November 29, 2018
Fort Stevens State Park
Hello again from the park! Yes, I am still living in the park and it is still seriously far from ideal! And yet, there are perks: the totally brazen chipmunk, the night of five raccoons, the sunrise over the mouth of the Columbia river and the sunset over the ocean, the eagle, the elk – all I really need is David Attenborough narrating. It rains a lot though (NO SHIT FELICITY WHERE DID YOU THINK YOU WERE MOVING?) and the tiny camper is wet. Very wet. But! Yesterday I went to my storage unit and retrieved my large dehumidifier. It takes up a large chunk of tiny camper real estate – I have to climb over it – but for the first time I woke up to DRY WALLS AND WINDOWS. It is kind of amazing what not waking up to streams of water cascading down the walls and onto your pillow can do for your morale. Condensation in a small camper is no joke. I can do some climbing over the dehumidifier for this. And I have caulked and taped (YES! Miracle tape as seen on TV, or whatever the infomercial says! It’s extremely expensive but so far I must say it does seem to be working.) all the outside seams on the front of the camper, so maybe, just maybe, my leak issues will not be continuing.
Because, you see, I’m apparently doomed to the tiny camper in perpetuity, like the Flying Dutchman or something. The red house I fell so in love with finally fell through. This was, I know, a lucky escape: it was a classic money pit and I don’t actually have a lot of money. I have been mourning though, I had made the mistake of visualizing my furniture in it and talking my skilled friend Elizabeth into moving in for a month to paint and so on. But it was not to be – the owners have apparently decided to let it fall down rather than take an entirely reasonable offer. Oh well, their loss and, honestly, once I can look at it from a distance, my gain to the tune of zillions in repairs.
So I have been to see other houses! This is always entertaining and my goofily charming husband and wife team of real estate agents are too nice to admit that they’re getting kind of fed up with me. We have visited:
- A house that was literally falling down! It was actually kind of scary and we all refused to go upstairs because the vertigo as it sloped its way down the hill was just too much. It had a cool porch though. And a piano. Have I mentioned the pianos? Almost every collapsing disaster of a house in Astoria has one. Why? I do not know.
- A house that had super nice bones but was way too big and also going to fall down soon, based on the giant cracks running this way and that across the basement floor. It had a piano too. They mostly do. It also had gnawed rat holes here and there. Fortunately, they mostly don’t have that.
- A tiny perfect house totally in my price range that I could have bought that very damn day except. . . except. . . it was too fussy and peculiar and there was no room for large paintings or books and all I basically own are large paintings and books. I tried but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It sold in like a week. Sigh.
- Another tiny house in my price range that I actually quite loved. A big open floor plan! Brand spanking new! Fancy expensive appliances! Teal metal kitchen cabinets! It was built/rehabbed just to be an AirBnB – the helpful info sheets were sitting right at the entrance and, get this, it was being sold furniture included. At first this creeped me out but then I realized that the furniture was actually nicer than mine. But, it is in the country, which would be fine, except that it’s on a lot next to a lot of other lots that are for sale. The whole thing is a little murky as to where the lots end and begin, like, for example, do you have to buy an extra lot to have a place to park? Is that another lot right in front of the view (the view was amazing)? No one seems to be quite sure! Hmmmm. And all this is in the tsunami zone and on a flood plain in a neighborhood that’s sort of rural light industrial and so, in the future, near or far, it might be great but you might wake up to find yourself in a trailer park. Or a fancy subdivision. Or, of course, floating downriver. So the uncertainty was too much for me. Also I would have to get rid of all my stuff and put up a big storage shed.
- And (drum roll) a blue house quite close to the fussy little house, in an unpretentious neighborhood, a chill house that needs a little TLC but not too much. It is a bungalow. It is a bit too expensive. I am trying anyway so I am chanting nam yoho renge kyo, and if you could join in or please burn a candle or say a prayer for me, whatever works. I like it a LOT, although part of me thinks it might be too nice for me and so I am not getting my hopes up or doing anything dumb like visualizing my trashy beat ass furniture in there.
And if this doesn’t work out, I don’t fucking know what to do.
I went to look at a furnished apartment. The lady was super nice but it was dark and extremely decorated, like, extremely, like plush shag carpeting and pictures of tigers and it made me tired and sad. Also It was $1600 a month with a $1800 pet deposit that I suspect I would not get back and that is just a bit too much to live in an apartment complex behind the wal mart even if I took the tigers down. Then I texted with another nice lady, who was out at sea when I first texted. She said I couldn’t have the dogs in her apartment but she did have a basement room for rent that I could have if I was okay sharing the kitchen and bathroom with a hunter / trapper who was a retired roofer and also had dogs. $450 a month. No, I said, thank you, that sounds great but, uh, not for me. So as you see I am being picky even though it occurred to me that it certainly could have been the beginning of a quirky romance novel and I might be missing out on the love of my life, here. She’s a vegetarian! He’s a hunter/trapper! They both love dogs! Yikes. Astoria is just Asheville-By-The-Sea, I swear to gods.
So here I am, still in the tiny camper. I put up some Christmas lights. A family member has been visiting and we went to Newport for Thanksgiving, where it rained but we had a lovely time anyway, going to the aquarium and the Rogue brewery and Seal Rock and the Devil’s Punchbowl. Now, though, we are back at Fort Stevens, and, well, much as I love it here, I need a goddamn real roof over my head, I really, really do and so do the animals.