Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fire and Rain

I've seen fire and I've seen rain,
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end...

The summer sunshine is of course a distant memory and the drone of icy rain rattles my windows along with the random squeal of tires skidding on the curve outside my driveway. Its a dangerous corner and when icy, cars easily underestimate the drop and bend and can go completely off the road or wind up nose first into the oak tree that once was. After two days without power except for a few brief respites, I am so grateful right now to have lights, internet, water flowing and the heater humming at my side. The temperatures have been hovering in the teens, coldest its been in eleven years.
Meanwhile, a blazing fire burns in my woodstove while I work.
My downstairs studio is a sweet space and currently unrented, it feels so cozy complete with two creatures cuddling and yes, holding hands in front of my warm and crackling' fire. I have missed the process of building a fire, the upstairs has a propane fireplace, a flick of a button activates the fake flames rippling behind some faux logs that resemble a pair of petrified steaks.
When I lived in my cute little cottage in San Francisco on top of Potrero Hill, after a few years I installed a Franklin stove. Along with my gravel driveway, ample parking, and drop dead views, it was a one of a kind rental for where it was. I lived there for thirteen years, fixing the place up from the funky shack it was when I moved in, to a place few of my friends could believe I was leaving behind for rural Oregon. Back then, I was the only one I knew in the city with a wood burning stove, and after some research, found a wood lot in South San Francisco I would drive to every month in the winter and load the back of my Honda hatchback with 20 dollars of wood.
In 1996 did the math on the rent times thirteen, and decided I could have bought a place, and so the hunt began. Up the coast of California from Bolinas to Mendocino, fueled by the roof that had started to leak in earnest and the fact that one of my aging dogs was having trouble negotiating the three stairs to the backyard.
It was the week that Bill Clinton was elected President, a rainy week spent at a clients' family house up in Myrtle Creek, Oregon that was the deciding factor.
It rained all week, and a fire burned in the woodstove, it was as good as it gets, and on the way south stopping to visit a friend I picked up a newpaper, and the rest was history. Six months later I was moving into this place where Stella could enter without steps to fall on, and I could rent the downstairs if I needed to.
Each winter I think about relocating to someplace warm and sunny and wonder if I can tough it through another Oregon winter, counting the days until Spring rolls around.
Brrrr, time to stop whining and make a fire!

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