YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN VI double life series

I lived at this location for 6 years...during that time, I also had a cabin in St. Helena in the hills which I shared w/a friend.
I lived at this location for 6 years...during that time, I also had a cabin in St. Helena in the hills which I shared w/a friend. | Source
The back stairway and roof where I spent many hours daydreaming or writing or just enjoying the view
The back stairway and roof where I spent many hours daydreaming or writing or just enjoying the view | Source
Another home just two doors down
Another home just two doors down | Source
View of the 'dormer closet' of the apartment #3, which was where I enjoyed life
View of the 'dormer closet' of the apartment #3, which was where I enjoyed life | Source
Alley way behind the house.  the house is just to the left of the hedge row.
Alley way behind the house. the house is just to the left of the hedge row. | Source
Another view of the stairway in back
Another view of the stairway in back | Source
Another view of the house...I used to mow this lawn and trim the hedge / bushes in front
Another view of the house...I used to mow this lawn and trim the hedge / bushes in front | Source
Neighborhood
Neighborhood | Source

The mystery person is revealed

My time here, in the familiar town I’ve chosen to call home, once again, is growing to a close. Having spent the month of August preparing this property for the transfer of my furry friends from 2000 miles away, it is now time to pick up where I left off in SE Kansas where so many things are pending. It’s been a back and forth pendulum swing for the last 3 months; running ½ way across this country in a dead heat effort to complete major renovations on the West Coast house and cabin while trying to sell a beautiful Victorian home in America’s Heartland. Whew! Daunting, difficult and a little heart breaking.

But, I must continue this process until all my family is back together in one place; my home in the beautiful and friendly Napa Valley.

The demands of such a monumental undertaking have taken my mind off the strange event which reared it’s questionable head just a few weeks ago.

The “dream” had returned. This time, and not by chance, I imagine the recurring trip down sleepy time memory lane was instigated by an impromptu and involuntary visit to the place in question…the downtown, turn of the century Victorian which used to be my home for 5 ½ years. Unexpectedly, when intending to drive to Old Town, I was physically ‘compelled’ to take a right instead of a left, onto a twisty route which deposited me directly in front of the old house. This peek at my past must have been the reason that, that very night, having drifted into a deep REM sleep; I “returned” to my former second story apartment for a brief instant. In a dream. The dream. This last episode was not as ‘threatening’ or uninviting because, unlike the previous times, I awoke to the present before actually communicating or even seeing the other person whose role seems to have gained significance. Abruptly awake, and less shocked as in former experiences, I soon let the event slip into the recesses of my mind, having little impact on my time here.

Weeks have passed quickly and so many essential and cumbersome chores have been completed. The greatest tree trimmer in the world made fast work of dangerous limbs which hung too close and very heavily over the roof of my home. Friends came over to help clean up the cabin on this property, tearing out the entire contents of the building in preparation for the construction of a new, higher roof and remodeled interior. Lots of hauling away of debris and discarded, unneeded things from my past which, now, only served to collect dust. The purchase of replacement parts for both the main house and the cabin, weeding, more trimming of smaller trees and shrubbery, and the endless trips to the hardware store; are but a few of the necessary achievements to improve and rebuild this home.

As I exposed areas which have been out of sight and out of mind for decades, I ran across an amazing array of artifacts from my distant past…relatively speaking. Old love letters, pictures of forgotten friends and sweet hearts, photographs, notes from visitors who missed me when they stopped by for a cup of coffee or a jaunt to “the City.” Even my old Wedding Album…my goodness! I forgot how truly handsome my ex was. I haven’t seen him in at least 12 years…wonder what he’s up to. I tried to Google him several times to no avail. The marriage ended amicably; we were destined, from the start, to be a short term relationship. He was a little more than several years younger and, as it goes; ours was a union based on hormones and pheromones…and not a whole lot else. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

I found dozens and dozens of newspaper articles; opinions and commentary from yours truly, arguing this point and that … usually topics having to do with the environment, philosophical discussions, animals, animal welfare, protection, rights …and..animals! Lots of history was uncovered during the last several weeks which took me down the primrose path of bittersweet and ideal youth. Oh..

