Escape velocity - Breaking out of the box - CycleBlaze

February 6, 2018

Escape velocity


Rachael and I think we can claim some sort of record here: we returned home from our tour of Hawaii on the evening of January 12th, fired up by our new vision for our life ahead.  17 days later, we’re completely moved out of the condo; Mike the painter is hard at work getting it ready for the market; and we’re sleeping tonight at Stacey’s Placey, our new Air B&B on the east side.  Warp speed!  We’ve achieved escape velocity!

It was touch and go whether we were going to make it though.  This morning I took a final load to Goodwill and we loaded the car with stuff bound for Stacey’s, and then we stuffed residuals into cupboards and shelves, out of Mike’s way.  We’ll come back after hours and move them to storage sometime over the next month, but there’s no rush now - we’re out, and the next phase can begin.

We’re out the door with only about ten minutes to spare - we were time boxed also by being out in time for the first PIFF showing (the international film festival).   

The look at the condo, Monday evening. Let’s have a last look at that bold paint scheme before it’s whitewashed into history.
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Two rather grim films later (we’re ready for our first comedy), I take our gear over to Stacey’s while Rachael heads to the gym.   I return to collect her, the Bike Fridays, and dinner: happy hour at Pho Van’s.  Over our meal, the team breathes a big sigh of relief.  It’s all been too much, really - too stressful for too long.  By the end, we’ve become uncharacteristically snippy with each other.  Suddenly though, the pressure is off, and we’re fine.

Stacey’s is going to suit us very well, I think.  We have the whole upstairs of a small vintage house (built in 1908, Stacey informs me).  It feels very warm and comfortable, as does the rest of the package: we like Stacey, we enjoy being greeted at the door by the cat, Winter, and Stacey’s 14 year old deaf dog whose name I haven’t gotten down yet.

Rachael spends some time unpacking and getting organized, but I just vegetate.  I’ll pay for that in the morning, but for now it’s just nice to sit and put the system on idle.

Our room at Stacey’s: the view from the east
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The view from the west
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I awake this morning feeling well rested and refreshed.  Also disoriented -it’s still dark, and I haven’t internalized the layout yet so I walk tentatively and slowly, feeling my way in the dark until I find the bathroom door and a light switch.

My plan for the morning is to get some breakfast, bike out to the Rosemont District to return the card for our Comcast service, and then back downtown to meet Rachael for the 11:00 PIFF screening.  I quickly see the folly of my actions last night though - in the dark, I can’t find anything because I don’t know where anything is.  It takes me about 20 minutes to find my bike shoes, a clean shirt, the phone, The second sock.  Finally I’m assembled and heading downstairs where Winter is crying to be let out by the door.

I retrieve Rodriguez from the barn, using the phone’s flashlight to open its combo lock, and then go to the car to get my bike bag and helmet.  I forgot the car keys, so I have to go back upstairs - which is a good thing, because I learn that I failed to keep Winter in the back yard when I opened the gate (thankfully he walks back in when I reopen the gate), and failed to lock the front door.  There’s a lot to learn in moving to a different place.  I view this as a good thing - it’s healthy exercise for an aging brain.

I bike in the semidarkness to Spielman’s Coffee & Bagels.  When I get there I struggle with the combination of my cable lock until I realize what I’m doing - I’m trying to open it with the combo for our storage unit.  We’re dealing with four combo locks all of a sudden - Stacey’s lock box to the house; the barn; the storage unit; the bike lock.   Stack overflow.

Spielman’s is a great place.  I’ll be very happy hanging out here in the coming days.

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I hang around Spielman’s until nearly 9, enjoying a second bagel with peanut butter, their bottomless coffee pot, and most of all the fact that the pressure is off.  Finally, I rouse myself and head off on my big errand - to bike out to the Comcast store to return their card.  I enjoy a pleasant, leisurely ride biking through northeast Portland on neighborhood cycleways, some familiar to me and some not.  

Afterwards, I head back to the old neighborhood, drop Rodriguez off at the condo, and hurry off to the art museum to meet Rachael for the day’s screenings.  We enjoy both films immensely, and one strikes us as about the best film we’ve ever seen here.  Really remarkable.  I would say more about it, but I can’t because we’re bound to secrecy.   These are prescreenings for the press, so reviews can be written for the papers before the Festival opens.  I’ll come back in some later post and say a bit about films that really impressed me this year.

I’ve biked through Sunnyside Piazza before, but it seems especially bright on this grey morning.
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Laurelhurst Park as a bit of an arboretum, with labels identifying some of the more noteworthy plants. Here, Rodriguez measures himself up against a London plane tree.
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In Laurelhurst Park
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I return to the old neighborhood across the Broadway Bridge, just as the morning’s fog starts to burn off.
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One of the first signs of spring: some miniature irisesline the sidewalk a block from our condo.
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After the second film we walk back to the condo so Rachael can meet with a handyman about some minor repairs and I can offer remote moral support from Via Delizia while I catch up on the journal over a glass of Montepulciano.  Then, we retrieve the bikes and head home.

Perfect - we’ve stalled around just long enough, and we arrive at the river just in time to catch the last of the sunset.  We enjoy a delightful ride back to our new home, riding with the stream of commuters biking back to the east side.

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Gregory GarceauHi Scott & Rocky,

When you guys decide to do something, even something as life-changing as this, you sure don't waste any time. It recently took the Feeshko and I two months to complete something as simple as buying a new refrigerator.

I am so excited for you guys and your new travelling lifestyle--excited AND jealous--and am enjoying reading about your preparations.

One more thing: Speaking as a retiree from the paint industry, I must say that I really liked the colors in your condo. I would think it would be a sad job having to paint over them with neutral tones.

Your pal,

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6 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauIt’s been a bit much, even for us. We’re both looking forward to having it all behind us. Life is really a lot easier in the road.

And you’re right about the paint, I think. We didn’t dream it up ourselves - we’re not that visionary - it came with the condo. It had a lot to do with why we were attracted to it, I think.

Take care,
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6 years ago