Anne Notations

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Twice in three evenings we have had gusty black storms blow through town at day's end, receding eastward with rain still falling while the sun shines bright at an angle from the west. And twice in three evenings, we have had rainbows, double ones, actually, although the second rainbow (above the bright one) is always fainter, like an echo.

Rainbows are corny and clichéed, but they never fail to bring out the kid in me. "Ooo!" Tonight Michael called me to the front porch to see the second one of the weekend. Rain was still sparkling down steadily, but that black old Darth Vader of a cloud mass was clearly on its way outta here. (In its wake, temperatures had dropped 20 degrees in a half-hour, to the low 40s.)

So there we were, two old farts ga-ga over a rainbow. Fitting, really, since this spring we have been looking for that special place ... somewhere. Somewhere away from the three-deckers and graffiti, away from the noise of cars, trucks, busses, motorcycles, ambulances, police cruisers on Hope Street. Somewhere out of the city again for the first time since we returned here from Little Compton in 1987.

We've looked at three or four houses in Rumford recently, and it's great there. I'm in love with a few of them and have whiled away many an hour revising them in my mind, moving our furniture around in new rooms, imagining our lives in a different house and neighborhood. I've always liked that part of East Providence -- it's a low-key kind of suburban, not regimented and bland but lushly landscaped with wandering roads -- and if the right place comes up we may just be there within the next year or so.

This past weekend we looked at a house for rent on Narragansett Terrace in Riverside... out on the peninsula past the beautiful bayside park with its bizarre green parrot colony squawking in the trees, past the restored antique Looff Carousel that just reopened for the summer, past lovely shingled homes facing west over the bay. The house is small, not beautifully decorated, but man, it has a big fenced backyard on a seawall right on the water. There's a good-sized deck and incomparable views. While we four chatted with the owner, a giant orange tanker glided up the deep-blue Bay past us. We could see planes sliding down the sky for landings at Green Airport over in Warwick. On the street side of the house, residents strolled with their dogs and enjoyed the amazing quiet of the place. Even though we knew the house would be too small, too dowdy, for us, we vibrated with excitement. The kids picked out "their" bedrooms, I mentally planted gardens in the sunny back yard, and Michael looked ten years younger as he contemplated sitting on that deck with an entire bay before him, instead of a crowded city streetscape for a view.

As a child I experienced frequent moves, thanks to Dad's job transfers: Massachusetts to Illinois, Illinois to Connecticut, Connecticut back to Massachusetts just miles from where we'd started out. In adulthood I have found that after seven or eight years in one residence, I start to get itchy and go to realtors' open houses. We have lived in our house, a sweet old foursquare with high ceilings and a huge kitchen, for almost eight years now. So, predictably, once again I am looking wistfully past the massed rooftops and utility wires and narrow side streets for another community ... somewhere.


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