|Image from Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division|
Like trying to explain to the bank teller why you have a P.O. Box but no physical address. Because surely, everyone lives somewhere, right? Well, yes AND no.
She insists she needs an actual address for a backup. I give her the only address I know off-hand. That of my parents in the desert way on the eastern side of the state. When I receive my next statement in the mail, my signature eye-roll commences. The envelope is addressed as follows:
Address of parents in the desert here all on one line
In the Mountains
I'm not sure how the postal service found me, since they often can't figure out how to deliver mail with one off or illegible house number. But somehow it ended up in the correct box, and as long as it does, I'm not going back to the bank to try to find a better solution.
I don't advertise my lack of a permanent residence. I am currently living with dear friends who are more like second parents since they've known me longer than anyone else in this mountain town, with the exception of my younger sister. We've done this gypsy thing before, as they housed me for six months when I first moved to the mountains before I found that little mill studio. (There is a trick to gypsy life that leaves people opening their doors to you again and again, but that's a topic for another day.)
This stint with my Mountain Ma and Pa will most assuredly be much shorter than my last stay. (Having a firm end date is one of those tricks I just mentioned.) We begin and end our days sharing a meal usually in front of the news. Breakfast is most often a fend-for-yourself deal as we each wake at varying times each day. But dinner, if we're home, is usually eaten together, after preparation by one of the three of us.
Sunday night, I came home from a day of running and paddle boarding, to find Mountain Pa grilling chicken. Mountain Ma and I sat out under the pergola chatting about how the day went. Pa went inside and came out with honey.
"Out of barbecue sauce," he said. "We'll have to get by with honey."
"I'll add it to my list," Ma said, referring to the list she was compiling to take the grocers Monday morning.
"Wait," I said. "I know where some barbecue sauce is." I hopped up. Ran inside. I twirled the revolving pantry shelf not seeing what I was looking for, and then I remembered just where I'd seen the bottle of sauce.
I ran upstairs. Grabbed the keys to my car. Ran back downstairs and out the door to my trunk, where I retrieved an unopened bottled of Sweet Baby Rays. I ran back inside and out to the back patio where I presented Pa with the bottle of sauce.
They both looked at me befuddled.
Ma laughed and asked, "Are you hoarding barbecue sauce upstairs in your bedroom?"
"No," I said. Then admitted, "I have a box of kitchen staples I never took out of my car when I unpacked. I just didn't know where to put it." Then I added, "If you run out of anything else, ask me first, and I'll be sure to check my trunk store." Laughter ensued.
As for Ma and Pa, they were just glad I had the "good stuff."