Lucky Cat sits on the shelf in front of my mother’s green cup and saucer. I don’t know Lucky Cat’s gender so I’ll just assume the feminine. She waves as I glance around my tiny house. Breakfast dishes clutter the counter. A box of summer hats crowds the tiny drop-down live-edge cherry table. I can’t see into the laundry unit but I know that a load of clothes which I washed on Thursday threatens to reabsorb the ambient moisture if I don’t soon attend to them. My tiny life might implode.
I spent Friday getting ready for a meeting about my latest project which consumed Saturday. I confess that by late on the last day of September, my brain had grown a bit weary and my muscles screamed. Yes, I can get everything done; but sometimes my aging crippled body longs for rest. I crawled into bed with a book at nine last evening, and slept until the sound of the new owners of a neighboring tiny house hitching it to their pick-up for removal awakened me at six. I’m sad to see them go; and sadder knowing that another of my neighbors, who actually left the park nearly a year ago, is pulling her house out on Monday.
Those of us who remain in the community hope that other folks will join us. We love all of our neighbors, regardless of their dwellings. As long as people want to stay and occasionally share potluck in the community room, we make them welcome. But I like the look of the varied tiny houses marching side by side down G-Row. I contemplate those who already left. Derek and Kelly moved to Montana with their cottage on wheels. Melanie found a spot on private property in Sebastopol. Laurie went on the road in a converted van and then moved to Asheville. Michele went back to Tennessee and a traditional house. Louis and Helix found a community in Florida. Sarah went to SoCal. Laura moved back to Colorado.
I sit on my deck porch and watch the dog walkers. A lot of my neighbors have little canine companions, mostly some variation of Chihuahua but here and there a larger breed. They can’t really see me this far from the road. Occasionally I call out to them. Now and then one will pause and chat, sometimes from beyond my range of hearing. I nod and smile. I invite them to come sit with me. I offer drinks. Usually they just wave and continue. I go back to my book and the coffee growing cold in its mug as coffee has grown cold on every porch that I’ve had my entire adult life. My mother did the same, except instead of an assortment of hand-thrown pottery mugs, she drank her percolated coffee from a green Melamine cup sitting on its matching saucer — the very same cup which now gathers dust on the shelf behind Lucky Cat.
In the nearly six years that I’ve spent in Angel’s Haven at Park Delta Bay, the tiny house section of the community has grown from four to sixteen. Expansions and contractions take people in and out of my life. Time flies. I’m letting my hair grow grey. I restarted physical therapy to combat the confluence of the natural decline of the human body and the unnatural impairment of a post-encephalitic brain. The constant battle challenges me. So far, I think I’m winning.
It’s the first day of the one-hundred and eighteenth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
We’ve been watching the swans on nearby Twitchell Island all summer. I hope they winter here.