Goodbye House, I Love You

Our cat Boo gives our cat Trixie the side-eye

I’ve saved my last goodbye for the house that has been our home for sixteen years. Built in 1925, old homes have their charms and their challenges. This one has charmed me and it’s hard to say goodbye but it is time. The movers are packing our belongings and loading it onto the truck. Tomorrow we leave for Arizona.

It’s funny what you fall in love with, sometimes it’s the little things. I’ll always remember the wooden grate over the heating vent that attracted the cats like a watering hole in a dry savannah. Trixie loves it, as have many of our cats, including Boo who was already occupying it and wondering about his sister’s intentions as he gave her the side-eye on her approach.

The mover’s were surprised we aren’t taking the stained glass windows with us, which hang just inside of the real windows. They were here when we bought the house, home-made I would guess, but do a lovely job of providing privacy while letting in light.

These old houses have their challenges too. I won’t miss the tiny one car garage. You get used to contractors coming out to fix what seems like a simple problem and hearing them say “I’ve never seen this before”. We had an electrician out recently who based on my description of the problem thought it would be an easy fix, as it had been a long day and he was ready for home. Two hours later …

When I think of home I think of this house. I’ve never lived anywhere nearly as long as we’ve lived here. It will still be a home, just not ours. I hope it protects and delights its new owners as well it has us. Goodbye, I love you.

A stained-glass window that sits inside of the real window in an old house in the Irvington neighborhood of Portland, Oregon

Window Seat

Our cat Scout looking out our big picture window on November 22, 2009. Original: _MG_1442.cr2

Another flash test with Scout, also bounced off the ceiling as fill-flash.

One of the things I like about my new camera is the battery system, which is both more accurate and more detailed about how much life is left in the battery. All of my previous cameras used the same battery system, which had three indicators:

  1. Your battery is full
  2. Your battery is about to die
  3. Your camera is shutting down

A slight exaggeration, but not by much. The new battery is one of the nice little touches to the 7D that doesn’t make the headlines.

The downside of course is that I can’t use the same batteries from my old cameras, and I found out this morning just how painful that could be. After visiting Ridgefield last weekend, I left the battery in the camera during the week so I could take pictures of the pets. Last night I put it in the charger but went to bed before it finished.

As you may have guessed by now, I got up before sunrise this morning to go back out to Ridgefield, arrived at the refuge and realized the 7D’s battery was still sitting in its charger. At home, 30 minutes away.


There’s a reason I get my camera gear together the night before I go hiking, a morning person I am not. On the plus side, I did bring my old Canon 10D along, so I wasn’t completely dead in the water. And water there was, it rained hard the entire time I was there.

It reminded me of a time years ago when I was in grad school and not long after I had gotten my first tripod. On a day hike in nearby West Virginia, I forgot my tripod and ended up missing a nice shot of a bat hanging in a tree. On my next trip, eager to avoid the same mistake, I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked that I packed the tripod before leaving.

Yet when I got to West Virginia, I realized I had brought the tripod, yet left the camera at home.