Friday, May 13, 2016

LXVIII. Regresar a Los Estados Unidos, Parte 2

Back in the United States, Part 2

Eddie has exchanged life in The Emerald City for the laid-back
vibes of Portland. He'll be living with Bridie and John in the
NE part of town only a few blocks from our favorite
McMenamin's hotel--Kennedy School. 
A month before our trip back to Seattle we sent out emails to friends announcing our intention to give away many of the items we had been storing. We wanted these good people to have first choice among our belongings. The rest of our things—except, of course, for those that we would ship to our new home—would go to charity. There was one item, though, that we would neither donate nor take with us, and that was our car, Eddie. On that same emailing we advertised a cut-rate deal on Steady Eddie and quickly received a response—from a person who shall remain unnamed—that Eddie really seemed to have her name on him, and that events had conspired to make him available just when she needed to replace her old car. I answered that I was glad to see our reliable stead going to a good home, and that I’d let her know when we’d be available to seal the deal. We were only going to be in Seattle for two weeks, our time felt jammed as it was, and who knew how long it would have otherwise taken to sell our car? So, it felt really good to get this part of our long to-do list checked off. 

Fast forward to last week; our second day on the job began with this ibuprofen-fueled but emotionally deflated duo confronting a brain-freezing mess—items boxed and unboxed, on and off the U-Haul, jammed into the garage and threatening to fall over or cause injury or both, and with an order that we had either forgotten or about which we disagreed. But slowly, with gritted teeth and a willingness to make and abide by snap decisions, we made sense of it all. Several trips to the donation lane at ValueVillage opened up space in the rental truck. By five o’clock we had almost everything sorted, packed and Magic Marked, and were ready to call it a day. Have a couple of drinks. We were just waiting for The Edster’s erstwhile buyer to appear, the same one who had seemed so positive and committed a month ago, but had just the day before dropped a hint that perhaps the time was not as propitious as she had previously seemed to promise.

I guess by now we knew what was coming, and that it was probably not going to be what we wanted to hear. Still, it was a disappointment to be told that Unnamed was not really as committed to buying a new automobile as she had been a month before. “It’s a wonderful car, though, and a great price and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble selling it blah blah”. We pasted on grins and muttered imprecations under our breath…but what can you do? 

Eddie is one clean ride! I wonder what new name he'll be
given?...Thanks, Sarina, for the Craigslist photos!
We came home and posted Eddie for sale on Craigslist. The next morning a guy called from Portland, asked a few questions about the ad, told us he and his wife were renting a car, driving the three hours north with cash in hand, and to please, please hold on to Ed Man until two o’clock. Even though we had been burned, we fell for John's line, and we were rewarded for our faith. John and Bridie had been looking for this very model for weeks, found him to be as righteous as we had always known, laid a thick wad of Ben Franklins on us and drove back home (I presume, and hope) happy as can be. 

We celebrated by going shopping for clothes at Fred Meyers, a regional mega-store, and ValueVillage, the used everything emporium to which we had been donating all week. Score! And score again! We found everything we wanted and in our size, plus a Founders’ Day sale at FM saved us nearly fifty dollars and VV was discounting 30% to seniors.

We were back on track and have continued to be in a groove, visiting with friends, co-workers and spending more quality time with daughters, helping and being helped by them. We’ve also confirmed to ourselves that this move is the right thing to be doing. Seattle seems cold to us now, both physically and psychologically, even though we love our friends and family and will always come back for visits. We have become accustomed to a much slower and generally friendlier pace, a more vibrant life and culture. That doesn't mean it’s bad here or not right for anyone else but us, but it’s no longer our home. That place will soon be on a cobblestone street named Encarnación Rosas in a small town on the edge of a big lake in the high country in the middle of México. ¡Olé!


  1. Glad to catch you Tom, on your visit to the Emerald City. Home is where you make it, and I have found in my life, simply the right place at the right time.

    Kloshe Konaway
    Kloshe Nanitch


  2. Good to chat with you, too, Matt. Say hi to Jenny and Rubes for me. See you again about the same time next year.