One year ago today we packed up and left the house where I was raised, grew up and moved into again after 55 years of living in San Francisco. When the house was finally emptied and we had packed up the car I knew that in driving away I would never see this house in person again.
It was a sad day for me. I had never lived in any other city than San Francisco and while this was an exciting time, it was a terrifying time as well. I hadn’t been on a plane since 2002 I think and our daughter had never been on a plane let alone sleep anywhere else.
The trip went better than expected and I assume you’ve been following along so it was fun to discover new things and re-visit some places I hadn’t seen in 22 years. Overall I’ve been happy with the move and being out of debt and feeling financially secure for the first time in I don’t know how long.
The people of Northampton, MA have been extremely welcoming and helpful to someone who moved from San Francisco, CA unlike what you hear about the reception of San Francisco residents who move to Washington or Oregon. They gave us lots of tips for surviving the hot summers [not really needed since we have central AC] and dealing with the snow in the Winter [not a bad one and we have a Gardner who plows snow for you in the Winter].
I still miss looking out my dining room window and seeing the Pacific Ocean and the smell of the beach [well, maybe the smell of the beach from when I was a kid], but things have been much better for us since we arrived here. The food is good and inexpensive generally, but it’s kind of like pizza places have swapped places with Chinese restaurants here. You can walk down the block and pass 4 pizza places, but you’ll have to drive a bit to find a Chinese restaurant. Mexican food isn’t as bad as people said it would be [because this is Western Mass, not Boston]. Indian food is off the hook here.
Our daughter loves her school and the teachers have been there for years because they can actually afford to live here. The schools as well as the people are very accepting of all students which is nice when you’ve got an autistic daughter that sometimes was looked down upon in SF. The schools are actually helping our daughter to move forward and learn new skills and abilities and to be a part of the school.
So now I kind of have a decision to make for Baghdad by the Bay. I’m not in San Francisco anymore and can’t really experience the things I used to write about in the City. So what should I do now? If you have ideas you can email me any suggestions you might have or comment below. I’m definitely not going to remove the site and all the work I had done, but I’m thinking for now I’ll keep going with the comparison and contrasts of what I’ve seen here.
I also had developed while living in San Francisco a bit of a heart problem in that I’m going to need to have bypass surgery done in the near future. My doctor’s are confident that I’m young and healthy enough to come through it fine, but while I’ve been a bit sparse here, I might be a little more sparse in the near future as I have the surgery done and go through the recovery, but I assume if I’m spending a lot of time in bed that I might have more time to write as well.