Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nevada, California, and... Oregon!

These long drive days are really cutting into my computer time. Apologies for the brief update today. We have a highway to catch in a little bit!

The drive across Nevada was uneventful. I was pretty weary of desert driving after New Mexico and Arizona, but it was awfully good to finally make it to Reno, where we have a bunch of family, and took a much needed day off from the drive. I was so tired I could easily have cut the trip short and just moved to Reno.

Motel 6 is our friend. Dogs are free, the rates are great, and many of them are updating the rooms, so we've had some really nice digs for little cash.

Driving across Nevada.

Rest stop at Walker Lake. Lucy enjoys wading, but not swimming, which was just as well, since wet-dog-smell in my car is not my favorite.

Breakfast with the family. So nice to have them welcome us "home."

Who doesn't love baby geese?

Beer on a sunny patio by the river had us saying, Yeah, we could live like this...

Kayak practice early in the season.

Heidi fell in love with my sister's dog Oliver. So did I.
Cooper is so big he doesn't fit in one picture.

Here's Cooper's other end, with the rest of the dogs all helping out in the kitchen.

Leaving Reno was hard for me. Then our first stop for coffee sent me a personal message, encouraging me on...
Later in the day we stopped at Burney Falls for a quick lunch break that turned into an hour and a half. Such a nice place, and super quiet this time of year.

Mt. Shasta on the fly.

And finally in Ashland, OR for the night, we hung out with cousins and friends, and were treated to this wonderful homemade marinara, made fresh and vegan and just for us. Pampered!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Two Days to Beatty

Everything we own is in this truck. About a third of what you see here belongs to other family members and will be delivered along the way. We really pared it down this time.

Two long days of driving have gotten us to Beatty, NV. Long days because the U-haul doesn't like to go much over 60, and because we need to stop often to walk the dogs. They're doing really great, considering we've turned their world upside down and they have no idea what's going on. As long as they have us though, they seem to be content to just ride along and crunch down the extra treats.

Day one was rough. Leaving Taos was, of course, quite emotional, but once we got to the other side of the canyon, and even more so to the other side of Albuquerque, I was thinking less about what we'd left behind, and more about what we were heading towards. Honestly though, I don't think about that a lot because I have no idea where we're really heading, and that scares me when I give it room. Instead I focus on where I am on the road, what the scenery is like, how it changes from moment to moment. I leap only as far ahead as where we'll be spending the night. All I can take right now is baby steps.

Somewhere there's a picture of us arriving here 13 years ago. We wanted one of us leaving too.

Just outside of Albuquerque.

On our second morning, leaving Flagstaff, AZ, we got into some messy snow. It was un-fun.

Fortunately, the snow didn't last all day.

We stopped for a dog walk and lunch overlooking Lake Mead, just before hitting Las Vegas. No time for casinos, friends, or great vegan restaurants this trip. Dang!

I think it's become a hobby this trip, to take pictures of the scenery with the U-haul in the image. It's the one constant in my days now, while everything around it continually changes.

Somber selfie at the end of day two. I am not normally a 9 hour driver, or a driver at all for that matter. Usually Rick drives and I knit, but because of the dogs we had to drive both vehicles this trip. I don't really mind, but I do wish we could go shorter distances and do more stopping to see the sights. It is what it is, and the sights roll by as we plod along. U-haul gave us 7 days to get to Portland, so we have to stay on schedule. After that... well I really have no idea.
This morning we'll head for Reno, where we'll spend two night with my sister and her husband, and visit some other family. Getting closer to our home zone. Almost there.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Here We Go

Today is moving day. But not in the usual way. Most people have an address to go to when they move. We have a general direction - west, and a potential town - Portland. But we really don't know where we're going. We're moving in the sense of pure motion, and we'll know where we're going when we get there.

Everything we own, aside from my car, which I'll be driving, with the dogs as copilots, is in the 14 foot Uhaul truck in the driveway. All we need to do this morning is eat breakfast and throw a few last things into the truck. The house is clean. We've said most of our good-byes - except for one or two who will pop by to see us off. We're ready to go, but not in a hurry now. We're savoring this last lovely morning in Taos, after a night in sleeping bags on an air bed in the living room, looking out at the billions of stars we've become so familiar with. It was like camping, and it was a good way to spend our last night in this house.

So here we go. First stop, Flagstaff, Arizona, where I know there's at least one vegan restaurant, and a hotel reservation with our name on it. Adios, Taos. And thank you, House. We'd take you with us if we could.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Letting Go

It's countdown week. After all the time we've spent working toward moving, it's finally just a few short days away. I still panic frequently. Sure this is what I want. This is what I asked for. But that doesn't make it easy. Thirteen years in place is not nothing. There's a level of comfort to be found even in places we've grown out of. Letting go is not as easy as I imagined it would be. And as much as I'm all in for moving forward and exploring the next part of my life, I sometimes need a little help when I start to freak out about all the unknowns.

I joke about wishing for a bucket of Xanax, but that's not really my style. I will admit to enjoying a few more tasty adult beverages that normal in recent weeks, and the homeopathic Calms Forte a friend recommended helps a little bit. But this is Taos, and often there are alternatives to mainstream de-stressors. Take for instance our favorite little coffee place, Coffee Cats, who advises patrons to "put a rock in it."

