It may not have helped that while I was in my first house, my mother's womb, all she could think of, or so I imagine knowing her and placing that transparent overlay of history over the past, was moving and going to California. No one from either side of the family had ever even been to California and now my father was going to teach at a university there. Factor in that in the first two months after birth female children have a period of imprinting from the mother's nervous system. I know that when I was two months old my family drove across the country in a brown Rambler station wagon. I can only imagine how hectic the two months before the trip were, a new baby, a new life and the unknown awaited. Excitement, fear, hope....a gamut of emotions poured into my hungry infant nervous system.
Moving indeed seems to have been ingrained into my being, I have lived in 27 different houses. Of course there are people who are connected with the army or other peripatetic cultures who can claim many more, and certainly I acknowledge that I have never been homeless. I marvel at my friend Emily, whom I have known since the fifth grade and who has lived in the same house for her whole life except for 4 years. And then there is Boyfriend who has lived in the same house for 30 years. Admittedly owning a house certainly keeps the moving factor at bay. For a few years I did own a house, but as my house Karma would have it, with the divorce he got the house and I moved on.
And I am moving on again to live with my son while he attends college here in town. It is a bit more complicated than that, but simplicity will have to suffice in this case. The last time I house hunted there was no Craigslist or apartmenthunterz.com or any other internet housing sites. Craigslist lives on toolbar now and it is not uncommon for me to check listings every 20 minutes, just to see what's come up. Certain patterns are beginning to appear. Listings will disappear for a month and pop up again, these I conjecture have something seriously wrong with them, like a rats or creepy neighbors. The language of listings calls for interpretation or a salt shaker. Cosy means small, quaint is rundown, spacious means bigger than a postage stamp. But No Pets means no pets. This last one is a particular stumbling block for a person with 4 rabbits. A couple times listings that said "cats are purr" and "dogs are woof" have informed me that rabbits are not welcome.
I found one really interesting house just around the corner, from the outside it looked strange and awkward, a smallish rectangular footprint, two stories, deck out front and bright blue outside. Inside it was magical with arches and rounded corners, charming windows and and nooks. A stream ran through the back yard and there was space for a good sized vegetable garden. I was in love. It was a little more than I could afford, but big enough so that I could see patients at home and drop my office downtown. The landlord, whose son I had taught in Art class seemed amenable to this latter idea and even suggested I could have a neighborhood Tai Chi class which she would absolutely attend. I could feel the hint of victory just around the corner. Conversation meandered a bit and crashed, she had rented it last weekend but the future tenants hadn't been able to get rid of their pets. Oh, no pets? Turns out she cannot stand the smell of any animal, even after it has vacated the house for say a year. I remember that every time I've seen this women over the years she has just taken a shower, perhaps there is a, err, problem here, I wonder how she bears her teenage son, talk about animal smells!
"Well, that's too bad, my rabbits are very clean and smell really good."
"OK well good luck finding just the right tenant."
I turned adding over my shoulder "You know, Clint Eastwood has a house rabbit." It was the best Parthian shot I could come up with given the circumstances......