Last week I became aware of and seriously considered a job opening in Fort Bragg a place where I have loved camping - living, in fact, in my favorite state park! With some wistfulness, I have decided for many reasons that this is not for me - at least now. As much as I love Fort Bragg and MacKerricher Park there are a few things I love more. Most especially my children and proximity to them. One benefit from this experience is an increased awareness and appreciation of what I love about my life in Sacramento.
Like I said, proximity to my children. 6 of 8 children, 2 (soon to be 3) of 4 (soon to be 5) grandchildren are here. Sariah lives a straight shot on I-5 in Vancouver, WA and comes down at least once a year. I can keep in contact with those who are not here by phone, Facebook, and blog. I don't see/hear from David and Teresa nearly enough, but I keep hoping he might find a job somewhere not too far away.
The Sacramento family group gathers for birthdays, high holidays, occasional Sunday dinners, and now and then just because. If someone needs help, we are there for each other. We live our own lives, but we all know the others are here.
I enjoy the blessings of a cell phone with my kids on the same network so we can talk freely. We don't use it nearly enough! But it is there. In Fort Bragg cell phone reception is almost nil, computer is dial-up and TV pretty much by satellite or maybe a phone company bundle. I have free TV here. What about radio? I enjoy classical music on NPR and Armstrong & Getty on the am dial.
Here I can bike to work or, after a short drive, catch light rail to my building. I am 10 minutes from church, close to shopping, Kaiser, and the Sacramento Temple. Fort Bragg has an LDS chapel, but for anything including more than just our congregation, they go to Ukiah. Costco is in Santa Rosa. They attend the temple in Oakland. I don't know where we would go to get to Kaiser. Everything is easily accessible here.
Fort Bragg has the College of the Redwoods (I do like the name!) which I hear is very good. We have 3 community colleges, a couple of universities, and uncounted career/business schools.
Sacramento is on a freeway hub with wonderful roads going in every direction. "Only" 2 hours to the coast or the mountains. While I am 2 hours from the beach, Sacramento is a city of trees and parks.
I like the people with whom I work. I would probably like my new co-workers, but I do like these people. Same things with friends at church.
(The credit union and) I own my own home. It needs MAJOR repairs, but it is mine. I have my orange trees.
It is expensive living in California, even more so in Fort Bragg. Transportation costs, technology costs, the damage wet, salty air does to homes and cars. I need to pare down my expenses (or increase my income) $800 to survive, not find ways to increase them!
But this is about the blessings here, not the problems there. I enjoy many blessings here. Most joyfully, Miriam, Ruth, Tom, Esther, Jared, Naomi, Debi, Joseph, Andrew, Benjamin. Priceless.
In many ways I am already living a dream come true. Other dreams can wait.