After a few days of rummaging through recent history, I decided ‘enough of this.’ “If I continue to dwell here in my notorious and nefarious ‘past life,’ I’ll never get anything done.” And, just as I was thinking this reasoned thought…I came upon something completely reminiscent of “The House.” A small bundle of a mismatched collection of odd colored 3x5 pieces of plain notebook paper peaked out from under the piles of newspaper articles. My heart skipped a beat! Is this what I think it is? I can’t believe I still have these! How amazing!

Eagerly, I lifted the faded and yellowed newsprint and reached down to the depths of the cardboard box to gain a better hold of the bundle of papers. As I retrieved it from it’s hiding place of 2 decades, it became clear that there were more small, mismatched and irregular papers, some with lines, some torn from larger sheets, others were bits of paper napkins and selections from unidentifiable sources. I was awestruck. Yes! The pile of aged papers I held were, indeed, what I thought it was. Here, in my hand, was actual evidence, physical proof of a younger life well lived. Practically a hundred individual notes from friends lay in my hands…an historical and chronological log of life at The House….532 Randolph Street, Napa, California.

The apartment of my dreams!

The home of my wildest imagination!

The scene of the crime!

Well, I had no choice, did I? I had to sit down and read each and every one of the notes. Amazing! And, even more astounding….as I read, I remembered detail after detail as if it were only yesterday. Intriguing minutiae; these bits of friendly communication which had been left outside the door of my small apartment. Good friends letting me know they’d stopped by, inviting me out to dance, dinner, San Francisco, bike rides….all the activities I so reveled in during that time of life. Gossip! “newsy news,” invites to bake bread, make pies, and more…“Hey, Kathy, I stopped by, call me.“ “Sweetie, I got the job! Let’s celebrate!” “Dearest one, it’s Lonnie. I’m available tonight, want to go to the city? Remember this date….12/24/2011! Love you, Lonnie.“ Little messages of love and friendship; all left at my door.

Tears welled in my eyes as I recalled the fun and excitement, the pure experiential joy of that time of life.

And, the realization that, yet another reminder of the stage in which my dream sequence occurred was, once again, foisted into my consciousness; and this was not lost to me. No! Not at all. Uncanny, eerie and, perhaps, synchronistic….these nudges and reminders seemed to be perfectly appropriate considering what was to come.

Well, as I said, this trip is about to come to an end and I must return to Kansas. I thought, “I should take pictures of the house…I don’t know why I haven’t done that. I’ll take my camera next time I’m heading that way, go to downtown and park…snap a few shots and be on my way.”

Several days passed and I reminded myself that I had little time left to go by the Victorian. So, I grabbed my Digital camera, jumped in the car and drove straight there. As I approached, and this time voluntarily; I was taken with the beauty of the wide street embellished with the most magnificant trees. At the northernmost end of the block is a 5 way…that’s right…5 way intersection. Just 4 lots down from the house, five streets meet; challenging drivers to avoid one another. Lovely huge homes adorn each pie shaped parcel which make up the unusual formation. Ornate ironwork fences, delicate bay windows festooned with gingerbread, leaded glass windows, staircases with turned wood railings leading to entry doors decorated with detailed carved, engraved wooded touches; the street exchange is breathtaking. Just a few steps south of this amazing engineering feat stands the home of my dreams.

I snapped a number of shots of the alleyway, back stairway and roof where I used to sit and watch the world go by, front shots from several angles and special attention to Apt. #3..the windowed closet and kitchen windows. Feelings rushed over me as I stood, silently, recalling so many things….the burial spot of Ms. Footer, whose life ended there; Pasha’s final resting place, the side yard where my boyfriend Rick and I planted a garden one year, the stairway where my friend Al took a picture of me holding a bottle of beer…very unusual for me at the time!, the place where I used to lock up my 10 speed bike, and more. I recalled mowing the small lawn in front, trimming the two huge pyracanthas…and the alley where I’d cut through to save time on my way to here and there.

