19 October 2014

Knitted In

Every time I've been on Orcas in recent months, something has occurred to clarify, more and more each time, that the island is our community--and all that's missing is us.

As the days grow rapidly shorter, colder, and wetter, I've been feeling Orcas knitting itself cosily around me with local merino wool, protecting me from the elements, and making my home--although physically still months in the future--homier and homier.

In fact, this sweater knitting around me is *so* complete that, a couple weeks back, I began to feel slightly uneasy. I don't want Orcas to be a straitjacket, no matter how fleecy. A cardigan, though--ideally a zipped hoody--allows for quite a bit of flexibility. Too warm? Unzip. Chilly? Zip up to the chin. Super cold? Pull up the hood. I can live with--no, bask in--an Orcas cardigan.

As Orcas enfolds me in soft warmth, Seattle is rubbing me more and more like a hair shirt. At best, each return to the city ends in Wallingford with my back tense and my shoulders somewhere near my ears.

On my most recent arrival back in Seattle, someone had parked exactly right to screw me over with my heavy unloading and the late afternoon rain. I raged and wept and threw a royal tantrum (once I'd unloaded and was inside), in part fueled by my bitter recognition that I have absolutely no claim whatsoever to any stretch of any city street. This was one of my worst arrivals, for sure.

BUT! The short island visit that Ian and I had just completed (with him being dropped in Lake Forest Park on our return, and therefore absent from my puerile raging) knitted a whole skein into my sweater.

Last weekend I emailed the West Sound Neighbor-to-Neighbor email list asking for medium-term housing. We need someplace with an indoor toilet through the winter (and indoor cooking facilities, and electricity, and consistent heat, and, and . . . ), and as of mid-February when we vacate Wallingford to put our house on the market in the city, we'll need full-time lodging somewhere.

Within 24 hours I had two responses from Orcas (and emailed my thanks to the community), and one of them is PERFECT (and we look forward to being community members with the other as well).

As of December 1*, and through the remainder of our build, we will live in a little guesthouse with a great view, a kitchen, and a ten-minute walk home to get in the way of the construction crew. The guesthouse is mostly furnished, but we can add our own guest bed (come visit!), and my piano, and Spackle.

It's marvelous, the island element of my life's current upheaval, and I am continually thunderstruck by how quickly Orcas accommodates any request I make. I love it!

More pictures posted: I recommend looking at the night shots with the lights off, on your largest screen. Photogenic place!

one-fingered on my phone, and then edited on my computer.

*We'll still be "living" in Seattle . . . more or less . . . until the house actually goes on the market in March. But I'll be on Orcas as much as possible. Ian will be, too, but his "possible much" is slimmer than mine.

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