Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Home is Where the Heart is

My main issue this month was finding suitable accommodation to house me and all my stuff including furniture which I have plenty of.

I tried everything or seemingly so: looking and posting on Craigs List and Kijiji, emailing my circle of friends and acquaintances – even on a social website – and posting up ads in lower, mid, and upper Lonsdale areas of North Vancouver as I wanted to stay on the North Shore, preferably North Vancouver because that is where my ‘home’ or heart dwells. Also, because of three alternate routes (SeaBus, Second Narrows or Lions Gate Bridge) to get to work rather than one if I lived in West Vancouver.

A major drawback I had was a lack of a vehicle. Sure I’d consider living almost anywhere otherwise, as it seemed that a lot of places in North Vancouver required one as bus accessibility is quite remote (think infrequent, especially the farther out like Deep Cove or the higher up like up the mountain).

I initially had a place as early as Oct. 1st when someone responded to an ad I posted online. It was with a woman same age as I who recently moved into a new townhouse development in Deep Cove with her pets, one of my favourite cats in particular. There was a student living in one of the rooms till the spring.

Even though there seemed to be a connection via email and phone, in person there was an awkwardness the two times I met her one week apart. Perhaps it was some trepidation on both our parts, me for feeling like I would be imposing on her space with all my stuff even though she had plenty of room and storage space. The second Friday I went to see the suite again, took some measurements, and gave her a damage deposit.

However, there was a nagging feeling that persisted throughout Thanksgiving weekend, especially thinking about the possibility of a brisk 5-minute walk through dark woods (from the higher road) or a desolate road (from the lower road) and the latter relatively uphill.

A friend called me and proceeded to tell me that I didn’t sound very happy about moving (which I attributed to stress and fatigue, though I realized she was right on afterthought). Another person mentioned ‘safety’ and my mind went on red alert again. Again, thinking about the dark woods and I’m usually quite a brave person. Though walking through dark woods at age 16 many moons ago perhaps is different from doing so in these times.

Then a miracle occurred on Thanksgiving Day. I received a call from a woman whose name I recognized (but didn’t question her) about a place approximately 10 blocks south and a few blocks east of where I lived. She had recently moved into a home and was looking for a tenant to share living space with her and her son who has an intellectual disability.

Only because I had someone visit me with a car did I consider taking a look, particularly since I lost (or so I thought at the time) my bus pass and it was a wet, cold, and dark evening. On top of that, I had a bit of a sore throat.

As soon as I saw the blue home from the outside it felt like an oasis with the house and garden partially tucked in the neighbourhood in a slight curve on the road. There was instant recognition as soon as she opened the door. I had met her a number of years ago at a networking and/or workshop event(s).

I liked this woman immediately when I met her then and still do. She is an older, very creative and intuitive woman. I thought I would get along well with her and her son splendidly too. Her son was extremely sweet and kind offering me slippers as refuge from the cold floor and he was an artist to boot!

Her home was very colourful with bright painted walls and her son’s artwork. Even her kitchen was a nice blue-grey tone and there were one or two glass stained windows as well. There was even a gas fireplace.

I knew immediately when I saw the upper room that was painted a light blue that this was it! Spacious, bright, with big windows and French doors overlooking the porch and garden at back facing west and south which I preferred.

Interestingly enough she didn’t have a couch and there would be enough space to house my furniture, which was ideal. Furthermore, she hadn’t had phone/internet connection yet and I knew I could provide her with a wonderfully priced package as I had with a certain provider.

I told her ‘Yes!’ as all the walls including the chalkboard wall in her kitchen – ideal for writing poetry and songs on my end – seemed to be screaming so. She suggested we both ‘sleep on it’ and I did but knew I didn’t need to.

The next day I accidentally dialled the woman in Deep Cove to tell her that I didn’t feel right about her place, didn’t feel safe, too far, need a car (that rhymes but is true) and then phoned this other woman. Well, when I did so, I was told the news that her daughter was going to be moving back. I felt devastated as other than the single-paned windows, I loved her home and felt I would be happy there.

I missed choir rehearsal that evening and generally never do unless I’m sick. Singing can be a great distracter at times, but this time I felt I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. Usually if I can’t sing or dance, I’m either sick or depressed.

Then house #3…three being my number in life so it seems. This one came spontaneously as I phoned her in response to an ad I saw online. After awhile the ads and numbers all seem to blur as I sometimes would call the same # about a different ad or even the same one!

Though she described the place to me by phone she kept persisting that I see it. I didn’t think I would because it was a studio (bachelor) and I preferred a 1 bedroom or even a 1 bedroom plus den or 2-bedroom suite! (Remember? To house all my furniture and stuff!)

Well I decided to go see it with a friend along with another suite. One was basement level and did not have any view at all as the windows faced towards the other home or concrete wall and was too high up. An immediate ‘no’ came up for me.

Then I saw her house. As soon as I saw the beautiful red maple or Japanese tree and pine tree at front and other trees surrounding her home, garden, and neighbours, I felt ‘this was it’ (intuitively) and told my friend. It seemed like an oasis much like where I was living then as I entered the front gate with various trees greeting me.

Then when I saw the trees all around at the back lining the green, weedless yard and heard the water below, I fell in love with it even more. The suite itself was intriguing. Big double-paned windows allowing a lot of natural light to come in to a large room with a fireplace. The kitchen area and bathroom were on the other side of the main room.

The place had character as well as potential. I sensed that it could be an extremely creative place or rather, the ability to tap into my creativity. I was imagining what furniture would go where when she asked me if I would like to keep the piano, rather store it for someone for awhile. It is a beautiful wood-grained piano (not sure what kind) and a cushioned bench. I love wood not to mention trees as well...go figure!

I was ecstatic when I decided to forego my bed for this beautiful piece of furniture if I can call it that. Not only did I want to relearn the piano, I preferred to play on one too. All the keys are present with real touch (of finger pressure) and real sound too.

Wow! Was I lucky or what?!

Long story short...almost didn’t happen but I was glad to heed this woman’s intuition (as she later informed me) and me keeping in tune with my intuition as well.