Ah, the joys of moving! Dealing with the stress and anxiety of knowing you have to get out of your existing place — on a prescribed date — and going through the trauma of finding new lodging that, hopefully, is at least as comfortable if not superior to what you had.
Then it’s packing belongings, lugging previously stored dusty boxes of heaven knows what (you don’t dare look inside) to the rental truck, making a list of everything else that needs to be done — and the list is long.
Not to mention purchasing ibuprofen for those recurring headaches and sore muscles, and hiring movers and a professional cleaning person to spiff up your old residence so you get nearly all — if not all — of your original deposit back from that landlord. An intergalactic truism for earthlings and aliens who move from one dwelling place to the next: you always, always, have tons more stuff than you remembered you had.
For me, yes it was a huge hassle and I abhor the whole moving experience, but there was good news as well. Leaving the noisy east side of Park Hill, Plymouth Street, for forested Bradford Road was like switching the radio station from loud, misogynistic gangster rap to the feathery light lilt of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.”
OK, that’s a stretch. In truth, I loved the weathered, Spanish-moss-laden branches of those ancient oaks on Plymouth, and the ivy-covered landscape was nice. But the near-constant roar of Highway 1 took a toll on my senses.
You intellectually diminish the truth: the grinding roar of the busy highway and sirens from emergency vehicles are just part of the daily drama.
Lest I forget the additional tribulation that accompanies moving — providing forwarding information to the USPS is at the top of the list. To wit, I have been in my new digs for almost a month and I’m still waiting for checks, a debit card from PayPal, and other important correspondence. Mail apparently just disappears into the ether waves — poof!
And retrieving it is like trying to find a 2-inch piece of used dental floss in a five-story abandoned warehouse.
I dutifully gave my forwarding address to all important businesses and agencies, but they either cast my requests aside or are simply not paying attention.
Then there’s getting the daily newspaper folks to deliver to my new address. Talk about fits and starts: The first few days after notifying the company, I got nothing. Then the paper was tossed on my porch four days in a row before going AWOL. Driving back the several miles to my old residence, the paper was still delivered on Plymouth, but not to Bradford. Lately, signals apparently have gotten crossed, and it’s being delivered to both places. Go figure.
Now that I’m really all here, whew, the only sounds — in addition to the neighborhood mockingbird’s sonatas, cooing mourning doves and sounds from a couple of wild turkeys — are the ocean’s delicate decibels from a mile away. And when the wind works through the tall pines, it briefly overpowers the ocean’s rush to shore.
Another positive of my move is that I haven’t yet been tempted to call a cable TV company to hook me up — and I’m better off without television at the present time. Truly, the ambient sounds from this wooded wonderland are fulfilling.
I have survived quite well in the absence of the nattering talking heads on cable news and the nonstop, overly hyped ESPN sports highlights. Indeed, I feel refreshed in ways I find hard to explain.
Not having watched Wolf Blitzer on CNN for a month … gosh, what have I missed? I haven’t seen those ubiquitous masked murderers (masquerading as Islamic truth-bearers) marching blameless Christians to the exact correct place where their heads will be chopped off.
Nor have I been witness to the “breaking news” reporting of the race-related mayhem in Baltimore, or the heartbreaking death toll from the Nepal earthquake. I also haven’t suffered by eschewing the shallow rhetoric of Texas’ Ted Cruz, as he almost comically pretends to be presidential material.
Still another positive from my move is that kitty-corner across from the property where I live, Strawberry Canyon cries out to be explored. I’ve heard about this canyon but never knew where it was. At one time I thought people were talking about a Beatles tune.
But there it is, quintessential pastoral exquisiteness, welcoming all who desire to be immersed in silent natural beauty. Except for the distant murmur of the ocean, and the wind, and birds, the only sound is that little voice in my head saying, “OK, this isn’t Walden Pond, but it’s your ticket to sanity in a world gone batty.”
We all owe thanks to Greenspace — the Cambria Land Trust, for acquiring the 11 “pocket parks” and four preserves in Cambria (including Strawberry Canyon).
Meanwhile, reviewing this column, I may have been a tad harsh on Plymouth Street. Heck, I’ve always liked Plymouths. In fact, my librarian mom drove a Plymouth Valiant until the engine blew up.