bittersweet adieu

Since the Event of Late June, my sister and her husband have been incomprehensibly generous—most obviously by providing cheerful, unstinting hospitality to me and my cats for two months. But the day of Jane and Charlotte’s parole has arrived.

That is, they will be released from inhumane (to their minds) confinement in a perfectly spacious and comfortable guest room, bundled into their travel cages, and chauffeured seventy miles north, from the Umpqua Valley to the Willamette Valley and their new home. I have myself been making that round trip nearly every day for a week, shuttling stuff from storage into the apartment. Nearly everything has been moved, although nearly nothing is in its proper place and I will be without home internet access for a period unpredictable except to the sellers/packers/shippers of the Wi-Fi hotspot device ordered a week ago. It is to be hoped I can track down a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi in the neighborhood to feed my addiction in the interim.

Not that I won’t have more useful tasks to occupy my time. Besides unpacking and rearranging and cleaning my god (the glass of all my framed art is filthy) and settling myself and coaxing the cats to come out from under the bed. Such as gardening.

image

This being but the start of my balcony garden: a miniature rose (fragrant, astonishingly), two varieties of lavender, chives, and French tarragon. Since added but not yet repotted, a third variety of lavender, another mini rose, and more herbs. It’s been too long since I’ve been able to get my hands dirty in honest soil.

Yet every change has its sadnesses. Although they won’t be far—certainly not a transcontinental distance—and they drive up to Eugene frequently, I will miss my sister and brother-in-law’s everyday support, conversation, and good humor—my sister’s fabulous cooking—their lovely house in the hills above Roseburg—their cats. Jüppsche took to me almost at once, with his turtledove purr and sinuous, elegant whiteness. Black Fritz was harder to convince—Tragic Fritz, I called him, for his heartrending “Love me!” cry—but I will miss our pre-dawn assignations on the deck. Calico Cecilia eventually warmed sufficiently to recline on the sofa back and read the iPad over my shoulder. Gorgeous tortoiseshell Apollonia remains reserved but not unfriendly. I do hope I won’t be a terrifying stranger again next time I darken their door.

So…a bittersweet and grateful adieu to Roseburg, and off to new adventures in Eugene.


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