Detours: A California adventure… the final chapter; Almost home…

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Back in Southern California… sun-drenched… palm trees swaying in the gentle sea breeze…

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I mean, yeah, a lot of those palm trees now look like burnt matchsticks…

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And, days after I took these photos, on my three-day adventure through California, mudslides in this area would take lives…

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It is always nice to be going home… sort of… Don’t get me wrong. The thing is… (yay, the things are back!!!)… I love Southern California. I raised my kids there. But even my kids like Northern California better. Yes, it is cold, and the beaches are not really great for swimming, but there is just something about it.

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An old man, flying his drone at sunset. Maybe it was a Christmas present.

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I have been all over the world. There are a lot of places I love.

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But as I like to say…

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Everywhere is the center of the universe…

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But the Bay Area is the center of many universes. And I ought to know. I write science fiction novels… about other universes. HA



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4 Responses to Detours: A California adventure… the final chapter; Almost home…

  1. I’ve often heard people talk about the places where they grew up and say they can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. That’s simply because, deep within every society, people experience the good things about those communities. They come from inside, so they see and feel the better aspects of it.

    I pretty much like where I live now, which is also where I grew up. But it’s in suburban Dallas, which is often a right-wing stronghold from a political standpoint, and people from outside can’t understand what good there is in such a place. I tell them you have to separate politics from the culture, as they’re not always intertwined.

    I have friends and acquaintances who live in or have lived in California, and those who moved out always said the state’s high cost of living prompted the change. One close friend said he was literally days away from losing his place because he could no longer afford it. An acquaintance has lived in San Francisco since graduating from college in 1973. He works for the post office and is close to retirement. But he says he wonders if he’ll be forced to work longer or just move out of the city altogether. Another friend and his partner actually considered moving to Texas because of California’s high cost of living, even though they didn’t like the political atmosphere. They ended up moving to Sacramento, but I don’t know how life is treating them out there. Yet another acquaintance had moved to San Francisco from Dallas around 2004. But I found out through mutual friends that he was practically forced to move back because of – again – the high cost of living. I had a contract technical writing position at a local IT firm several years ago where one man who described himself as a “blatant liberal” said he couldn’t imagine having a business anywhere in California because of all the expenses someone has to incur just to start their own company.

    Louisiana established a law several years ago stipulating that companies with a certain number of employees had to establish an office in New Orleans, if they wanted to set up operations anywhere in the state. It was an attempt to ensure New Orleans’ financial stability. The city had experienced a sharp population drop since the 1970s. By the turn of the century, the bulk of New Orleans residents were on some form of government assistance. That’s one reason why so many people died or end up stranded there after Hurricane Katrina struck. They didn’t have the resources to evacuate on their own and waited for the government to help them. I don’t know if that particular law is still in effect, but that’s no way to maintain a tax base.

    I have a friend who’s from New Orleans and got stranded at the Superdome after Katrina. He managed to get out on his own (in part, because he knew – as a single male – his life wasn’t considered important) and ended up in Texas. I have another friend who fled New Orleans for Houston as Katrina approached. He expected to be in Houston for only a short while, but he moved to Dallas and has made it his home. Now he’s running for governor as a Democrat! If he actually makes it on the ballot, I’ll vote for him. We’ve had enough old White males (no offense) in the Texas governor’s post, and I figure it’s time for a middle-aged, openly-gay White male who’s legally deaf and won International Mister Leather (IML) in 2009!

    But both of them said they can look past all the political and racial chaos surrounding New Orleans and see how great the people are and how much the city’s culture has to offer. I’ve only been there twice (both for work) and can understand why long-time residents would feel that way.

    The people are always what make a place beautiful. Politicians always screw it up!

    • I agree with your premise. This also accounts for why most people cheer their local sports team, or stick with their original religion. But growing up in the Bay Area in the 60’s and 70’s was freekin’ magical.

  2. List of X says:

    Well, there must be something about Northern California, which is why it is soooo expensive.

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