Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Parallels


The magnolias are blooming. Unbelievably beautiful.

The last time I lived alone was more than twenty-five years ago. (Whoa.) I lived in a sweet little house tucked into a lush garden behind the California Historical Society at the very top of Laguna Street in Pacific Heights, a seriously posh neighborhood in San Francisco. The house was basically one large room with a tiny, cute kitchen and a rather lavish bathroom. There were windows on all four sides of the house. In front of the house was a large patio with funny neo-classical columns. Why? Never found out. The garden completely surrounded the house. Imagine exotic ferns, huge palm trees and other California-ish plants. You could barely see the building from the street. Every time I unlocked the gate and walked into the garden, I felt I had entered a magical realm.

I loved that place. When I saw the ad in the paper, I should have raced right over, but I waited a day. By the time I got around to seeing it, the person in charge of renting the house told me it had already been taken, but let me have a look at it anyway. I was so disappointed to lose out because I hadn't jumped on the opportunity. What was I thinking?

A couple of days later I got a call from the woman saying that the renter figured out her furniture wouldn't fit in the house. She said, "For some reason, yours is the only phone number we saved. So if you want the house, it's yours." It was, no doubt, a case of angelic intervention. Wow.

At the time, I was still fiercely bohemian. I didn't cook, decorate or really care in any way about domestic pursuits. The only thing you would have found in the fridge was beer and take-out Thai food. I had stacks of heavy books piled up on top of the refrigerator; it was small and cheap, and tended to jump around unless weighed down. If there had been food inside, it would not have been a problem. In the main space was my futon and piles of books. Maybe I had a lamp. The stereo of course. That was it.

As I get ready to embark on living alone again, I am kind of flabbergasted. It has been a LONG time since 24 Palms, as I called that house in San Francisco. I love to cook these days, and though still not completely domesticated, I do enjoy the ambience of good feng shui, the pleasures of comfortable upholstery. I'm about to find out what life is like on my own for the first time in a long time. I am so excited.

The people currently living in my new apartment are having trouble working through the details (jumping through hoops, actually) required to buy their new apartment, so my move has been delayed. Somehow it seems fitting and proper that there is a temporary setback. That's how it works for me, or so it seems. It's OK, it is SO OK. I don't mind taking time to wrap my mind around this big change. Oh yeah.

30 comments:

Lynne said...

*Gorgeous* photos and OMG, look at the WILD HAIR on you! wow, I like it!

How exciting to be thinking about the prospect of living on your own again. Will you need to buy some furniture? I know things need to happen in their own time, but hopefully it will be sooner than later!

Rick said...

Yet another new adventure. It's time.

Reya Mellicker said...

Through the miracle of the internet, I've found two images of that house on google maps. Should I post a link? Wow.

There is no privacy anymore. Nope. But how cool to see my little house again. Wow.

The Pollinatrix said...

Magnolias are one of the few things I miss about living in Louisiana. There was a tree across from the house where I gave birth to my oldest child.

Blessings on your big move!

Expat From Hell said...

Geez, Reya. The magnolias are also blooming in Texas right now, so your post was timely. Smelling them, coming back to read your post about San Francisco (one of my favorite places), and suddenly I am thinking of the Grateful Dead's "Sugar Magnolia"...Thanks! EFH

California Girl said...

what a nice reminisce and the magnolias are magnificent.

I read the descrip of the apt in SF wondering why you ever left such a garden but I do know the answer...we all have to move on. It hurt me so much to sell our home last Dec and I went on for days in the Empty Nest blog. But, I knew then and now it was the right time and everything fell into place so quickly it must have been meant to be.

I miss many of the places I have lived. What excites me is the thought of finding a new place too. Good luck to you Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

Expat I love that song - I even have it on my ipod. Queuing it up asap.

Cal Girl, I left my garden to move in with the man I married. It was also a beautiful space, up at the top of Bernal Heights. But I'll never forget that little house. It was magical.

More magical still is seeing it on google maps. Wow.

Reya Mellicker said...

I don't know why anyone here would want to look at these pics, but nevertheless, since I can post links, I will.

Here are the palm trees and garden seen from the street.

And here you can catch a glimpse of the house.

They've taken out a lot of the foliage since 1985 ... duh ... of course they have. Very fun.

Meri said...

Isn't it odd that in retrospect, all these little glitches seemed to have been purposeful? Wonder what's next.

lakeviewer said...

