Archive for April, 2010

The Counselor & Di Prima

Monday, April 19th, 2010

New Blog at Psychology Today

Mountain Highways

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

We finally left our little house in Portland later-than-we-planned on Monday morning, hitched our little blue trailer to the back of the car and headed out. ‘Course we lost the trailer on Division. Max had just stopped crying about moving away from everything and everyone when there was a terrible sound behind us and he cried, “What’s happening to the car?”

So there we were, pulled over on the side of the road not a mile from the home we left, trying to flag down men in trucks. Finally we dragged the whole get-up back to U-haul and Dylan hitched it up, not because he’s the U-haul expert so much as “Woah, my dad used to have an old trailer like this.”

The 2,000-mile drive suddenly seemed pretty sketchy. “We could leave the trailer at Shannon’s,” I offered. But all our stuff was in the trailer and the guys at Sunset RV in Forest Grove had fixed all the lights and replaced the stove and gotten her road-ready, and Cody and Jennifer at the hardware store on Division had helped us pick out all the right paints, and Angie had helped us paint it, and Vincent the tailor on Milwaukie had made the sweet red slip covers. It wasn’t just a trailer—it was our project and it was our home now—we would take it to California and beyond!

Maria started out driving slow, but pretty soon we were on the 5 and passing trucks and Max was laughing again and we gowled over the passes and rolled out of Oregon and into the Shasta range. Snowy night camped out at the edge of a little town. I love the towns around Mount Shasta—full of old hippies and mountain people and folks dressed all in white studying advanced trigonometry while they wait for Jesus and the UFOs. California.

Another drive through the snow on Tuesday and we arrived in beautiful Plumas County and the sun broke through the clouds like some Hollywood ending. But we hoped it was more like a beginning. Invincible Spring.

I wasn’t even sure if the cabin we were staying in here was going to have plumbing, so we were happily surprised–not only an indoor toilet, but a hot shower, electricity—even snacks and beer. The Feather River College Writing Club and the Plumas Arts Council and the Quincy Writers Group know how to treat a visiting writer, all right.

The dogs ran around in country-heaven and Max fell in love with his new local-kid friends, Diego and Paloma. Hot springs soak down by the river and great writers at the workshops telling working-class stories about cleaning motel rooms and moving shingles, fiberglass shards in their arms.

We eat Portobello Mushroom burgers at Pangaea and figure, “well, if it doesn’t work out in Santa Fe, let’s move to Plumas County.”

But we’re still hoping for Santa Fe today and heading out with maps from the thrift store. Thinking about Nevada and whether to go through Utah or Arizona and getting worried now about what we’ll find in New Mexico. My mom’s torn apart the house we’re moving into, so it seems like we’ll be living in the trailer for a while yet. Good thing we didn’t leave it at Shannon’s, I guess.

Mountain highways.