The crux of a place includes all the good and bad merged together. At my age I know that memories do shift and narrow and in the years to come what will I remember of three years in California or twenty-two in Oregon? At this point, what do I really remember of my four years in Germany or the fourteen years in Michigan where I grew up?
Now that we are facing leaving the West Coast I now know for certain that I will miss some special plants in the yard (citrus!), winter weather, our view, the High School, and the kind people we have met here. Weather wise, even though I always prefer cool temps, I really don’t like freezing weather and a 70⁰ day in February almost has me rooting for environmental warming. It is so wonderful to be outside in the garden in March enjoying the smell of 10,000 Freesias, wonderful.
What I won’t miss is the heat in the California summer, which of course, has me worried about global warming. I do know that Michigan will have hot, humid summers with scary ice in the winter but that an excellent Fall will make up for some of those months and the Mid-West does have excellent autumn weather. Michigan will have June bugs and mosquitos too, but lots of snakes, turtles, Cardinals and maybe a new puppy for us.
I certainly won’t miss the cost of everything in California. It starts with the small items, our grocery store charges $1.30 for a candy bar and that just offends me, and goes right on up to the big things like housing which is only barely affordable. A recent day in San Francisco cost us $11.00 just to drive across the two bridges needed to get there and $25 for a half day of parking.
Still, I will miss San Francisco with the old Victorians, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Transamerica, the lines of streets that seem to be carved so perfectly into the rows of buildings. We don’t actually ride cable cars often but it’s fun to see them go past. Finally, there is no bridge that compares to the Golden Gate – it must be the color – it’s gorgeous.
Money-wise, houses will be much more reasonable in the Mid-West, we’ll be able to add at least one rental. I hope to find a job there, and I know my rental income will stretch farther. There will some hidden costs, because there always are, but overall it has to be easier to live there than here.
Family will be nearby and there are cousins to get to know. There will be kind people there too. I actually didn’t notice much difference between the people in Oregon and the people in California when we moved here years ago so most likely Michigan will be the same (except for the fact that I have been gone so long that Michiganders now have an accent to me and that is always a slightly strange thing). I still have a couple of old friends in Michigan and some facebook friends who visit regularly. It’s so good to have friends from “back in the day,” because not everything has to be explained.
Can we get lucky with another good HS? I expect the first year to be rough no matter what. But the available schools where we are headed look very promising on paper. I don’t have to live through it though, the boys do – that will be part of their lives.
We’ll be closer to NYC and Chicago, two places I have never been, and much closer to Europe. I am hoping that with less money going toward housing there will be more plane tickets in our future. We’ll also be very near Canada which means fish and chips and Chrunchie Bars only an hour away.