A rock in my coffee (or tea, or martini)? Yes, it's true. Rick and I are regular imbibers of "rocktails," and have a pretty extensive collection of rocks to reuse at home. According to Coffee Cats, every rock has a different energy, and each stone they sell is not only safe to plunk into your drink of choice, but also has specific qualities to help you shift your own energy patterns. Amazingly (or not, if you're of a certain-mindedness), putting a rock in your drink will also improve the taste. I've tested it many times. It's true.

My rock of choice these days is Crazy Lace Agate, which is the Letting Go stone. It really does seem to be helping. I know that not letting go only causes pain. I also know that only open hands are able to catch new things that fall their way. A tight grip on anything, be it physical or mental, closes us off to fresh adventures. So with a few more days to blast-off, I'm working my pretty little hunk of Crazy Lace Agate for all it's worth - which appears to be considerably more than the dollar I paid for it.

Living in an adobe house all these years has been literally like living in the earth. It's very grounding - sometimes to the point of feeling buried in it - but grounding none the less. Now my sense of grounding, balance, place, and even person are being shaken loose. The tentative roots I put down here run deeper than I thought they did. The idea (and it's only an idea, because I can't see into the future) that I will feel anonymous, even invisible, in a new place, makes me swing back and forth from giddy to queasy, and all points in between. All of these feelings came up unexpectedly. I really thought I was ready to just pack up and push off. But here I am, struggling one day, dancing the next, trusting the process, and appreciating all the support I'm getting from a few close friends and a humble rock that's somehow helping me keep my balance as I fling myself out into the world one more time.

Whatever it takes. We're in some wild times, all of us. Last night a friend gave me (us) a small heart shaped piece of rose quartz, which is the Love Stone that opens up the heart chakra. That's a lot of blah, blah, blah to some people, but to me it's a precious gift, from the heart, from a deep level of knowing and supporting us on our way. We've let go of so many of our things, but this one little thing is going along for the ride. I might even add it to my tea, along with the Crazy Lace Agate. It can't hurt, and it will probably help.

I don't mean this to be a review of Coffee Cats, but I do love the place, and will miss it when we leave. Visit them if you can someday. They sell a complete set of all their rocks, along with descriptions of the properties of each. I'm not sure, but maybe they'd mail-order a set to you if you give them a call and ask really sweetly. Oh, and don't just throw any old rock in your drink. Not all of them are safe to sip.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Countdown

We're less than two weeks from closing the sale of our house on April 25th. Almost 13 years to the day from the day we moved in. We've been wanting this for a long time, this freedom, this release from feeling like we were being held hostage in Taos, and in our house. It was home for all this time. And then we knew it was time to go, but it seemed were we not being allowed to leave. It's been frustrating, but now suddenly it feels like the gates have been flung open, and we're free to wander off in search of Whatever's Next.

I didn't really believe this was all happening until two days ago, when the soon-to-be new owner of our house came to our yard sale, looked me in the eyes, and said, "I love this house." All the logic in the world couldn't convince me it was a real deal until that moment. I wanted to trust it, but after what we went through a few months ago with buyers who backed out at the last minute, I guess I felt the need to guard against another big disappointment.

It turns out, as it always does, that the timing wasn't right then, and it's perfect now. Of course it is. Why would I doubt that? Just being human I guess. The new owners are terrific people who will fit in here perfectly. They lived in Taos a long time ago, and still have friends here, in fact right up the road from us. They also just happen to know some of our friends already, and have met some of our favorites in the last few days. I know it's silly, but I sort of feel like the house is staying in the family. Not that I feel any claim to it, but I just like knowing that people I know and like will be here. And who knows, maybe we'll get to come back and see how they've made it better, which I know they will. New life in our pretty house is the best thing we could ask for. There's a lot of love in these adobe walls.

We held an enormous moving sale over the weekend, and sold tons of stuff. Almost everything we wanted to sell, except for a few large pieces. I suppose those will go for less than I want for them, but that's ok. I mean really, if a few bucks is the cost of freedom, of lightening our physical, and as a result, our psychic load, it's not a high price to pay at all. We're spending this last bit of time in a nearly empty house, with chandeliers and camp chairs and echoes of our own voices mixed with those of the last 13 years. It's oddly calm and comforting. And I'm finally beginning to feel free again.

Monday, April 7, 2014

On the Road Again...

Well hello there...

You thought it was all over with here, right? So did I. But life changes, and so do minds and perspectives, and I now find myself coming up with reasons to revive this blog. It's a total surprise to me.

Is anyone still out there?

Here's the quick story:
After 13 years in our Taos House - minus the 15 months we traveled and blogged about it here - Rick and I have sold our house and are moving on to...

I want to be able to share more of everyday life than I can over at Positively Vegan, so for now I think I'll write both blogs. Maybe a post a week each or so, with a bit of overlap, but more personal stuff here, and more food over there. They might blur to a point of total melding some day, but for now I'm a two-blog girl.

I hope you'll re-join me for this part of the ride. It promises to be a good one!