Thursday, August 24, 2006

32 reasons to stay in the sand pit

We read The Woman in the Dunes last month, a story about a tribe living in the sand dunes, digging themselves from under the sand every day, yet staying there forever. Relating that to what’s going on in my life at the moment, we complain about the corporate world and the high cost of living in this valley (that’s the big sand pit), I work on meaningless projects and look for a stable job every day (the sand digging), so what makes me want to keep doing what I’m doing right now right here? Many people I know have made the move from either coast to middle America or at least from bay area to other “cheaper” areas, like North Carolina.

I’m here today because:

1. Big Sur
2. Golden Gate Bridge
3. Los Gatos-Santa Cruz Mountains
4. Open space along highway 280 on the peninsula
5. Rolling hills south of Morgan Hill.

I’ve always lived within 200 miles from the ocean. The proximity to the open water makes me feel calm, even if I go to the beach once a year. The beautiful scenery of the bay area, the perfect combination of mountains and water, the Pacific coast, simply cannot be placed elsewhere in the world. On our flight back from Indy, our plane approved the area from south, it was early evening and the sun was glowing on the brown hills. I could spot all the familiar places, the traffic on 101, red roofs in the Silver Creek development, and the endless hills. This is a beautiful place that I call home.

6. Stable healthcare for our parents
7. Our vet of 11 years, Dr. Larson
8. network of resources

When people move to a new place, it always takes some time to find those life’s little necessities – dentist, pediatrician, housekeeper, etc. We’ve been living in this area for many years (Bill for almost his whole life, me for 16 years) and we’ve helped three out of four of our parents to move close by (My Dad is in China). It would be hard to replace the resources that we have here for seniors, adults, kid and dogs. My mother-in-law just had hip replacement surgery at Stanford Hospital; I’ve heard of people travel thousands of miles for what we have in our backyard, hard to beat that. We’ve taken our dogs to Dr. Larson for their entire lives, gone through multiple surgeries. She’s the only one can deal with our freaky little terrier mix, or they find a way to get along that is.

9. My home
10. Los Gatos
11. Smith Ranch

After we hand picked the granite counters, the tiles for the bathroom, the color of the grout, and cabinets, window shades, designed our own backyard, this is our home, for which we pay a hefty price. Some days I do wish we are still in a ranch house, not have to lug the laundry up and down the stairs, not have to block the pug downstairs to save his back. I love to be in a neighborhood where we can set the kiddo loose to ride his bike around.

12. My corporate job
13. Silicon Valley brain power

It’s a bit funny to think I might lose anything on my career when I don’t have a job, but really, people are still willing to consider me as a corporate finance person. I’m almost sure that if I drop it right now I’ll never get the edge back again.

14. Bonfante Gardens
15. Monterey Bay Aquarium
16. Legoland
17. Los Gatos downtown
18. Jazz in the Plazz
19. Lake Tahoe

Just a few things that only exist in this part of the world.

20. Chinese community – grocery stores, library, book stores, news papers, radio, TV
21. Vietnamese noodles
22. Sushi boats

Where am I supposed to get my black eggs if I move away? And it’s so nice not to be the only oriental face in town. ‘nuff said.

23. California real estate
24. Los Gatos schools

These sort of come in one package. We pay the high mortgage so my son can go to good schools. Another thing once we lose we’ll never get back.

25. the weather
26. fresh produce

Here we complain about over 100 degree heat wave for a week, or the “freezing” winter when it drops below 40. I’ve lived in places where I had frost bites all winter, and the “heat wave” lasts from April (when the misty rain stops) till October, only interrupted by a few typhoons. And I assume all that fresh produce in the farmers market come with the nice weather, but I’m Chinese and I stick with the fresh stuff, no freezer veggies for me.

27. my lack of sense of directions

It’s not a pretty scene when I’m lost, and it tends to happen A LOT when I’m in a new place.

28. South Bay Knitters
29. Stitches West
30. CNCH

Since I started knitting again in January 1998, I’ve been with this great group of knitters. In the world full of new fancy scarf knitters, these women show me what it means to enjoy the fiber art and keep me challenged every day. We have one of the greatest knitting communities here, with five yarn shops within ten miles from my home, and Stitches and CNCH practically in my back yard. I can never live in a place you have to count on mail order for yarn or travel hundreds of miles to the closest knitting event. Not happening!

31. Los Gatos Creek Trail
32. Vasona Park

It takes five minutes to walk to a nice trail, twenty minutes to walk to one of the nicest lakes around. What more can I ask for!

This was supposed to be “100 reasons”, but I only came up with 32. That’s it for now.


Andrew said...

Hi Vivian,
Thanks for the link!

...and I'm back from vacation so you can expect a new Dismaying Story tomorrow (Friday) morning :o)

All the best!

JennaRN2008 said...

Ha! Now I know how Andrew happened upon my site :-) Good to have connections.

Now to your post - sounds to me like you have some excellent reasons to stay - no good rule saying you need 100. When I moved for cost of living, it was only one of 100 reasons why I moved... and I could only come up with one reason to stay... it's good to know what you want!

Vivian said...

Actually Jenna, I saw Andrew's comment on your site first. Anyway, good to have connections

Sarah said...

Shouldn't the book club be a reason?