These last days of summer have been unusually busy. After back-to-back garage sales on Saturday and Sunday, it’s starting to feel like this move is really going to happen. I couldn’t have had the garage sale any sooner because I had to wait for the Habitat For Humanity folks to schedule the truck to come and pick up the furniture donation (moving from a three-bedroom to a one-bedroom hurts a lot less knowing that someone else can use what you no longer need). That was on Monday, and I had less than five days to empty out my closets / cupboards and fill up the garage with sale items.
It’s been a while (1996) since I had a garage sale. I’d forgotten what a magnet garage sales are for a neighborhood. Here in Aloha, most of the parents work long hours, and are rarely seen. Yet this weekend, nearly every one of them stopped by for a chat, which was lovely. One woman, who lives across the street and has never once spoken to me in three years, explained to me how to make the special tribal bread of her ancestors and of her family’s upcoming celebration for Ramadan. The jogger I nod to as I’m out walking the dog in the morning bought some books and we talked of favorite writers and movies. One of my other neighbors (who I have only ever seen twice) stopped by and chatted with me for half an hour about art. Folks from other blocks dropped by to tell me how they enjoy seeing me and Rowan walking by every day.
I’m not sorry to be leaving Aloha’s heavy commercial district with it’s strip clubs and neighborhood half-way houses behind. My new neighborhood is quieter, safer, and has more walking trails and parks for Rowan and I to explore. But that said, there are a lot of hardworking, decent people here, too. With the garage sale behind me, I’m ready to begin the next part of my life with a lighter heart and a renewed sense of appreciation for the community I’m leaving. Aloha has been my home for the past three years. It’s the place where my writing craft really started to gain traction. It’s the place where I consider my new life as a writer really began. I can’t wait to see what the next move will bring.