Real Estate

I sold my bed.  If I was in denial about moving, it became real.  Not having a place to sleep sets everything in motion.  I have slept on my couch for a few days, but it has sold as well.  I sold everything that could be sold, mostly breaking even, selling the item for the amount I paid for it, more or less.  My belongings have been reduced to thirty boxes.  Thirty is more than I expected and I could have reduced my items even further if I had been more critical.  I wasn’t sure if I needed to pack “starter” items, so I packed them anyway – some plates, silverware, pots.  I have no knives and no linens.  Although one box of pillows and two sleeping bags.

I have not signed the lease yet, but I think I found a house that is good enough.  It does not meet all my requirements but I’m tired of searching for a new home and I can make do with it.  For a one bedroom duplex, 500 square feet home, in Durham, North Carolina, I will be paying less than my current situation, sharing a home with 3 other people in San Francisco.

Presidio Goldsworthy sculpture 

Someone from Craigslist stopped by the house to check out my TV for sale. He said he was using it as a monitor for his 3D work. I’ve never heard of someone using a 50″ LCD monitor before but he tested it out and said it had lag time which didn’t work for him. He was on his way out and I asked him if he needed anything else. I asked, how about these boxes, they hold file folders but they are very sturdy and you can use them for a wide variety of things. He said, he didn’t have cash. I said, you have a phone, do you have a paypal or venmo account? He said yes, I said how about $10? I recieved those two storage boxes from the Container Store for free and they retail new at $19 each. I happen to have used them as bedside shelves. If nursing school doesn’t work out, I can find my way back to sales.

This weekend, my friend Kris came to visit from Ohio. It was a lovely weekend of food, friendship and exploration. Photos: we visited 4 outdoor sculptures by Goldsworthy at the Presidio. The 4th piece was housed at the Presidio officer’s club which also hosted an exhibit on the Japanese internment. It was a very powerful gallery. I recommend visiting it and taking a look at the 120,000 names of those interned, etched in glass.

Avenue of the Giants

If it takes 50 cents for a 2 minute shower, + 25 cents = 3 minute shower and 4 quarters = 4 minute shower but it probably takes 20 seconds for the shower to warm up, how many quarters would you use? Also, if time runs out after 50 cents you must begin again, rather than adding 25 cents. The maximum limit is 3.00 minutes/$12.00.

I haven’t had to think about conservation of water in this way in some time but this Memorial Day weekend I am camping among the Redwoods. They are my favorite trees and I wanted to see them before I leave California.

We drove north of San Francisco, about 200+ miles along the Avenue of the Giants/Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world. Most of these coastal redwoods have not been ruined by logging.  It has been the only park I have visited where hammocks are prohibited.
Saturday, we visited Founders Grove, where lies the third largest tree in the park. The Dyerville Giant (375 ft. Fallen tree height, 52 ft. wide).

Sunday, we walked among the Rockefellar Loop (old growth) and Drury-Chaney trail (lots of ferns). Then drove north another 3+ hours continuing on 101 to the Redwood National and State Parks. “Redwood National and State Parks are designated as a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, is home of the world’s tallest trees. Redwood trees can exceed heights of 370 feet tall, standing taller than the Statue of Liberty.”
At this park we visited Lady Bird Johnson grove (which was filled with fog this afternoon, dedicated in 1968), we drove Newton B. Drury scenic parkway (10 miles), stopped at Klamath River overlook and camped at Mill Creek. Mill Creek isn’t my first choice campground as it was far but Elk Prarie Creek campground is on Gold Bluffs Beach without any cover and exposed.

Monday, we drove to Fern Canyon which required going down a dirt road for 8 miles, then driving over rocks and crossing what I called, “a big little river”. We hiked Fern Canyon to Friendship Ridge Trail (north) to West Ridge trail (northwest) to Coastal Trail (south) back to the parking lot. It was a 7 mile hike but felt more like 9 miles because it involved at least 12 stream crossings with logs or rocks, jumping over and crawling under 10+ downed trees, hiking through thick mud (the kind where your feet sink in), battling mosquitoes and general all around fun. It was like an amazing obstacle course that took 6ish hours with snacks and lunch stop. My friend Cheryl would just look at me when I would say things like, jump over the log, and put your feet here and don’t fall in.
We saw open prairie meadows, two waterfalls and seven different kinds of fern resembling a hanging garden, and redwoods. After our hike we ran our feet in the sand and dipped our feet in the cold Pacific Ocean at the Gold Bluffs beach picnic area. To top off the day we saw elk on the drive out at Elk Meadow. Now I am listening to the sound of rain hitting our tent, waiting for the morning to drive home. It’s been a good weekend, I will miss the fog, the Pacific Ocean and my favorite redwood trees.

