Saturday, January 24, 2015
On the Advice of the Stellar Jay....
We've been looking at houses in Paradise. We drive Kylie to school everyday. Takes about 35 minutes. Then there is the job of getting her home from school again, trying to be on time, trying to make three schedules jive so that all work and school needs are safely met. It has been a struggle.
My new job involves lots of driving. My territory covers the size of some New England states--from Oroville to Redding, Willows to Chico, Red Bluff to Magalia. It isn't unusual for me to drive 250 miles in a day. When it comes to my carbon footprint, I wear really large boots. A move to Paradise would knock an hour or more off of my driving each day.
We've been looking at cute little cottages. Paradise is a whole town loaded with beautiful, simple little cottages.Proletarian workers' dream houses, small and functional, most with large yards and tall, tall Ponderosa pines. Paradisians love their trees. In a recent storm, two large trees were blown over killing two people, in two separate incidents. Despite this, there is no talk of changing Paradise's tree regulations. They love their trees.
And so we put an offer in on one cute functional little home. As we waited for our offer to be accepted or rejected, I realized I didn't want another mortgage. I don't want to be saddled with more debt. I am on the verge of turning 54 and Joni just turned 57; we need to scrimp and save (to borrow from the Beatles song).
The Stellar Jays sealed the deal for me. This year, for the first time, a whole squadron of Stellar Jays (usually spelled Steller's Jay, but I prefer the alternate spelling for obvious reasons)---have been hanging around our house. I love them; my favorite bird. They have always been a bird that provides counsel and guidance for me. Deep Green Synchronicity, if you will. Magical thinking, Euell Gibbons' style.
The Stellar Jay always seems to appear to offer their advice in times of need. It was a Stellar Jay in the middle of the Utah Red Rock country that brought Joni and I together. It was a Stellar Jay that squawked at me from a tree outside of St. Helena Hospital that convinced me to move to the Napa Valley from Colorado. It was a group of Stellar Jays that made us look for a place to live in this section of California. And the Stellar Jays hanging around our house this year have pretty much helped us to decide to stay in this mud hut.
We will continue to make the trip for another year. We have a van now that offers Joni a bit more comfort on the rutty road that tears up her back. When Kylie is in school, Joni can rest in the back of the van. I will drive Kylie on Mondays and Fridays; Joni on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesday we will share the job. And when Kylie turns 16, she will get to drive herself to school. What 16 year old doesn't want to do that?
Yes, I feel guilty about our carbon footprint. Green Piety is similar to Lutheran Piety, only the sins are a bit different. Maybe buying some carbon offsets will provide a bit of redemption? Carbon Offsets are the Holy Communion for the Green Sinner.
Plant this tree, given for me, goes the Green Liturgy.