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.

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. 

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.

Rainy day on the mountain

I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared getting off the chair lift for the first time on skis. The woman at the controls looked at me, and I shouted at her as we neared the dismount, “I’m not sure about this.” She said, “you want me to slow it down?” I shook my head, and said, “No, I can do this.” I took a deep breath, pushed my hand off the chair and down the short hill. Yay! Success. I didn’t fall flat on my face. It would have been fine if I had but I was worried, fear of the unknown. I think I like skiing because it is a new challenge. I spent most of the day squatting, knowing that I had a better center of gravity, and more control, if I was a little lower. I liked putting weight on the outside of my legs when I turned. I did mostly pizza wedges down the beginner area and it was fun to remind myself how to slow down by saying, pizza! I didn’t quite get s turns yet but huge success on day 1 of skiing. I found yet another expensive hobby.  
My friend at the bike shop suggested, if I choose to go to Canada for nursing school I should not worry about not passing Boards in the US. He said I should go to Canada, pass the Canada Boards and then go straight to NYC and sign up for the exam while I am fresh from studying. This would be my best opportunity to leave a window open for me to practice as a nurse in NYC if I ever needed to. I liked the idea. I can learn to ski in Canada, then climb mountains and ski down.  

Leave no trace

Me jumping at Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park and the lemmings I guided there.

I taught people how to snowshoe for the first time and poop in the backcountry.

Backcountry bathroom basics: leave no trace.  Pack out what you pack in, including your waste.  You want to leave everything cleaner than you found it and lower your impact on the land.  You poop in a WAG bags, which contains something like cat litter, then you fold it up and put it in a zip lock bag.  You pack out toilet paper too.  Peeing you walk 100 steps from a trail or water source and cover up with pine needles or snow.