LIFE: Ore-going, Ore-gone
...So here we are, officially jobless and homeless for the next couple months. Goodbye Oregon, hello strangeness. We're all in a sort of gentle state of shock I think, down here now at my parents' house in my childhood hometown of Nevada City, California. Everything old is new again. We're here for a week or so before we depart on our previously mentioned America Mega-Trek on the 15th.
Leaving Roseburg was tough, though. In almost five years a place becomes familiar, and I realized as we cleared out our funky little house that it was the longest I've lived in one home since high school. "Robu" as us snooty media types called it was a quirky town, half redneck, half natural beauty galore, and pleasantly mellow. We've given up so very much of our everyday lives these last few months that it's no wonder we're dazed - all our furniture, a lot of books, clothes, CDs, etc., a nice job and a home. We're pared down to the essentials, nearly, even if there is a disturbingly large mountain of boxes here to store in my folks' garage that has to be dealt with someday, and another remarkably mound of things we're actually going to try to take to New Zealand next month.
And yet the single hardest moment of all this stripping away had to be getting rid of my fine little Kudzu cat Tuesday night, when we dropped her off with my friend (and master golfer) Christian and his wife Mary. I know Kudzu didn't know what was going on, and I can't anthropomorphize that she'll miss me much as I will her, but she was my cat for nearly 12 years, through thick and thin.
I got her mere weeks after I finished college in Mississippi, having just started my first "real" job. That scrawny runt of a shelter cat became my companion through many oddball moves and job changes, moving with me from Mississippi to California to Oregon. She was a comforting warm ball in my bed in winters and probably gave me the first inklings of true adult responsibility when I took her on at age 23 - she was a life I was in control of, or that controlled me, and paved the way for wives and kids and all the rest that comes to us. There were times when I felt she was the best friend I had in the world. Giving her up is almost like her dying, because with her at nearly 12 years old I know chances are slim I'll ever get to see her again. I hate having to leave her, but I know it's for the best. Goodbye, old pal, and thanks again Chris for taking her on.
OK, not to get all maudlin or anything... Anyway. Ah, but it surely would ease the angst if some of you would kindly consider buying my book, Spatula Forum: Greatest Hits 1994-2004. Not that I planned on making a million, but sales are a bit "sluggish," as they say, and your $15 or so for 200+ pages of writing goodness could be considered a charitable contribution to the Get Nik Out of America Fund. It's tax-deductible. Would I lie to you?