Finished with the camera work, I got back in the BMW and headed over to Old Town, and the sweet little Victorian Al and I restored in 2004.

That done, and another day’s chores and ‘to do’ lists checked off…it’s time to turn in for the night…it’s been a long day and a harrowing, wistful, sweet and bittersweet trip this time…And, now, it’s time to wrap this trip up.

Off to slumber land for a well deserved deep sleep! Run to the back door to see if Binky has come for his nightly treat and overnight visit. Turn off the damned radio.. the Giants lost again! Turn on the outside motion lights and turn off the inside recessed lighting…it’s almost midnight … time to call it a day.

XXX

Oh, there's nothing like waking in the middle of the night, half asleep, half awake, existing in that wonder world of the not quite fully conscious.

I hear the beautiful purring of my sweet kitties. Warmth surrounds me and my feline family. Secure in the knowledge that everything is just fine, just as it should be. It must be near the waking am hours because I can barely see the beginning of the earliest morning light; the tiniest hint of daybreak. Ahhhh....stretching to the fullest I can, the movement disturbs Lucky. So, she creeps up to my cheek to begin nudging and purring loudly, indicating it's 'time to rise and shine...I'm famished!'

No...not yet. There is still an hour or so left to laze before the day truly begins.

Drifting back to sleep, I begin to dream fantastic images!

It seems I must have been having a repetitive series of dreams! Now, in deep sleep, again, I am years older and living across town..only a few blocks from my childhood home in the country. I remember when they built the original 13 homes; they were to be a groundbreaking new concept in neighborhood development. Designed by Cliff May, these contemporary houses were fashioned after the very popular Eichler homes in the San Francisco Bay Area and environs south of there. A fearless and gutsy woman, who saw the future of such new and innovative ideas in home ownership, invested heavily in the construction and layout of the first B. Valley residential planned community. And she prospered as the houses were fabulously popular.

Windows adorn almost all walls of the homes, from floor to ceiling. Broad and beautiful views of gardens, with privacy as well as a feeling of being outside while inside. Because of this and the large yards lining a seasonal creek which hosted huge Oak and Bay trees, the houses sold quickly. In my dreams, I had purchased one of these places, years later; and was living happily on the wide avenue like street; 7 homes in from the nearest cross street, on the West side which offered beautiful morning sunrises that graced the interior of the home casting honey colored rays of light on walls, counters and cabinets.

"Wow! This is quite a vivid dream!" I thought...within the dream. "I wonder what my life will be like in 12, 15, 20 years? Will I actually live in the wooded and lovely area just West of here where my little apartment is on Randolph?

The fantasy dream continued. It seems, I've had this dream before....I have a strange sense of familiarity with this 'life' about which I am imagining while asleep. it seems, too, that I, in the future, remember coming back to today; this life. Strange. It's almost as if I've actually lived in the future; it's that real!

I'm a little confused and surprised at how much I seem to recognize! How strongly I experience a feeling of 'having been "here," before.'

A sound from the front door to my little living room/bedroom apartment rouses me awake! The door is opening....shaking off the last vestages of sleep, I lazily watch as the door continues it's wide swing inward.....

Lucky, Pasha, Frank, Ms. Footer and I lay back as the familiar foot steps and keys clanging ease our momentary 'fear' of a possible intruder.....

But, there is no reason to be worried or fearful; it's my dear friend Al, who is the only one I've given an extra set of keys to. He is like family to me. He's just coming in from a night shift at the winery, as he always does, for an early morning cup of hot, strong coffee and conversation.

It seems he's had a strange dream he's anxious to tell me about.........





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Comments 29 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Excellent writing, and I like your pictures of the old home place.


marellen 5 years ago

So Kathy, are you selling your home and cabin in Napa? I understand that you have loose ends. That Victorian is beautiful and does hold lots of memories for you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Take care on your trip to Kansas.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your old Napa house is beautiful, If I had the money for that house I would buy it. I love the Napa area it's beautiful and very relaxing.lol upup


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I love your recollections of the past and present. It's funny how all it takes is one artifact to send you back through time. All the emotions rise to the surface; the pain, love, lust, and sorrow.