Big Change is good for everything. It really shakes up the system,like rototilling. It may kill some good bugs, but it cuts down on weeds and mixes the soil for a luscious new beginning. I'm excited for you.

That white cammelia is stunning in its color, lines, caressing splendor.

Reya Mellicker said...

Meri, yes, I wonder, too, what all these changes will bring to my life.

Rosaria, they are magnolias, real southern magnolia blossoms. Orange-y and gingery and huge!

And it's hot and humid in DC. As it should be!

Jeninacide said...

Those photos are so gorgeous I want to FRAME THEM!

Congrats on your new apartment! Living alone will be lovely- it's something that you sometimes miss when surrounded by roommates/husband's/family member's STUFF all the time!

Ronda Laveen said...

I can feel the excited energy through cyberspace. The delay just gives you longer to get ready. This summer is so differnt from last,yes? The: endings
Now: beginnings

Whitney Lee said...

The magnolias are beautiful, a bit of nostalgia for me. It's great that you're not frustrated by the setbacks. Frustration's no way to start a new adventure.

Linda Sue said...

magnolias- your photos look like the flying nun- and pure, very pure.
You little cottage in the palms sounds so perfect for that time- always in step, our Reya!
Can't wait to follow your process!

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes - pure!

Hi Whitney!! I've been in this house longer than anywhere I've ever lived, except the house where I grew up, so moving out is a Very Big Deal. It's nice of God to give me some spaciousness around it. (In addition to God, my housemates, new landlords and the current tenants in the apartment are providing me with lots of space.) Whew!!

Elizabeth said...

Magnolia and hair
uber cool..........
yes, places I've lived haunt me
and haunt me.....

Cyndy said...

Those blooms look so fresh I can practically feel their fragrance oozing out of the computer screen!

Your hair looks fabulous!

I love Google Earth. Last night I flew through the Alps, the Himalayas, a desert that is near there, and the North Pole. Oh and I saw a random castle, but I don't know exactly where I was at the time, somewhere in Switzerland I think. It's so much fun to revisit places and see new places just with the click of a mouse.

Reya Mellicker said...

The North Pole? Oh man I am going. It's supposed to be 98 degrees tomorrow. I'm off.

steven said...

reya wow they're like the most perfect origami!!! yeah everything happens when it should and how it should. it ain't always right at first but then it turns into right. strong patience. steven

Cyndy said...

The North Pole was a bit disappointing on Google Earth - I forgot to mention that. It looks like it's underwater, but there's actually still some ice floating there. It kind of burst my bubble a bit and made me sad, having never "been" there before. Greenland is worth a visit though and it's fun to look at the world from the very top of it.

C.M. Jackson said...

good luck to you--I am certain a new magic awaits..

Karen said...

Wow, how interesting--a little bit of unexpected extra time to be thoughtful during a process that is usually a bit hectic and chaotic? Peace amidst the upheaval? Hm... Very auspicious. :)

I almost took a photo of a magnolia blossom on campus today, and then I thought NO, that would look too much like a photo Reya would put on her blog, and I'm already enough of a copycat. :)

Pam said...

Daughter, in her mid 20's, is in the equivalant of 24 Palms at the moment, not having a lot of money, submitting her Masters thesis, and books being more important than other material goods. A tiny, tiny place "in a seriously posh neighbourhood" as you put it. I hope her soul expands even more beautifully over the years to examine and deal with many avenues you have already explored so successfully since those early days in San Francisco Reya.Your creativity, wisdom through both the good and bad, and fortitude, courage and spirituality are an inspiration...and isn't that magnolia blossom just the best ever!!Thanks for your recent visit and comment.x

Pauline said...

flower photos are amazing!

Hope living on your own is every bit as wonderful as I find it. It opens up so much room to learn who you are and decide whom you wish to become.

John Hayes said...

Amazing magnolia pix! One of my very favorite blossoms. Best of luck on your new living situation!

Reya Mellicker said...

Karen, nicely said! Auspicious. I think it is! I feel it is, in my heart.

And to anyone who thinks I'm inspirational: thank you. Please remember that I try to sound really cool here on the blog. In "real" life, as anyone who actually knows me can explain, I'm a mix just like everyone else.

'Nuff said about that!

Merle Sneed said...

I've never been that good at being alone for an extended time.

Steve said...

I can't wait to see what this experience awakens in you. I always loved living alone, and yet living with someone else is pretty nice too! Your place in San Fran sounds like it was amazing. I think your new place will be outta this world, too, and I can't wait to see it!

Paul C said...

There's luminescence here.