In just under a week from now, I’ll be leaving California after having lived here for the past 38 years. With this impending move and the ample time that the COVID crisis has provided for self-reflection, I’ve been pondering my long and often complicated relationship with “The Golden State.” I’ve decided to describe how this relationship began long before I ever stepped foot in California, and how it grew and changed over the course of my life. This will be the first in a series of relatively short posts or “chapters” that focus on different periods in my relationship with California. In this first entry I’ll describe how my fascination with California began and set the stage for my eventual move to the Golden State.
A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 2 – Southern California
In the first chapter of my California saga I recounted my childhood obsession with the Golden State and my first visits there as a teenager in April and June of 1975. A year later I graduated from high school and began attending a local university only a few miles from home in Massachusetts. Therefore, the California Dream was relegated to a back burner for awhile.Continue reading “A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 2 – Southern California”
A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 3 – The Cowboy Years
In Chapter 2, I described my first few years in southern California. After two years of living in Newport Beach and a painfully boring stint at an apartment in Irvine itself, I was ready to make a move.Continue reading “A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 3 – The Cowboy Years”
A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 4 – The San Francisco Years
This is the final chapter of my story about my “relationship” with California. It’s been several months since I posted Chapter 3 and I procrastinated in finishing it because it’s not the most uplifting part of the story and I have a hunch that things I say will put some people off. But today is the one year anniversary of my departure from California and this seemed like the right time to finish the tale and close the book.Continue reading “A Golden State of Mind: Chapter 4 – The San Francisco Years”
Escape from San Francisco and the COVID Road Trip
When I made my initial decision to move out of California almost two years ago, it seemed like an eternity before I would actually be leaving. But time sneaks up on us, and in the strange time warp that the COVID crisis has created, weeks and months have run together and made a lot of us lose track of time. I should have used my time more constructively while I was sheltering in place to clear out my apartment after 29 years of living there, but I procrastinated and due to the crisis, I kept pushing back my date of departure from May 31, to June 15, to June 30, to July 7 and that gave me the sense that I had all the time in the world. All I can say to those of you who have lived in one place for a long time and are thinking of moving anytime within the next 50 years, is “Start TODAY!” Let me be your cautionary tale.Continue reading “Escape from San Francisco and the COVID Road Trip”
Wildflower “Superblooms” and an Unpredictable Earthquake Fault: Exploring the Heart of California
When I was young and growing up in Massachusetts, I had an almost scary obsession with California. Perhaps it was the influence of TV, beaming images of the “Golden State” into my living room on a daily basis, but to me, California seemed like the Promised Land, and from an early age I dreamed of going west.