Thursday, April 25, 2013
Picture this: a flatbed trailer bumping down a muddy dirt road in La Jara, New Mexico during a steady light rain. On the flatbed stands a clawfoot bathtub. Waving above the tub are the fronds of a potted palm. That was the closing scene of my sixtieth move. For the first time in my life, I said it would be my last. A year and a half later, we moved into an apartment at the corner of Pennsylvania
On September 7, 2011, I began my Year of Standing Still. Quite a few readers came along on the standing-still journey, an experiment to see if I could put down roots in Albuquerque and learn to love the city I’ve never cared for. I set about my experiment very deliberately, and I did pretty well at it. But maybe not well enough.
Last month, my friend Sarah, who happens to live in Oakland, California, and I started talking about the possibility of my living in the Bay Area once more. For thirteen years, with moves in between to and from Denmark, New Zealand, and south of Santa Cruz, I called the Bay Area home, and I loved it. I still love it. I suppose that, bottom-line, I left because of that Third Culture Kid restlessness. Maybe, too, I had some things to resolve back here in New Mexico. My excuse was that I would never be able
Owning a home has lost its appeal. I’m tired of home and yard maintenance. Most of my domestic projects fail to come to fruition because writing is my priority. Cheyenne is heading off to grad school. The time seems right to sell. I researched staying in Albuquerque, where I have definitely put down some roots, although they’re not yet terribly deep. I researched the Bay Area, where I will not have to own a vehicle. The clincher, when I listed pros and cons was that in Albuquerque, due to weather extremes and a rather uninteresting neighborhood, I have to force myself to go outdoors to walk—my main form of exercise. That is never the case in the Bay Area. Besides, some of my closest friends live there.
Because housing is expensive there, I will most likely end up in a studio. This will be a different version of my Tiny House Dream, and I’m excited about being creative about a small space. Besides, with the entire San Francisco Bay as my backyard, how much indoor living space do I need? Move