Leaving California

July 31st

A little while ago I drove over the border of California into Arizona leaving the state I’ve lived in the last 30 years.  30 years?  How did I go through so many years of my life when it seems like about a year ago I moved here.  In preparation for this move, I’ve gone through boxes of old letters, souvenirs, and notes, firmly sticking to my mantra of if I don’t love it, it can’t come with me.  I watched whole relationships progress through the written word, gave away my 26 year old sofabed, oh friends, what will you do when you sleep over!, and other non-essential items.  I went through grief, joy, anger, melancholy, pain and boredom, going through all that I had accumulated through all these years.  When I arrived in San Diego 30 years ago, I came with 3 suitcases (when they were free to bring that many, ah those were the days) and all of this stuff I’ve collected over the years.  I watched one relationship evolve through letters and saw the love that he freely gave turn to bitterness and resentment.  It was amazing in a way to see that progression, how he sent love letters to my work (this was way before email… ) how he begged for me to stay, how he resented what I took, how he argued how to divvy up the money upon our breakup.  It was almost like a sitcom to read these letters and I was surprised to find them, not realizing I had thrown them in a box many years ago never to see again until now.  That’s what happens when downsizing.  When there’s room to store, I guess I use it.  Now that I need to consolidate, I am finding the time to review so many things that were content to sit in the dark. 

I left with 3 plants from the many I’ve had and given away to so many friends and family.  They’re sitting on the passenger side of the cab of this 16 foot Penske truck and they seem to be making the trip rather well.  I’m moving to the other coast where there isn’t bougainvilla, agapanthus, eucalyptus, or jacaranda trees.  What flora awaits me on the East Coast I don’t know, but will soon find out.  I miss California already.  Farmer’s markets all year round, temperatures never dipping below 40 degrees, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine.  I have acquired California blood now and it will be difficult to reacquaint myself with frozen winters once again.  In driving down this glorious state, I’ve seen mountains and forests, deserts and ocean, cities and farmland.  Although in the 20+ times I’ve driven up and down this state, I’ve never seen it so brown – so brown it was actually a bit scary.  Our drought here is real.  Acres and acres along the way have been left unplanted, seeing miles of brown dirt where there used to be plantings that were green and growing.  There is not enough water and it shows.

 Driving from Prescott however after visiting my friend I encountered three rainstorms and two monsoons!  So hard of a rain that twice I had to pull over.  The second time I am coming down a mountain in the pouring rain and the gas light comes on as I was down to about an 1/8 of a tank.  Really????  Not just the rain, but the gas light testing my endurance after driving for 9 hours.  But I made it and arrived safely.

It is indeed an adventure.  A bit of a scary one.  It looked so much better on paper.  An exciting way to see the continent.   I’ve never done an ocean to ocean road trip before and I guess after this I’ll be able to say I did.  I think it might be the only time… tee hee.

Anyway I still love you California and hope to come back and live here again.

Going towards my new little piece of Mayberry,

Jo