drink coffee, it clings to the willow trees which rise over the little valley. My muscles ache from whatever passed for work yesterday, which mainly consisted of taking pictures, directing the placement of boxes, and climbing on my old yellow ladder to get into Angels’ Haven.
About four yesterday afternoon, Joe, the guy who lives in the rusty turquoise RV at the corner of the rental cabin row and G-street, brought a set of steps for me to use until he builds my porch. He held the measuring tape to show me that they have a seven-inch rise. He clucked at the two-feet drop of the trailer; that’s not divisible by seven, he tells me, with a sideways glance as though I am to blame. He ponders the wisdom of 6-1/2 inch steps. He asks why we picked two-feet for the height off the ground. He scuffs the roots near where we parked and studies the slight incline. Later, Joe will tell me about the accident which killed his dog and got him sober. He’ll speak of the lady who left him then, to go take care of her parents down south. He’ll gaze toward the river with palpable pain shooting across his angular face. Still later, walking towards the rental car in the night, I’ll trip over a tree root. Joe will catch me, and then hastily, earnestly, apologize for touching me without consent.
I like Joe. I think he’ll make a fine neighbor.
Before the first of my 300 marriages, my husband made me promise that I would never force him to dwell in a double-wide. Just as urgently, I insisted that he swear we would never buy a ticky-tacky, vinyl-sided, post-war ranch in Prairie Village. Now here I am, about to take up residence in a tiny house on wheels with cedar siding in an RV park and camp ground. I’ll be surrounded by people like Joe; cheerful retirees in golf carts; and young couples who travel for work and come to their Tiny Homes on the weekends to feel the mist on their cheeks every morning.
Maybe I’m not in California after all. Maybe I’m in Brigadoon, and I’ll disappear, returning unchanged once each century. The notion does not offend me.
It’s the eleventh day of the forty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.