In gratitude

Everything worked out for a reason and there was likely no reason to panic about nursing school but in retrospect it seemed very stressful during the application period. As I close this chapter of life, and I move on to the next, I have evolved to the next version of me, Liane 4.0 if you will.  There was 1. growing up in NYC, then college, 2. Corporate life at McGraw-Hill and publishing <NYC, Philadelphia>, 3. Semi-retirement, traveling the world and post semi-retirement <SF>, 4. Nursing school <North Carolina>. This will be my 5th cross country move. I am grateful for all of you who have been on these different journeys with me. I recognize it is never too late to keep growing, try something new and begin again.  
Photos: On Tuesday, friends at archery, the last photo is from 80 yards away. 

My friend, Don R.

I received an email from my friend, Don, (who said it was ok to share).  He is fighting a battle against cancer.  Don and I know each other from my former life in publishing, but we started to communicate more frequently when I began my life after publishing.  Don is one of my biggest supporters, always cheering me on from a far.

Don, I know you read my blog, so I want you to know, I am cheering for you, sending you strength and love to both you and June.  I am sending something in the mail soon, be on the look out in the upcoming weeks.

Below is a photo of us (Don, on the far right).  When I biked across the U.S. the first time, he drove 2+ hours from Cincinnati, Ohio, (also picking up another publishing friend, Carl L. along the way), to visit me as we biked through Kentucky.  Kentucky was the closest point to Ohio on our route.  Lisa B. (another publishing friend) was kind of enough to host us for dinner, shelter my team, and open her home to the team the next year. I vaguely remember she kicked out her kids for the night (they slept over at friends’ homes) so a few teammates and I could have a warm home and beds for the night.  I also remember Lisa, helped me with some mail (receiving and shipping) on my behalf.

In the photo, I am wearing a t-shirt from WCU (West Chester University) given to me from the bookstore manager from one of the schools I covered as a sales rep to remember them by, before I left for my bike trip.  This photo was a lovely summer night and it reminds me of the gratitude I have for everyone who has supported me and continues to support me through all my adventures.  Don, I hope you know how grateful I am for your support and friendship.  Your most recent Christmas card sat on my desk for these many months, until just recently when I sold the desk to prepare for my move to North Carolina.

The other photo is of Lisa B. who woke up early the next morning and cheered us on as we biked by her on route to our next destination.

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Purge away

I gave away 8 pairs of shoes, some of which I have not worn in over 5 years (work flats, sandal wedges, old sneakers, old hiking shoes, water shoes…). I gave away knee pads and wrist guards from over a decade ago when I used to snowboard. I found a blue tooth device, from the days when I used to sit in the car and have conference calls.  What is hiding in your closet?

Generally, I feel prideful about keeping my possessions in check and it surprises me to find these outliers. I have given away 8 paper shopping bags of stuff. I am slightly horrified that I had so many things to give away.

My friend argues that I should sell my two zero degree sleeping bags (one is down, the other is synthetic – serving different functions). She asked if I would use them in the next few years and if they are worth the cost of shipping and keeping. Yes, I love my sleeping bags, and they will never go bad. Technology will change, newer sleeping bags will become lighter, but I’m happy with them so I think they should move. I also don’t think I will ever return to SF, to visit yes, but unlikely to live here in the foreseeable future. I want to bring with me all that I will ever use, which is why I am keeping my ice axe too.

I am also surprised at how quickly all my furniture sold. I only have a few remaining items I will use over the next month (bed, and sofa), then those too will go. I enjoy the refresh, and opportunity to begin again. The only good thing about moving is to examine one’s possessions, and be honest, if they fit your current lifestyle. I read somewhere, when moving, be ruthless with the purge.

Spring time in the city

Spring has arrived in San Francisco, even though, I went skiing last week in Tahoe.  Lake Tahoe is 3 hours from San Francisco.  They have so much snow this year, the ski resorts are staying open until July 4th!  Even then, the snow isn’t likely to melt away, maybe their seasonal employees just need a vacation.

The weather is in the mid 70’s during the day, hot enough to wear shorts, and start getting tan lines.  By the evening it’s back to the 50’s and you could probably wear a jacket.  I need a vacation but it is unlikely to happen until I know where I will be living for the fall.

Life is better today, than it was yesterday.  I submitted the Duke application for the spring cohort.  I spent the last three weeks drafting and rewriting my four personal statements.  Two essays, I think are excellent and two are best effort given the time.  I am grateful for friends who read and write well, providing feedback to strengthen my essays.  I am also grateful for the three people who wrote new letters of recommendations for me in support of going to nursing school.  Now I just have to wait, hopefully starting school in August (San Francisco or North Carolina), but willingly to wait until January if the opportunity is right.