"I can't remember if I told you about Ron over the phone," she said, "but he lives on the back of the house." I knew we couldn't leave right away, but I wanted to. The house had wonderful, 85-year-old bones, but the renovations she kept pointing out were far too minor to make much of an impact. And then there was the issue of Ron, which she kept bringing up. "I don't rent this space," she said, pointing to a 4-foot square between two locked doors, "because it's a sound buffer for Ron. Though Ron is very quiet. He's an artist." We had made a game plan in the car for how we would keep all the listings straight in our mind; I had entered the house with my camera in hand. At this point, I quietly slid it in my purse.
Outside on the ramshackle deck, the owner gestured to the parking out back, where Ron's El Camino was parked, though he was out of town. And finally, as she mentioned what would and would not be repaired in the backyard, she pointed to the once-white, now peeling picket fence. "We are not going to paint the fence," she said resolutely, "because Ron hates stark-white paint." On the spreadsheet Daniel had prepared for note taking I started to write "run-down," but eventually just wrote RON. Enough said.
Daniel is starting a new job in an entirely new place. He will be wonderful. But for him, it is still hard.
And most of all, we are moving from all my family and from much of Daniel's. Farther than we've ever been. Away from our friends, our church, our help, our comfort. And it will be an adventure, and it will be good for us, and there will be much good that comes out of it. We are grateful for all of it. But, man, is it hard.