Mom and Dad got the PT Cruiser back yesterday and it's all been repaired properly, but they have to go back to the mechanic today to get the back left brake light adjusted. After that, they're coming home. It'll have been 10 days for them in Las Vegas and Henderson, the same number of days as that second trip to Southern California back in 2003 when they found not only a job for Dad, but an apartment, too; nearly the same as this trip, save for the job, which we're still awaiting word on, but hoping that it comes through.
This also means that the cycle of chores has built itself up again, more urgent than in previous days, though fortunately the list of chores they gave before they left have long been done. This time, I begin with a question: Where do we store the seven full white garbage bags until their contents can be donated? They're sitting near the right wall that faces the dining room table, and are protruding so that when Meridith's sitting at the table with her laptop (The same as Dad does with his laptop in the same spot), I have to do some slight ballet to get through. We're thinking that the garage may be best for now, so long as they eventually disappear.
The day before yesterday, I washed my collection of underwear and socks, so I've got to fold all of that, preferably before they get home, because surely they'll have things of their own to wash (The washing machine at Hawthorne Suites was not kind to all the clothes. The day after they had been done, Dad's pants ripped while he and Mom were out, so they had to go right back there so he could put on another pair). Meridith told me yesterday that we have to dump the litter from the birds' cages today and put in fresh litter. That means not only vacuuming around and through the stands on which their cages sit, but also near Kitty's cage since I still haven't vacuumed what was left after she tore the stuffing and then the padding out of her kennel mat when Meridith and I were out. I'm also thinking about whether to vacuum Mom and Dad's room again, but just a quick run this time. Not as much to clean.
Probably the recycling from the kitchen has to go out to the bin in the garage, so I'll do that. I'm guessing that they'll either leave Vegas in the late morning or the early afternoon after seeing the mechanic again (That's one of the nice things about this trip: We know a few people now for things we might need. People who have lived in the area for years). That gives us plenty of time, since they'll probably stop in Baker on the way back, and then through Victorville. They couldn't go back yesterday since it was close to the evening, and Dad doesn't drive at night anymore. Not great distances, anyway.
I've enjoyed these ten days, the reading I've done, the time spent watching the ice skaters and hockey players at Valencia Ice Station, and the arcade there; the thoughtful walks past the houses of Creekside Valencia, admiring the cookie-cutter patterns (though there is a feeling of home with a few of those balconies and porches), walking the paseo--probably for the last time--that I used to walk when we lived in Valencia, lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, dessert at Menchie's, being awe-inspired by the passion for makeup among the employees at Sephora (and the raw charisma of many of them), and also just walking through a mall that hasn't quite been mine since Waldenbooks closed, but now truly belongs to others. I'm not really a mallrat, but I do love walking through them occasionally, and the malls to be found in Southern Nevada will keep me plenty interested, including that Henderson library branch inside the Henderson Galleria. You cannot find that anywhere else.
If these past few days have turned out to be a farewell to this valley, as I hope they will be, then it was a proper farewell at exactly the right time. I do not feel animosity toward this valley, even with all the frustrations personal and otherwise that I have experienced, but I know that no longer does any part of this valley interest me. Not that much of it did after we moved from the apartment in Valencia to the one in Saugus after that first year, but the views to be seen from the paseo, from the overpass crossing onto the paseo, do not at all compare to the views that can be found in Las Vegas. Finally, I know where I belong, and I intend to get there. This valley belongs to others. I'm going home.