Monday, August 3, 2015

The sun is shining

It's Monday and I'm waiting for the first hint of activity from the construction project next door. It's not quite 7 AM and I expect the noise to start around 7:30. By that time I will be packed and ready to go to the gym for the morning. I will get some respite there...

I must be positive! I must not let this small blip in my life turn me into a full time curmudgeon.

I was reminded, the other day, of just how many homes we have lived in during our 52 years of marriage. This is home number 11. The first 3 were apartments and number 4 was a rental house. All the rest, up to number 9, were ours and our mortgage holders. We were able to own the last two outright.

House number 7 was the first one that was not located near a place where I could work. We bought 8 acres in the forest near Janesville, CA. We wanted to get away from the suburbs of Los Angeles and find an uncomplicated life for our children. Janesville had no stoplights and only 4 Stop signs. Population 700? There was a great school there and the sky was blue. There were four seasons and the kids were soon into 4-H and raising sheep. But the downside was that I had to drive 75 miles one way to find work in Reno, NV. We lived like that for 11 years and then my longtime employer went bankrupt and I had to find another job. The job found me but it involved a move back to a city; Roseville, CA. The children were now adults and had moved on to their own lives so moving wasn't so traumatic. And...I no longer had to cut 7 cords of wood every year to keep warm.

Roseville was a small suburb of Sacramento and we found a nice house there. With a thermostat. We lived there for 16 years; until I retired.

(7:16 and the noise has started. The first heavy duty grader has just blocked out the sun as it passed by our kitchen window. Ah! There are the melodic sounds of the "Backup Signal")

After retirement we began looking for a place near our daughters; they lived in Chico. We didn't want to live so close that we were a nuisance but we did want to be close enough so that we could see our children and grandchildren on a more regular basis. I also wanted some land; I had visions of becoming a gentleman farmer, away from the city lights. We found a one acre orchard and house with a pool. Perfect! It was 20 minutes away from Chico, in the farm town of Orland.

We lasted 7 years out there. I had assumed that since we were so close to a University, life would be pleasant; lots of technology and culture available. Wrong. There was no culture in Orland. Only farmers and farmland. Oh, we tried to fit in. We joined the Friends of the library and one of the local churches. I became a board member with the Glenn County Seniors Association. We had friends. And our grandchildren came by to use the pool...but not often enough. It turned out that the 20 minute trip out and 20 minutes back was a big chunk out of a busy family's life.

Once I began to have medical issues I found that we would have to drive in to Chico to see a doctor. And a hospital. And a dentist. I began to joke that the Sacramento River was the location of a hole in the space/time continuum and Orland was in the 20th century while Chico, on the other side of the river, was in the 21st.

About 4 years ago we decided that the almost daily trips to see our doctors was too much. We needed to move to town. That's where house number 11 comes on the scene. We like it here and we hope this is the last house for us. Our daughters are just a few minutes away and that's a good thing.

That doesn't stop me from daydreaming about living somewhere else. Hilo, HI and Santa Fe, NM are current contenders for my ideal spot to live. I love the beach and was raised at the beach; Manhattan Beach. But that town no longer exists. We just came back from visiting the Oregon coast and there are some wonderful places there. Manzanita Beach is far and away my favorite. But...we will be here for the foreseeable future.

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