Well! I still haven't left the country, but that's coming up soon enough.
In December, our landlord offered to pro-rate our rent for the month of January if we moved out around the middle of the month, which worked well for me as I'd been planning on heading to Portland around then anyway. As the new year approached, however, the subject was still under discussion as my roommates tried to straighten out their plans. Then, on New Years day, the universe made a decision for us. That is, a thirty-six inch ponderosa pine (that's diameter, not height) was blown down by hurricane-force wind gusts. It fell from the neighbors yard onto our roof, knocked almost all of the sheetrock from the walls and ceiling of the room under it, cracked joists and rafters, punched several large holes in the roof and managed to shake the foundation, skewing the front and back doors so they didn't close properly, as well as jarring several other doorways throughout the house. Not content to simply lean against the house, the top twenty feet or so snapped off, falling onto the house of the neighbors on the OTHER side. It was a pretty intense experience for me while I was making some lunch downstairs, and I can only imagine what that was like for Danielle, who was upstairs in her room at the time. Here are some pictures.
I should probably mention that no one was hurt, none of our possessions were damaged, and we'd all been planning on moving out by the end of the month ANYway, so it could have been a whole lot worse. I started working on a narrative of the whole event (it seemed like it'd make a good story), but things got a bit hectic and I didn't get very far. I'd like to take another shot at it once I'm settled in Thailand (which may be a while), and if it ends up being any good, maybe I'll post a copy.
So, instead of hanging around the house for a few more weeks, we decided it would be prudent to move on out ASAP and spent the next several days in a flurry of activity packing and clearing out. Since I really wasn't ready to leave Bend yet, I had to figure out what to do. I probably could have crashed with my brother at his new place, but I don't think there would have been space for all of my stuff, too, and I felt like he really should have an opportunity to settle into his new space without me all up in it. Fortunately, some friends up the street had space for me (and an empty garage for my boxes and boxes), so I headed over there. In any case, who'd rather live in close quarters with a sibling instead of two pretty girls and a cute puppy? I spent the next week and a half trying to tie up loose ends in Bend, playing in the snow, and working hard not to wear out my welcome as a houseguest. Eventually Aaron found time in his work schedule, I reserved a U-Haul, said goodbye, and headed north to Portland.
Now I'm REALLY in the final stages, trying to think of things I still need, eating a little meat every now and then to make sure my stomach is ready for it (I don't want to offend anyone by not eating what they serve me [or seem like a weird American who doesn't eat good food]), and saying goodbye to anyone who'll stand still (which does provoke strange looks from people, maybe I should stick to folks I actually know).
Anyhow, I just thought this blog needed one more post before I actually leave the country, especially when something as exciting as a tree falling on my house happened. The next time I write on here, I'll be all hot and sweaty (because the weather is hot and humid...)!
If I didn't see you before I left, goodbye!