Dear Jasper and Kestrel,
Slowly, the new house on 33rd Avenue is becoming our home. The kitchen is set up, and I have made a few lunches there….reheating chicken soup and bread and a few burritos. I’ve mixed some dough baked chocolate chip cookies, although they weren’t as good as usual (because my recipe book with all the improvements is in Salinas) I was able to make some bread in the little bird style Liza and I were looking at, and it turned out really well. Auntie Bridgett and I even chopped a bunch of apples, raisins and walnuts to make haroset, a favorite Passover food. Lots of cinnamon makes it spicy, and a splash of red wine makes it all meld together. Yummy!
Grandpa Nelson wants the house to be as “new” as possible when we move in, so he arranged to have the air conditioning, heater, vacuum system, and carpets professionally cleaned. No old leftover dust for us! We get to make our own dust!
We have moved over the yard decorations, like the geraniums in pots and Grandma Billie’s “Welcome to my Garden” sign and a few gnomes, except one which has been secretly placed in the flamingos’ yard, as a way of saying thanks for all the joy those silly birds have given us while we lived in this part of the neighborhood.
Today I plan to re-pot our Norfolk pine, named Tiny Tim (because he did NOT die) into the pot our Japanese Maple, named Marley, after the Jamaican singer, has just vacated. Poor Marley didn’t survive the heat of last summer and his larger pot will allow Tiny Tim to carry on more successfully.
It makes sense, literarily speaking…. In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge’s partner Jacob Marley dies and his ghost coms back to tell Scrooge he must change his greedy ways or he will suffer after death. This change allows Scrooge to help the Cratchit family, so Tiny Tim doesn’t die. So Marley dying the save Tiny Tim is poetic.
I only have a few more days here in Portland before I go back to Salinas to finish the school year. When I return in June, my home will be set up and lived in, and the cat will be happily enjoying sunny afternoons in the balcony. and then another adventure begins.