Friday, August 31, 2012

Quiet Contemplation

Here I am contemplating the unknown, grounded in my old leather teal colored San Francisco therapy office chair.  Right now it is the single piece of furniture in my new home in Santa Rosa, except for a borrowed blow up air mattress. Friend Susan Logan drove me up on Wednesday, the day I got the keys to my new address. I am still on drugs from the emergency dental extraction Tuesday and not quite with it.  The rest of my furniture is either in the storage locker or back at Cathy Lane awaiting the stager on Monday to do the final arranging to attract a new home owner whom I hope will love my old digs as much as I. None of us can know what the next day will bring, right? I hope my new life on Oakmont Drive will soon be full of the richness my new Brazilian Cherry floors reflect.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


 This morning as I was purging my files in preparation for the move to Santa Rosa I came across a letter I wrote to Lee June 13, 1992, 5:15 am.  She had sold her beloved business the day before.  She was 67 and her heart and lungs so weary. Here's what I wrote:
"And so the day has come when you say good-bye to Accents and Art and hello to a life far different in scope and challenges. I'm a little scared, very sad, and very glad all at once. I remember my idol Carol Rogers saying at the beginning of our 17 day intensive how he grieved the loss of the group who had just left, at the same time feeling expectancy for the unknown connections with the group arriving. I was puzzled that he so much stressed the loss. I hope I understand better now that in order to embrace the new we must feel the loss of the old."
This is the week I signed the title papers for my new home. This old one will go on the market shortly. My body is stressed from the work of moving and my emotions are playing ping pong. So much is happening.  I hope, as my own words say over 20 years ago, I will be able to embrace the new.
I was able to photograph quickly the floor plan of the new house. Can you figure it out?
Its mostly one great room, with three small bedrooms.  Bear with me. More will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tears and Fears

Even the littlest thing makes me tear up these days, like the Safeway clerks showing unusual kindness. I can't drive up and down Skyline Blvd. and Redwood Rd. without swallowing sobs which seem to sneak up and hit me totally unexpectedly. Saying goodbye to rituals and memories is so damn draining, huh.

Wednesday my friend Marta accompanied me to Santa Rosa to be present for the structural inspection of my new digs at 8824 Oakmont Dr. It all went pretty well. There were more than 40 pages of documents for me to sign.  I paid little attention; my mind  on where my furniture would go and what changes I would make to the garden and my disappointment that the house looked smaller than I remembered.

Yesterday as I accompanied the wonderful movers with three fourths of my furniture to the storage place. The stagers, Ike and her sister, my friend Jan,  remained here and transformed the patio.  It looks stunning, doesn't it, even though it does not say me.
I remind myself tenderly it is not supposed to say ME any more.
I was only 33 when we bought this house so now its probably Bonnie weary of my expressing myself here for 49 years.
Time to invent a new life and a new yard and a new identity. I just hope the excitement of that task replaces the empy spaces in my heart.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

From My Perspective

Gathered around Jan and Bill Hagen's lovely dining room table in Castro Valley last night felt both celebratory and sad as it began to sink in to me that soon I will no longer be a part of this diverse community that has been my pride and identity for 54 years. If all goes like clockwork (does it ever?) in 20 days I will be the owner of a new (to me) drop dead stunning home in Oakmont retirement community in Santa Rosa. The moving date is still up for grabs as Cathy Lane goes on the market Sept. 6. Moving will depend on the prospective sales date, my energies, and Kodi's adjustment to new hiking trails. Packing and painting and scheming and scrounging for packing boxes consumes me.  So does jockeying rapidly diminishing bank accounts. My beloved garden is suffering from neglect at a time when it needs to be nourished and cherished.  Oh, my. Do the fifty rose bushes, many 60 years of age, realize I am soon to desert them? Does the persimmon tree, come December, realize someone else will soon be collecting and painting its leaves and harvesting its fruit?
Last week I moved to the front bedroom (guest bedroom, study, etc.) in order to suck in the night memory of the panorama of San Francisco Bay at night.

I chuckled at the contrast between the new slick "staged" master bedroom (below) in Santa Rosa and the unstaged one (above) in which I am sleeping, heaped to the gills with clutter and yet to be filed paper stacks. Tomorrow the painters begin to try to cover the deep purple painted wall behind my bed in the master bedroom to transform it back to white. I wonder how many coats that will take? This whole process is like erasing a vital part of myself.

Will I have the strength and courage to reinvent myself in a new community? Of course, but first I will have to spend some time grieving over this land I am loosing and the loss of this long chapter of my life.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Amid the chaos and confusion of planning to move after 49 years in the same digs I often fail to remember to feel and express my gratitude.  Its so easy to let frustration take the  reins.
Last Friday was the exception.  Lee's great niece Julie was in town from Virginia both for work and to run her first ever marathon in San Francisco on Sunday, which she accomplished in a little less than four and a half hours. She treated me to a luncheon at the Concord Hilton the likes of which I have not seen since France. Served in a beautiful patio with a cadre of staff cooing over us, each course surpassed the one before.  My eyes were bulging before I finished the first one of four. In turn, I treated Julie to the inheritance gift of her great grand-mother's sterling. (Unfortunately the air lines required she ship it; table knives are considered a lethal weapon.) I sure wish the NRA felt that way about assault weapons, don't you?
Here is the latest photo of dear Julie and her son Jordan, a full time volunteer, at an Obama rally in DC this week. Jordan will be going into his senior year at PennState and hopes to be a full time politician. I'm so proud and entranced with them both.
As you may recall, I have a fractured rib so packing is a painful chore I'm trying to delegate.
On Monday five good elves from my WCC water color group brought lunch and tenderly packed all my little figurines. They are already toted to my storage locker, thanks to my Guatemalan gardener.  Tuesday friends Gayle and Marilyn helped tote about 300 books into the San Leandro library.
The whopper example of a dedicated helper arrived at 11 today to take another load for me.  When I met Marta at the gate she was holding a compress over her mouth and talking like this: "Bahney, I ha.. a..accident th.. morn...." The compress was to stay the bleeding.
She had fallen picking peaches this morning and not only split open her lip but cracked off a third of a front tooth. This afternoon was to be spent at the dentist's and at Kaiser getting her lip stitched. She insisted we proceed with the task.  The kind office manager at the Storage Place supplied her with more compresses as the bleeding continued.  Now that's dedication! Or is it love? In any case, I'm so grateful for all my helpers.