Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Settling in - temporarily

My little apartment.  That's a Hilton in the background.
I arrived via bike in San Gabriel on Saturday, three days ago at the home of some friends from church, and they hosted me for the night.  I was shaky when I arrived, which I later attributed to anemia having been on a very, very heavy period for the last week and having also that almost supernaturally unnatural tiredness that comes with anemia.  Definitely did not want to be in the middle of the desert dealing with that nonsense.  Dang menopause needs to pause permanently.  No, I'm not taking any hormone replacement therapy.  Thanks, but no thanks.  My body will adjust naturally the way it was designed to.  The hot flashes started up again today (they go on hiatus during a period), so that means I get to start counting the months without a period again... I can't seem to reach that magic #12 that is supposed to signify being done.

The landlady, Gail, of the little complex of homes/apartments that her father build in the 1950s, also used to go to the church I went to in Santa Monica, so we've all known each other for about 14 years.  One of the apartments was currently empty, but due to her health, she hasn't been jumping on the bandwagon to get it updated and has sort of been using it as storage.  Also, there are two Siamese cats here, Sealy and Lionel (both males), who were abandoned by the previous tennant.  Their abandonment had not been discovered for 5 days.  Anyhow, they live in the apartment.  I think it's been empty for a few months.

some of the 7 buckets of persimmons
that I hand-scrubbed today for work
Gail offered me the apartment rent-free plus some odds and ends work around the complex.  She felt that if I didn't hear God's clear leading to continue the bike journey, that I should stay put.  Well, I don't know for sure anything after the British fiasco, but I did know that I did not want to start over in Los Angeles.  I didn't feel I was meant to be there anymore, and the only thing I knew for sure was that I needed to get on the road, and the only way to do that was with the bike.

I have decided to take the slight pause of the bike journey and stay in the apartment.  It will be mine for a few months.  I basically have no bills.  Even my Wifi is tapped off of my neighbors.  No electric or gas bill.  No rent.  No coin-operated laundry machines.  Not that I have much laundry anymore anyhow.  One of my first issues was coffee, but Gail brought me two different machines - an older Keurig with tons of k-cups that she didn't like, and a regular coffee maker.  The Keurig was supposed to be a 3-step, idiot-proof system, but I quickly proved that 3 steps were too many for this idiot!  I've got it under control now, however.  I really have everything I need here.  I will take pictures of the cats when they warm up to me a bit.  They are still hiding most of the time.

I have now spent two nights in my new little apartment.  It's a 2-bdrm, 1-bath duplex that was built in the 1950's and really hasn't been updated since then either except for occasional coats of paint and new carpet.  Still, it's a roof over my head.  I went shopping to get some supplies - and $200 later have some basic food stuffs.  My first two nights have been sleeping on the floor on a palette of blankets and comforters, but Gail has ordered a queen-sized air bed for me.  Sleeping on the floor the first night was awkward, but last night I slept soundly.  Need to get used to being on the ground anyhow for future camping.

This is not a permanent stop on my bike journey, but my life is in a place of flexibility - to be there for others and then to move on when the need does not exist.  So I will be here through Christmas, likely, and maybe into early next year, and in a way that's better because although I will still be setting out in winter, I will heading into spring.  Maybe I can still make the two weddings in Michigan of my twin niece and nephew.  Maybe I can even figure out how to lighten the load in my panniers, as they are still too heavy!!!!

Life is good.  God provides.  The adventure continues!

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