We are soon on our way to Seattle! They’ve had a snowy winter there (we witnessed some of it over Christmas) and I’m excited! I’m taking this moment to officially declare: My blood has thickened. Moving from Phoenix to Mexico (both dry and hot) to SoCal (mild and more humid) to NoCal (wet and cold, at least this winter) has provided the perfect acclimatization for moving to the Great Wet North. I’m ready, baby! Bring it! (The only things I still need are a hat, and some sort of running shoe dickie to keep my feet dry – anyone know of such a thing? I’ve visited Seattle enough to see that people do not, cannot, wait for nice weather to go running, or they never will.)
Some thoughts on the Bay Area. First, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is a hella great place to live. Because it’s so fab, it’s so expensive, which is really the only drawback. Well, that and the fact that it is widely known – not just believed – known – that the next great earthquake is coming. In fact, the ones we enjoyed here were located about a mile from us on the Hayward Fault, which is predicted to be the source of the next biggie, as opposed to the San Andreas.
When we first got here it was a bit of a culture shock, but a good one. Here’s my Top Ten list of things I discovered about life in Northern Cal:
10. If you pay attention when you’re out, you will hear at least three other languages besides English.
9. Gas priced under $3.50/gallon seems like a good deal.
8. The soul food we ate was gourmet.
7. In June, July and August, I had to keep reminding myself it was summer as I donned my jacket.
6. I could count the number of pro-Bush bumper stickers I’ve seen here on one hand.
5. If a house is listed for sale at less than one million dollars, we think it's gotta be a good deal, or a bad house.
4. We can no longer be referred to as "that interracial couple" as a way of distinguishing us from others - there are as many mixed-race couples as not around here.
3. We could literally eat at a different restaurant every night and never repeat and never eat at a chain establishment. And 90% of them would have delicious food.
2. We are used to paying $10 for a cocktail. We aren’t happy about it, but we’re used to it.
1. As part of a regular exam by the veterinarian, our pets had acupuncture done. (I'm not kidding – they liked it, too!)
So we bid the Bay a fond farewell! Could we live here again? Absolutely. But after the quake clean-up.
As we’ve been on this adventure. I’ve shared with some of you my thoughts about clutter and stuff. I still think there’s a book in here somewhere, but it hasn’t quite materialized yet. We went from a relatively uncluttered but well-stocked and furnished 2000 sqaure foot home, to four large suitcases plus a small storage bin. Since we left Arizona, we’ve lived in furnished rentals, and none for more than seven months. We’ve traveled light. Some stuff has accumulated again, but not to the degree it would if we had a home.
So now, for the first time in over two years, we are taking – gasp – a full year’s lease! YES. And we will have our own furniture again. I’m delighted we’ll be so “permanent” and won’t have to move in a few months. And I’m curious to see how this will play out in our new, lighter lifestyle. Will we feel bogged down? Will we be as willing to pick up and move to a foreign country again?
I know my relationship to owning stuff has altered. From being a professional de-clutterer to de-cluttering practically everything, to re-accumulating… we shall see. What are your thoughts?