In just a couple days, Steve and I will no longer have any family in California. Both of his kids are moving away – one to Seattle and one to Mexico. We’re happy for them both, praying for them as their transitions loom, and feeling justified now in having exited first. After all, when people asked how we could possibly leave two baby granddaughters behind, they didn’t seem to believe our line that the kids would be moving away soon themselves. Truthfully, we never expected it to be quite this soon.
The rift with California now feels permanent. It’s final. And I’m surprised how much that bothers me. When we returned for a visit just three months after our move, I told friends that we’d be back at least once a year to see Lucy and Emmy. Now we will no longer have the babies calling us back. Sure, we have friends who’d welcome us, but there are also so many other places to see. There’s a whole world out there waiting for us. Why go to California so often?
As a nomad who’s lived in eight states and three countries, I’ve spent more years in California than any other place – during two separate stints – except for the state of my birth, Maryland. I always had California to fall back on. Now it’s gone and, I have to admit, I miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted with our new life in our new town. Whenever I have a pang about no longer seeing that gorgeous San Francisco Bay every day, I have only to get out on the freeway and actually move forward, or go to a store and find I can afford the thing I want without re-financing our house, or walk down my street and have every neighbor stop to chat. Still, California was home for many years and it is no longer. Adios, Golden State!