Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
My fingers are popping on the flat key board of a red laptop that my mom gave me as backup for when my work computer failed. I’m holding my wrists up to avoid the sensitive mouse pad. One brush on that surface could be fatal to my post.
The round pine table serving as my desk I purchased from our local online garage sale for $60. It is sturdy, with two little chairs whose microfiber padding needed a good scrubbing to get rid of the smoke smell. The address for the item turned out to be a trailer park, in a part of town with a dicey reputation, but I didn’t even inquire about smoke exposure when I pulled up. I needed a table right away, since my parents were going to be visiting. I put cushions on the chairs after they dried out, and I do not regret the purchase.
The room in my new place is bright orange, with black trim and blue ceiling. The explanation for these bold hues is that I’m living in a family of artists. It’s in all of their blood, and the daughter in the family who inhabited this room for a short time clearly eschewed soft, muted colors. I admit it’s a little dark in here, but it’s a cozy retreat. I’m thinking about adding a few plants, and maybe one of those decorative bulletin boards with places for keys and mail to cover up some wall space.
The room is one of two in a spacious basement apartment I share with the mother of the owner. It’s a place of tile, stone, and wood trim, with hallways and doorways extra wide to accommodate a wheelchair, should one ever be needed. On the walls are my roommate’s paintings of family heirlooms and scenery. She was an art teacher once.
From the solid, multi-storied house above us, we hear piano practice, footsteps, indistinct voices. The home, designed and built by the owners, is the last one on a long dirt driveway, on the top of a high hill. Outside, the air is fresh and the view ringed by vivid snowy mountains. We see the whole valley floor, the town and its outlying areas, from up here. Sometimes, on my way down to work, I am compelled to stop and take pictures with my phone. When I do so, I am disturbing no one; I’m usually the only one this high on the road.
I have something of a commute into town, but if I think about it, no worse and maybe better than other locations I’ve lived. We are far flung in this vast state, and many of us navigate dirt roads, sinuous rural routes, a new bypass, and finally the stoplight-studded town before we get to work, church, or shopping. I drive twenty minutes to one office to work my online job, and then another ten minutes to another part of town to work a new, second job.
West of town, after a long drive on a narrow, two-lane road and up three miles of dirt is the light brown house with cocoa roof where my daughters and I will be be spending Thanksgiving weekend. Whenever I pull up, a three-legged black and white dog wags her tail, walks stiffly over, and sometimes offers me a stick for tug of war. It’s our home, yet we were elsewhere last November. But now our fractured family is healing, and I have hope for complete restoration. Our daughters are looking forward to coming up from college and staying a few days. It will be time free of frenetic cooking–we’re invited to eat with a neighbor who makes delicious food. I’m up for it.