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Urging and merging and purging oh my…

August 9, 2010
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My spine, from T-6 to T-12, is always the first to know. I’m not sure what it is it knows, but what it tells me is to stop doing what is causing the pain. What is causing the pain is attempting ordinary life as an ordinary biped, moving about, packing things, filling out forms, perusing topographical maps, and skimming materials from our about-to-be new hometown’s Chamber of Commerce; downloading forms from the title company, and communicating with my about-to-be new hometown realtor, who is down to simply humoring me and exchanging useful information and Bible verses until closing, which is yet to be scheduled, but not awfully distant. Just another day in the life of an ordinary bipedal American trying to merge the lives of various eras into a few boxes while mentally dwelling in two places simultaneously….

I am suddenly meeting people of a unknown milieu, one I had always before feared because I have a habit of taking headlines as normative, but which has turned up a handful of delightful people. These are Craigslist buyers, who have been buying things we have to sell in order to downsize and streamline and purge ourselves of things we no longer use, that have value to others. It’s amazing how you can have things about the house that were pretty expensive and took up a lot of space, that your health no longer permits you to use and enjoy, but that parlay into cash that pays next month’s health insurance premium. But irony simply parlays into one beneficent providence after another.

I marvel at the boon of God’s urging. We are doing it. We are pulling this off. We are really moving to the land we have so long desired to make our home. We never would have thought to do it if we did not have a pastor and a church — sister church to our own — already in place there. We are moving to Clarkston Heights, a census population unit (CPU) in unincorporated rural Asotin County, the state’s smallest county.

My husband’s fruitful perusal of the Asotin County Code clarified that I need not try to locate the strength to raise a pig. Pigs are permitted only on actual pig farms, or must be sponsored by an organization such as 4H. We can have up to four livestock in any combination of horses, cows, llamas, sheep, or goats; or 25 chickens — just not a pig. That’s fine; I would just as soon look out on the pleasantly empty pasture and appreciate our neighbors’ horses from a distance.

I have seen on our trips to Clarkston absolutely zero campaign signs for any Democratic candidates. And I am so ready to set foot on red-planet soil. Our new neighbor across the street has Didier and Rossi — both Republican candidates for U.S. Senate — signs on his fence, and I plan to introduce myself by asking him for one of his signs, assuring him I don’t care much more than he does, that I’m simply ABM.

My new doctor raises otter hounds, which is great news, because I figure if he likes a rare breed of dog, he’ll like a new patient with as rare a disease as Addison’s. So many solutions have simply cascaded into place that I can only keep saying, It’s of the Lord.

Coolidge, the Covenant Cat, faces transitional casualties, but I trust God will uphold him as he learns to acquire a taste for something that is not Trader Joe’s tuna cat food, because there is no Trader Joe’s in Eastern Washington. Alternatively, several friends have stepped forward, willing to ship or shuttle cases of his exclusive fare if necessary. Friends don’t let friends’ Cats be hungry or grumpy.

It’s difficult to prioritize and set a pace right now. I can hardly wait to begin exploring the backcountry of the Grande Ronde River Valley, its river, a tributary of the Snake, meandering through northeastern Oregon through narrow canyons and valleys. It’s a day trip possible from our new home. But first, there is moving, and painting, and new floors, and meeting neighbors and becoming good neighbors, and finding our way around, and meeting those with whom we will be doing business, and setting up a business: my husband’s new law practice. And I have a built-in timer, thanks to the traits that successfully dominate the skyline of my strength, that will tell me when it’s time to hang out on the deck and look at the dry hills and the prairie and the big sky overhead. Everything in its time and place, and everything in his hands.

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