Hope your move and arrangements remain drama free. Wherever you go, you'll lighten the place up with your glow.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

The first thought after reading is O boy- how does one respond to a story this engaging and revealing. Well, Augustine s comment above really says it best. That was amazing with all the friend's notes and just like you to go through every one. What a passel of friends and acquaintances! And yes, all the emotions such things can bring. Thanks Kathy for this wonderful look at your life. The pics are a very welcome addition. Deja Vu and another dream comes into the mystery.}{


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Will Starr...I really appreciate your comment and thank you for visiting this story. I hope I was able to 'get across' the 'change' in timeframe...I love the pictures of that old place, too.

Hi Marellen! Well, it goes something like this (now, follow closely because, even I get confused w/this !!) I'm leaving Kansas...trying to sell a Victorian there, while remembering the home I lived in for 6 years in Napa several decades ago. These pictures are of that home. I'm returning to Napa...where I DO live in the Eichler knock off by Cliff May...the descriptions are real and true. It's all a blur...,I know...thankyou so much for the visit and well wishes. Sincerely appreciate your comment!

hi Writer!! Well, the home here is where I used to live as a younger woman....but, the home in Kansas is the one for sale...no pics here of that one but, all of these were instrumental and pivotal in my life. Thank you so mcuh for the visit and comment.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Augustine, isn't it truly amazing how our sense of smell and sight can conjure up the most extreme emotions and memories? with feelings so raw that it seems as if the event or time was just yesterday? I felt transported in time..for real...when I stumbled upon those notes. And, amazingly, the one from Lonnie....to remember the date 12/24/2011...how crazy is that? So, I Googled the date...it coincides w/the end of the Mayan Calendar and some other 'predictions' about the 'end of days.' He was into the mystical then. Thank you for the nice comment, Augustine...you really are too kind...and I appreciate your kindness.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Beautiful story. I think you have yourself spread a little thin though. I couldn't take that kind of stress anymore.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Good Morning, Alastar. so pleased to see that you read this...I hope I didn't lose the "surprise" at the end w/all the personal stuff written in to 'color' the story. Be a friend and , please do tell.....did it make sense? what, actually DID happen here?

same with you , JOHN...thank you for visiting and, yes...spread way too thin but it is all going to come together after a while. I made this become manifest and, now...must unravel the thing!...Ok..tell me, how did you read the ending of this? (I'm hoping that it 'reads' how I meant it to...YIKES)


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Oh No! You've left me on the edge again! You write such beautiful, sweeping stories, they are wonderful. I do not know how you can keep the pace, but I think I understand why.

So your mystery unravels.....but what is it Al has been dreaming??? I can't wait for the next episode my friend.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Good to see you Kathy! I have lived in several Eichlers in my day, they are all over Palo Alto where I grew up - memories! Funny how they just seem to take over sometimes. Well done story, your writing style is awesome!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Aha Kathy, I was lost in your story. You have that writer's gift of bringing us, the readers, along memory lane with you. I simply adore the old colonial homes. I owned one for twelve years. I decided it was time to downsize. I still drive past it frequently. I still miss it. Thank you for sharing your life with us. There's nothing i like more that looking through old albums. I was looking through one recently and found a poem written by my Sis. Bea who passed away, so i can relate to your tears of remembrance.... Happiness my friend!!!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Good morning Maralexa..first of all, I love your profile photo...so very beautiful. Thank you for such a wonderful comment...this story has taken turns and twists right up to the present...I needed to "finish" this segment/chapter and, hopefully; it made some kind of sense. There are 4 in the series...which do make this last one a little more intelligible. so good to see you here, and, you know (of course), that all my best wishes are always with you.

hi Kathy!!! Yes, I live in a knockoff of the Eichler style but, in the years I've owned the home; I've added even more floor to ceiling sliding glass doors....the entire house can be opened to allow thge wind to blow right through it. So glad to see you here, Kath...and, soon, I'll be BACK in CA..this is NUTS!!!

