we were there that long?

As we headed south Terry and I reflected on the fact that we had been in our house in Gilroy for eighteen years. What I realized was that was the longest I’d even been continuously in one place. We left the house I grew up in 1960 to spend three years in Barstow. We returned to that same house in the spring of 1963. When I headed off for my senior year of college in the fall of 1974, I never really returned. That’s eleven and a half years.

None of my stops between then and Gilroy even approached that. But we then ended up spending a full eighteen years in Gilroy, minus perhaps two weeks. That’s something.

But that’s also past. We’re here. We love our new house. We look to the present and we look ahead.

Tasha’s trip south

I had plenty to worry about with respect to our move, and I did my share of worrying. I think I inherited that trait from my Grandpa Monaghan, and it’s something I would do well to try to fix.

In any case, one of my biggest worries was about Tasha’s trip south. After staying in a motel in Gilroy after the movers left, the next morning we picked up Tasha at her resort. Of course we did not head home as she expected, but headed east on Highway 152 to Interstate 5, and then south on I-5. She did well. She was alert and looking around for a while, but as we got into the boring monotony of I-5 she settled down in the footwell and snoozed.

TashaHemetWhen we got to Tejon Ranch at the bottom of the Grapevine we gave her a tranquilizer that the vet had prescribed, and that meant that she slept comfortably along Interstate 210 through the greater Los Angeles area and into the Inland Empire, where we connected with I-10, before turning on to California 79 and on into Hemet.

We stopped a couple of miles from our new home because I needed to pull out the transponder to get into our gated community. Tasha thought that was her opportunity to get out of the car, but Terry persuaded her otherwise.

Shortly thereafter we were home. Tasha bounded into her new home and has been doing well ever since.

We’re pleased how smoothly the trip went.

where we’re living

My maternal grandfather spent his entire working career in the wholesale nursery business. He was a partner in the Hemet Wholesale nursery business, and he was sales manager for the storied Howard Rose Company. I remember one wall of his office consisted entirely of a huge blown up photograph of a field of roses in bloom, illuminated by fluorescent lighting.

ArmourStreetI remember well their acres of nursery stock and roses in cans off of San Jacinto Street between the towns of Hemet (where I grew up) and San Jacinto. What I don’t remember, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why, as I must have passed by there hundreds of times, is the Howard Rose property  to the west of town, just before you leave the San Jacinto Valley, where they grew roses.

Both companies are long gone, but my dad pointed out to me that Four Seasons, where Terry and I are settling in, is on land that was once that Howard Rose Company property. It’s never a great thing when agricultural land gives way to other uses, but I have to say that it gives me a certain delight to be living on land that was once an important part of my family’s history, and of the history of the town in which I grew up.

one side benefit of moving south

MSJfromArmoursmallIt occurred to me that there is at least one side benefit of our moving to Southern California. I doubt that our two Democrat votes will be missed in the greater Silicon Valley area. There are plenty of those here. But I think that adding two Democrat votes to the Riverside County electorate would be a good thing.

There is a Democrat Party Headquarters in downtown Hemet. I’m thinking of spending some time volunteering there as I begin networking and get acquainted with the community as it exists today.

new everything

As we move south I’m thinking about all the new services we are going to have to find. MSJfromArmoursmall

  • New doctor
  • New dentist
  • New veterinarian
  • New hairstylist
  • New full-service meat counter
  • New dog boarding and daycare
  • New dog groomer
  • And a new what else??

A lot of research to do.

thirty years

It hadn’t occurred to me until I sat down to write last Friday’s Secular Music Friday entry, my final one from the San Francisco Bay Area, that I have been here for thirty years. Thirty years? Unbelievable yet true.

BayAreaBankI left my beloved Claremont in 1977 to become the store manager and open the new B. Dalton Bookseller in Laredo, Texas. After a year there I moved to Oklahoma City to manage two other B. Dalton stores. I stayed in Central Oklahoma until 1985 when Ruth and I decided to move, for a variety of reasons, to the Bay Area. Our first apartment in Redwood City looked out over the lights of the peninsula and the bay. I remember well the sign lighted in blue on a building, “Bat Area Bank.” We moved to San Jose a year later. I lost Ruth in 1989.

