Then we drove some more, through Mammoth Lakes and gorgeous Yosemite.
And then a few more hours of twisty mountain roads, roads snaking past yellow hills, fruit farms and fields, and finally major highways. And then we got to our little house. Finally. We chose our place based on a few photos, and I felt increasingly nervous as we followed the GPS directions to our new address. As soon as we walked in, though: relief! It is lovely, with lots of light and a surprisingly big kitchen with a bay window overlooking the yard. The yard is private, surrounded by graceful ivy and tall flowering azaleas (which, frankly, still seems ridiculous to me. I mean, we're used to a view of a parking lot.)
Never mind that the closets are cramped, I can't figure out where I am going to store our extra sheets and we are still sleeping in a mattress on the floor -- we have a basil plant and a lemon tree and a big garden plot! We have a cheerful striped umbrella over our patio table. And we've made waffles in my favorite yellow Pyrex bowl. It felt weird, initially, but I mean, we actually live here now. In California. I leave the windows open. It is cold in the morning. It feels good, all of it.