Those of you who have been following my 3rd Act relocation saga know that I have moved to a small town (population 7500!) in Northern California a little over an hour from Oakland and San Francisco.
What a change I am experiencing! My new home has an astounding walk score with one of the highlights being that I can walk my dog Wyatt to delicious, organically grown, coffee less than three blocks away, and he gets to smell all the new and interesting aromas along the way.
I had believed it was great coffee I was looking for, but I think that was just the tease to get me out walking and experiencing the neighborhood, something not possible at my prior residence. As I walk and Wyatt sniffs each tree and blade of grass, I can feel myself settle in to an easy peaceful place. Before I would keep my ear buds firmly pushed into my ears and focus on podcasts of “This American Life” or “Terry Gross”. Here the people walking by and the conversations we strike up keep me engaged in what is happening around me and making wonderful connections with my neighbors. One family leaves apples from their tree (it’s apple season where I live) on the fence for all the walkers to enjoy. Today someone left three ripe tomatoes on my back step. Such generous and neighborly actions!
I have also noticed that people here really talk with one another, particularly couples. I have seen them on the door steps of their homes, hearing snatches of the conversations “… found my heart open”, “my creative juices where flowing when we sang…” It is really quite wonderful. And if you have a dog, well the conversation can go on for quite awhile. I have learned about the best parks and walks for small dogs, great restaurants to try and, because this is wine country, hikes that take you by delightful small vineyards with tasting rooms to help loosen your gate.
I know this might sound like the first blush of a new romance that will fade in time. I am hoping that it doesn’t fade but instead blooms into a new relationship with the county, town and neighborhood that I now call … home.