Getting Into the New House

Dear Liza,
Today was another hot, busy day! I woke up in an empty house, because Auntie
Katie and her family were still at the coast. I sat on her porch, surrounded and
shaded by rhododendrons and birch trees. I heard crows calling and some other
birds I cannot identify…I will need to ask someone who knows more than I do so I
can learn.

Our new digs
Walking through this 1900s era neighborhood, I am reminded, by sidewalks stamped
1909, of how long all this has been here. Sidewalks alive with a hundred years of
lichen, ancient trees softening sunlight through thousands of leaves. There have
been a century of grandmas visiting,  a century of kids walking to school, a century
of people enjoying this neighborhood, these streets, these trees.
After this peaceful beginning, my day got very stressful. Borrowing Uncle Dave’s car,

I drove though heavy traffic to the town of West Linn, where I had to sign papers
and get keys for our new house here in Portland. Then I got a chicken cabbage salad
at a Vietnamese restaurant nearby and tackled the traffic all the way back. Uncle
Dave had errands to run, so I relaxed on the couch with Jasper and Kestrel, watching
cartoons and talking about video games, which I don’t know much about.
Then came the big job of the day. I walked up to our new house and measured all the
rooms so we will know what furniture will fit. Our new house is smaller than our
old one, so we had to choose..what do we keep? What do we give away?
I like that some things have gone to people we know. A old student will be sleeping on the sofa
Great grandpa Lowell and Grandpa Nelson built in 1975. Old friends will be using
some of the dishes. And of course, you, Liza, will be reading lots of my old books.
About half way through the measuring, the numbers stopped making sense…I
realized I was hungry, tired, and thirsty. Locking up the house, I walked down one
block, under shady tall trees, to Babydoll Pizza. It is in a really old building on Stark
Street. The floor is black and white checkered tile, and the walls are painted a dark
The people are so friendly! I asked for two pieces of pizza but the lady brought me
three because she said they looked too small to make a meal. I had an ice cold cherry
cola and very soon began to feel better. I spent a happy time watching a dad help his
toddler eat her first pizza (she loved it!) and then headed back to the house.
I made more measurements. I also removed the modern, metal mailbox that had
been stuck onto the outside of the house. I prefer the old fashioned mail delivery
system, a slot on the outside that connects to a tube on the inside of the hall closet.
When I was done, I locked up the house and walked the mile back to Auntie Katie’s
house. I walked a different route, past the old cemetery and a high school.
 That evening, I played legos with Jasper and Kestrel while Auntie Katie, Uncle Dave
and their friend Chelsea made dinner. We built houses and toilets for the super
heroes, as well as space ships, from their big box of legos.
By 9:30 I was fed and exhausted. I went to sleep in the coolest room in the house, the
basement guest room.  Another busy day tomorrow! 


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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