August 18th

So let’s talk about the WEATHER.  I never knew that part of the deal was never wearing shorts again.  So far in the last 2 ½ weeks that I’ve been here, I have yet to wear short sleeves,  let alone sleeveless,  haven’t opened a window, have used my heat in the car in AUGUST, still using my down comforter to sleep at night, need I go on??? Mark Twain was right.  The coldest day he ever spent was a summer’s day in San Francisco.  The lows range from 50 – 55 at night and so far the high on the Coast has been 70…  in AUGUST.  This is the middle of August and it feels like November.  So that I never expected to happen.  I’ll just have to get used to it.  I still have LA blood.  There are some clothes I’m convinced I just should pack away as they will never see the light of day here.  Not with a high of 66.  But if that is my only complaint, so be it.  I am so thoroughly happy here.  It’s been amazing how easily it has been to adjust.  Folks here are so much friendlier than in LA.  Not sure why, but they really are.  People walk down the street and smile at me as they pass by.  Now there are 2 LA oxymorons in that sentence.  One, people walk down the street.  Two, they smile at you.  I didn’t realize how much I missed that, but it didn’t happen to me much in LA.  And at least when I walk here, I feel a little warmer.

Sequel had his initial chaperoned outside visit!  I opened the door as I cleaned out my storage cabinet and left the door open.  At first he went out, expecting me to shoo him back in.  But I didn’t.  So he got a little braver and walked out off the stoop.  I walked back with my dust rag and step ladder and he started to run back into the apartment.  I assured him it was okay and he explored the front of the entrance for awhile.  It was very cute and I’m sure confused the hell out of him.  For all of his 13 years, I’ve always kept him inside and now I was saying it was fine to roam around.  In the condo I could never let him out, HOA rules and regs you know, but here it’s a fairly quiet street and he can roam safely.  At least I hope he can.  It was so cute to watch him explore, I felt like a proud momma watching a child ride his bike for the first time.  Tee hee… I know you parents out there think I’m loony tunes, but this is the closest to parenting I get.

And the wonderful part about the storage is that when I was at the mailbox the other day talking to my neighbors, I discovered that I not only have one storage cabinet in front of my car, but THREE!!!  Totally stoked am I.  So Jose the handyman came over and sawed off the combination lock that the last tenant left because she couldn’t remember the combination (I bought padlocks with keys, thank you very much) and off I went to clean and load this sucker up.  I am feeling abundant with space all of a sudden!  I got all my Christmas decorations in, books I can store and still have 1 and ½ cabinets left to stuff.  So as I did all of this, I realized this was my perfect opportunity to initiate Sequel on the joys of the outdoors while still being able to keep an eye on him.  He did wonderfully well.  Callie however, must have been an indoor cat for too long.  She refused to go outside.  Maybe her time will come later, or maybe she will forever be an inside cat.  At any rate, they seem to be settling in and almost seem happier here than in the condo.  That’s a relief.  I need to take a hint from my animals.  It’s obvious that it isn’t the WHERE that makes one happy for them and I feel that too.  There are moments where I’ll still reach for my makeup brush on the shelf that isn’t there or think oh, I have that box in the left drawer of my hutch, but they’re not there any longer.  I don’t like not being able to open the door under the kitchen sink all the way because it hits the stove, and my 6 inch cabinets under the counter don’t hold much, but I’m grateful that I have a place to live that I can call home.  I watched a documentary on HBO last night called Homeless: the Motel Kids of Orange County and one question posed to a child was, “what do you wish for?”  And she said, a home.  I want to have a home.   And all the gratitude for all I have poured out of me and I thought, I have so much to be grateful for.  In the shadow of Disneyland, these children play amongst garbage bins and drug dealers and long for a stable, safe, consistent place to live, to just be routine.  Someplace they can call their own and feel like a child.  So no matter what is going on in my life, or how out of sync I feel during this transition, I have a place to live and food to eat and cats who love me.  May you all have the same.

From my little bit of Mayberry,

Jo