Sunday, April 27, 2008

good bye old house

I finished the last bits of cleaning in the old house and turned in my keys today. A few days previous I had walked around the emptied place, thinking of all the life I had spent here. Moving in here with the mate. All the hawks who lived in the living room. The garden we planted. I will miss the beauty of the house, the fireplace tiles and all the curves, I will miss the avocados, but I will not miss the drafty aluminum windows and the summer heat that built up under the uninsulated roof.

In January I had planned to take this week off, meaning to take a trip to Yosemite. At that time I had no idea I'd be going not to the hills but would stay in the flatlands by the Bay unpacking in my new house.

A dear friend from university has given me a lawnmower on semi-permanent loan. My parents never had a lawn. So to my great shame against all that America stands for, I have never mowed a lawn in my life. I know how to iron a shirt better than I know how to mow a lawn. Fortunately my friend also provided the user manual. Gassed and oiled it, plugged in the spark, primed it a few times, and yanked the starter about 10 times. Primed it a few more times and yanked, and a small cloud of white smoke rose to the sky to join the other greenhouse gases and, by god, Houston, we had contact.

In about a half hour or so I was sweating like a pig but had a nice flat lawn that would keep my neighbors' property values up. The thing I don't understand is why the front wheels are locked in position. Why doesn't it drive like a car?

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