I lived in Los Gatos and then Mountain View. Terry and I got (back) together in 1991. Terry moved up with me to Mountain View in 1993 and we got married in 1994. We lived in Mountain View until 1997 when we bought our house here in Gilroy.

So we’re just a couple of weeks short of eighteen years here in Gilroy, and for me it’s been thirty years in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

Tomorrow the movers arrive and Wednesday we get in the car with Tasha and head south. It is a move I would rather not have had to have made, but all will be well and new adventures await.

that’s my song, once again

I’ve mentioned before that I will miss the sound of the train coming through our bedroom window in the evenings. It’s one of the things that I will miss the most in our new home. Like many, I have loved trains since I was a lad.

I’ve shared this before, but in the spirit of nostalgia, here, once again, is “That’s My Song” sung by the Smothers Brothers.

scaling back

packingIt’s amazing how much we’ve scaled back since we began this whole process in February. It began when we had to pack up and move furniture into the garage for staging. There was a lot of stuff that we realized we didn’t need that went to Salvation Army, Goodwill, and our local Hope Services. We made multiple runs to those places. Then there were two visits to the electronics recycling facility. The staging movers took Terry’s couch and love seat for a charity they work with. We had a scheduled pick-up from Salvation Army for multiple large items. And we had items to put out for Hope on each of their regular visits through the neighborhood every six weeks or so. We had an especially large set of items on their most recent visit.

Perhaps we cut back a tad too much. But in general scaling back is a good thing. It leaves room for the new in our new space.

real estate, north and south

The past few months have been an adventure on a number of levels. One of those levels is the differences in how real estate is done in the Bay Area vs. the Inland Empire.

  • In the Bay Area staging is big. As we know from our own experience. In the Inland Empire it is pretty much laughed at.
  • Up here we, as seller, paid for termite, house, and roof inspection. Down there the seller paid for the termite inspectionpacking only. We had to pay for our own house inspection.
  • Up here it is common to include the washer-dryer and refrigerator with the house, as we did. Down there it isn’t. We are getting a fridge with the house, but we’ll need to buy a new washer and dryer.
  • Up here our house was sold as-is. Down there, our realtor requested the seller fix the defects noted by the inspector.
  • The deposit up here is expected to be about 3%. The deposit we made down there was a token amount, less than 1%
  • Up here our listing realtor communicated with the buyer’s realtor by email and phone. Down there our realtor hand carried our offer to the listing realtor. (Though this is probably as much matter of local geography as it is of regional differences.)

In a nation we often think of as having become homogenous, regional differences do, in fact, exist.

all those “lasts”

As we prepare to move south I am thinking about all our “lasts” here in Gilroy, the Garlic Capital.

  • We saw Debbie, our long-time hair stylist, for the last time a week ago Saturday.
  • We had our last lunch at Ginger Café, our local South Asian restaurant, a week ago today.
  • I  no doubt had my last personal Guinevere’s Garden and iced tea at Round Table Pizza last week.packing
  • I suspect the take-out taco plate I got at Taco Mania on Friday was my last visit there.
  • I baked bread on Friday. Probably the last loaf to be baked in our remodeled kitchen.
  • Tasha had her last visit to her groomer Stephanie on Friday, whom she has been seeing pretty much ever since we brought her home in 2005. Stephanie was sad that Tasha was leaving town.
  • Our date night at the Milias restaurant on Saturday was our last visit there. And what an excellent meal and great date night it was!
  • We planned our last visit to Victoria’s Mexican Restaurant for next Tuesday, a week from tomorrow, not realizing that is Cinco de Mayo. However, our movers moved our move date to Tuesday. Since Donald “Elvis” Prieto only works lunches Tuesday and Wednesday, and since we  are in Hemet Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Terry may have to get take-out that Tuesday in order to say good-bye to Don.
  • I hope to make one last visit to Rocca’s Market the end of this week.

We’ll have lots of new and fun things to discover in Hemet and Four Seasons, but it’s appropriate also to look back.