Editor’s note: It’s been a long time since one of our favorite Pasadena bloggers, Jean Gillis, has posted, because the empty nester has been busy downsizing. Here’s her latest; we’re hoping for more soon.
I’ve lain dormant for the last eight weeks since my Pasadena house sold. More accurately, I’ve laid my head in a number of different homes because I’ve become a housesitter. I didn’t foresee this lifestyle. Somehow it sought me.
I had to vacate my home in May. Once the sale fell into place, the sorting, discarding, and packing demands punctured my reverie and pricked me until I finished. Do-it-yourself storage! Pink Transfer! Annual city bulky item pickup! These agencies and the kindness of friends emptied a big old house of 24 years of stuff.
The devil lurking in the details was where would I go next? Luckily I was so fatigued from the pack-out that my usual over-planning tendencies were blunted. I can say that a dear couple was heading out on a trip May 18 into June and I slid right over to their commodious Altadena home. Another friend then introduced me to a family from southwest Pasadena who were vacationing for ten days. From there it was a night at my sister’s. Then back to the first homestay. In another week I will head to a new family’s poolhouse. It’s a daisy chain of accommodations–all of them lovely, summer-y, imbued with a tensile strength of unexpected generosity to me. The serendipity of all these people offering ME places to stay while I complete summer school and sort out my future is the gift.
You learn things about yourself when you are itinerant. Every now and then you’ll reach for something familiar, only to realize it’s packed in storage or a friend has it at her home for safe-keeping. My computer, for instance, lives in a private home in Monrovia. My potted plants moved to El Monte. My favorite dictionary is in, er, uh, word limbo somewhere. But certainly I am enjoying the chance to see how homes reflect the organization of our lives. It’s an education in itself to see an efficient cook’s kitchen or where it’s best to store the pet food or how to set up a discreet laundry system. Maybe once I find my own new home I can remember to emulate some of these principles. In fact, later today I am looking at houses in Altadena.
Read more of Jean Gillis’s posts on Dating Yourself in Pasadena.