I had a dream, a desire, to move away from the Klamath River Valley. After thirteen years in one home there, I wanted something different – something that would stimulate my creativity in a new way.
I loved the rustic cabin-type house when I moved into it on January 11, 2000. That was where I wanted to finish raising my children – in a rural, forested environment.
The job was done years ago. My youngest child is now 23, and it was past time for a change.
This year I finally did it.
I had to give away almost everything to be able to do that.
I had to use every bit of financial treasure to achieve it, and then some.
It is done.
On July 1 this year, I arrived in Northern Idaho.
I was homeless for nearly a week. I stayed at a motel, but was seriously researching local homeless shelters in case it had to go on longer.
However, I was blessed.
I moved into an amazing apartment… much nicer than I expected.
I love it here!
In the process of giving up nearly everything to be able to leave California, I gave up both my vehicles.
Since then I’ve been walking, for the most part… though a few kind people have offered rides.
I have no money to go buy a used car. Not yet. Maybe someday.
The closest store is two and a half miles away, and there’s no bus to take me there.
I am gradually getting used to five mile walks. More than five miles, if you consider walking around within the store.
It is okay. I need the exercise… I am just not used to walking that far and then having to carry things home in a backpack – that limits the amount I can buy at one time. I’m sure that too is a good thing.
On the way home last week I noticed a church with a coffee house ministry. It was a hot day, and by that time I was extremely tired, so I couldn’t pass this up. I went inside and discovered that sure enough, they were set up and ready to sell me an iced mocha. Bonus: it cost less than half what iced mochas cost in my former hometown.
I asked if their services were formal or informal, and was assured they are very… informal, meaning I don’t need a fantastic wardrobe to fit in. That’s good, because I don’t have a lot of nice dresses. Having lived in the mountains for many years, I haven’t had much use for them. In Happy Camp I didn’t attend church.
Now I do.
I arrived at the church the following Sunday in one of the few dresses I own, and actually felt overdressed a bit!
The pastor walked up to me right away and introduced himself. He told me there’s free coffee during services and I was welcome to bring it right into the fellowship hall as I soon saw others were doing.
The service included lots of song… and it truly uplifted my spirit at a time when I really needed the help. I have never felt so close to Christianity before this.
You see, I was not raised Christian.
I did have one Christian experience during my childhood that touched my heart. Touched it deeply, with love for Jesus.
I’ve been through many religious holy books, different religions and philosophies, and much soul searching since then.
The church service was exactly what I needed right now. I needed the fellowship of other people who love God and are worshiping Him. I also needed to thank Him for all the blessings I’ve received since moving to this northern countryside dwelling.
I also enjoyed the Bible study. It has been a long time since I’ve read the Bible – I had forgotten how much I enjoy doing so.
While I’ve been here in Northern Idaho I noticed that people were afraid to say “Hi” even when I said it first. Most people looked away when I greeted them. As I’m from a small town, Happy Camp, I’m not used to that. In Happy Camp people, even casual strangers, are friendly to each other.
When I got to the church I again was able to say “Hi” to people and get friendly responses. I needed that!
During my first week here, there was a heat wave.
One reason we intended to leave Happy Camp was because of the heat. The town is in a narrow valley, and the heat settles and is not alleviated by much of a breeze most of the time.
Here in Idaho, that’s not a problem.
The wind blows, and the heat dissipates.
The sky is wide, and there are usually many clouds floating by.
There are mountains and hills in the distance, but they don’t impede the fresh, flowing air.
I think I’ll like living here. I already do.
I’m more than two weeks into it, and believe I’ll stay for a while.
This is one of the songs I first heard at the church down the street:
I printed out the words, and have been singing this at home. It is very comforting and helpful as I’m still adjusting to being here, and being alone most of the time.
Since I gave away most of what I owned, almost all my furniture was left behind, and I’ve been sleeping on the floor ever since I got here. I didn’t have a pump to blow up my air mattress, so I’ve been sleeping on top of a thin foam mat and my sleeping bag.
A man living upstairs is getting married and moving out, and I arranged to buy his hide-a-bed sofa for my daughter to sleep on while she’s here visiting me next month.
Today I went to his apartment to finalize plans for transfer of the sofa, and got a surprise. Apparently some of my new neighbors arranged to buy his bed for me! It comes with sheets, a feather bed, mattress covers… everything I’ll need. I am so grateful, because I didn’t have any more money to spend to buy it myself.
Again, I am blessed. I’ve received continual blessings ever since I moved here.
Earlier today one of my neighbors showed up at my door with a slice of German chocolate cake!
While I was sitting at the gazebo writing in my journal earlier, I saw this quail sitting on a fence nearby:
In Happy Camp, I loved seeing the quail families running along the ground. I’m not used to seeing one sitting alone on a fence!
Sort of like me.
I arrived in Happy Camp thirteen years ago with two children and a boyfriend. They all went away and I was left with a different boyfriend who was more like a roommate who slept in his van in the backyard. When I left the little red cabin at the end of June, he stayed behind in the Klamath River Valley.
I am alone, but not alone. I have kind neighbors, new acquaintances at church, the Spirit of God is visiting (or your could say I am perceiving the Presence of God more frequently as the clouds are displaced by clear vision) … I have emails from friends back home (thanks Judy, Vikki, JavaBob, Tanya, Dennis and Lisa) … I have my creativity (I’m writing poetry, singing, painting, and cooking) … I have a beautiful new home to live in … and all is well.