Ruby..dear Always...what a sweet and wonderful comment. And, we are definitely on the SAME PAGE when it comes to remininescing over old photos and albums...even songs, scents, notes..it all colors our memories. I so love older homes..Victorians, Tudors, Colonial, Italianate...anything from the PAST! I am so happy for you that you found the poem by your sister...and my deepest sympathy for your loss...a sister...how difficult that is...a part of you..this is how I feel. Many thanks and much love to you. thank you. Kathy


We Save Cats 5 years ago

Wow Luckycats What a twist ending, didn't see that comming. You have me rereading the whole series now, looking for clues. You're the best!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Dearest Al...thank you my friend. Hey, I hope that the 'twist' did get across...that, exactly is..'which 'time,' which 'dream' is reality, and which, is not? or are they BOTH concurrent? I fear I got too descriptive which pulled away from the 'twist' at the end but, you know my pretzel logic so well that you could read my "thoughts...." LO Kathy


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

PS, Al, it's fun being at the library at the same time....finally! you were able to read this. Thank you much much mucho


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

......always a pleasure dear Kathy to read your words - such a lovely writer you are and when God invented the first 7 days I'm surprised He didn't enlist you to document that first week .....lol

lake erie time 10:19am september by the lake

ontario canada and having my morning coffee


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you my dear Colin....I always appreciate your visits and comments and I am having too much fun "rhyming" back to you on your site...thank you a million times!! Kathy


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice story and very well written. I really enjoy reading this hub. Excellent and thumbs up for you. Cheers...

Prasetio


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you so much Praestio for your visit and kind words. Kathy


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Kathy,

I am long overdue with a visit but your style remains fascinating in this series. Voted UP & ABI!

Hope you are having a lovely Labor Day weekend, mar.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi MAR! I know just what you mean...I am so "behind" in my reading and support of so many of my friends and wonderful writers here...Between running back and forth across the country, my computer becoming very ill w/a virus that cost dearly to "heal," and just trying to keep both ends of the candle burning while treading water and .... well...there JUST is NOT ENOUGH TIME! I have the email update of your newsletter and have not even been there...done that...YET! Much love and you know all's well in coolsville! Thank you my dear!!! love ya' Kathy


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi Kathy,

You sure know how to tell a story. Nicely done. Have you ever wrote a book? If not, you should! Definitely! Hope all is well with you.

Sharyn


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Getting anxious for part VII. Will the mysterious dream and it's meaning be revealed?


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi my dear Sharyn....thank you for the vote of confidence...to answer; well, uh..hmmm...uhhh, I've thought about it but fear I lack 'follow through.' I have so many 'stories' which are not, yet, complete while I flitter off to another project...don't know if I have it in me, really. But, I appreciate your support and truly appreciate your visits!

Hi Alastar...well, we'll see.


McCordRM profile image

McCordRM 5 years ago from Texas

I love the bit about your friends stopping by and leaving notes. It's nice to return "home" and discover you weren't forgotten.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Welcome, McCordRM, to my story. This one is part 4 and the last in this story line. I appreciate your nice comment...yes, to find all those little notes from friends and former sweethearts was a wonderful surprise. And, of course, I repacked them away for safe kekeping. If you ever have the chance (and who does...what w/all the great writing to read here on HP) do try to read 1-3...and then #4 will make more sense. Thank you for your visit and comment.


steve of ian fame profile image

steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

You need an interlect to appreciate this. It deliberately includes a lot of detail in parentheses (If that's how you spell it). leaves me realising I have quite a way to go.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi there Steve of Ian fame....you are right. this is part 4 of a 4 part series so...to understand the ending; the previous 3 help. It started out relating to something that truly did happen to primarily (I'd say 99%) made up. thank you for the visit.

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