Rivendell, Population 45,812

Newark 20

Described as “The Last Homely House, East of the Sea,” Rivendell in Tolkien’s Hobbit is our name for the East Bay city of Newark, where the wind turns on like AC every afternoon at 3, the salt smell of the marshes rides the wind, and the occasional giant heron flaps awkwardly by. After dashing to move last Tuesday, we worked straight through to do the remaining sorting on this end. Moving into a smaller place is a blessing, in a way, in that it reminds you to keep your hold on Things light. We did a Store, Toss, Keep, Donate version of unpacking that used up all six days we had to settle in, but here on the eve of D’s first day at the new job, we have actually made enough progress that we have nearly all the boxes flattened and in the garage to be Freecycled, and a date for a donation pickup, which makes T. very glad.

This move has been challenging, mainly because we had to hurry-hurry-hurry, but also because we had to fit into the near-Silicon-Valley culture here; we got this house with an app and signed electronically for it. We never did actually SEE any property managers or owners… they left a (fiiiiiiilthy) empty house and we moved in… unfortunately, the lack of human interaction has been incredibly frustrating, as we have basic questions about the HOA, irrigation system, etc., that have yet to be answered. And the things left behind – other than the 12-year-old whiskey (you’d think someone would miss that), boxes of CDs, and other bits of ephemera, the cooks in this place were frying enthusiasts who didn’t like cleaning, so T discovered that you can indeed spend six hours cleaning a range and still not like how it looks! Thankfully, Goo Gone has a product for cook tops. Who knew!? We’re still not happy with the state of things, but it’s a work in progress…

Meanwhile, we are feeling blessed: it’s a gorgeous house, even beneath the spatters and smudges, a quiet neighborhood, a tiny, sunny yard, a two-minute commute for D. and we have Bay trails less than a mile from our house. What with the scrubbing and sorting, we haven’t had much time to explore, except briefly on Saturday, but the air is heady and cold, even on these hot summer days, and the Bay sparkles. D might start cycling to work, though weighing the exercise against being more of a boss and needing to look a bit more coiffed when arriving may mean we just amble the neighborhood in the evenings and save real workouts for later.

Newark 10

Happy Week! Cheers as you find your feet and your organizational skills for the tasks ahead.

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