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“I love this place so much”

We are not all fortunate enough to live in places that we love. I am not talking about the actual apartment or house or dwelling, but the place itself. I am referring to the surroundings and the general area.

I started thinking about this topic this morning when I read a comment about my England post. One of my readers (http://creativityinthebox.com/) wrote that she loves living in England. That made me think about where I live and that I love it here too. And what a blessing it is to live in a place that you really love. It makes life exciting and joyful when you can look at your overall surroundings and that it brings a sense of contentment to your heart.

I realize that we are the fortunate few. I suppose that the majority of the world’s population cannot say they live in a place that they love. Those living in war torn areas, or ghettos, or other ugly or violent places may not love where they live.  Some may have been forced to relocate to places that feel foreign to them and they long to leave.

I guess there are as many reasons to hate the place where you live as there are to love it.

love where you live

But my focus right now is on places to love. And I wonder why it is that we come to love them and why they give us a sense of happiness and peace.

I can’t speak for others. I have moved around quite a bit in my lifetime. And I can say that I have generally loved all the different places I have lived and all for different reasons.

Washington State was my first venture away from where I grew up. It was exciting to experience the beauty there. I could sum it up in water and green. Puget Sound and Mount Rainer provided the backdrop for a stunning landscape. And the rain provided the source to keep the trees and flowers and ferns a luscious green. I loved it there because of the natural beauty, which calms the spirit.

Connecticut is a place I will always hold dear to my heart. Living in the woods, surrounded by trees inhabited by a myriad of birds was a blessing I will never forget. I felt I was living close to the land and in tune with the seasons. The towns were quaint and charming. I felt a sense of history and pride that this was where I called home.

New Jersey had an abundance of natural beauty too. I enjoyed living there for several years. I had my birds and gardens to tend to and it was peaceful.

I lived in Pennsylvania two different times. And I consider it my second home. I loved it there for so many reasons: experiencing the seasons change year after year unfailingly, the wildlife we had in our backyard, the charm of the Amish county just a short drive away, the history related to the struggle for American independence, and the friendships that I hope will now withstand the distance. Yes, it is my second home there.

Saddleback Mountain

Saddleback Mountain

But my first home and the place I love best is Southern California. This is where I was born and raised. This is where my family lives. This is where I live now and will stay for the rest of my life. I love seeing Saddleback Mountain tall and unchanging and keeping sentinel over the area.  From where I live, I can look down the street and see it and it always brings a smile because it is part of my remembrances from a child growing up here. I love being near the beach for there is a sense of peace and calmness in watching the sea. There are so many other reasons by I love living here, but the main reason can be summed up in family. Family has drawn me back and that is why I love it the most and will stay.

 

And so I wonder, why do you love where you live?

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It’s like “Living in Macys”

The other day, I was lamenting on FaceBook about how hard it is to live in a home staged to sell. There is no longer anything personal out on display. The stager has provided appropriate decor in place of personal momentos. Some rooms have been repainted in a more neutral “Pottery Barn” look to appeal to a young family…colors chosen by the painter and the real estate agent. The house is no longer my home, it is a commodity that is ready for the next owner to personalize.

When I mentioned living in a staged home, one of my FaceBook friends who has recently sold her own home, told me that her husband said that living in a staged home is like “living in Macys”. I like that and I pondered it.

martha stewart

Imagine living in Macy’s. Just what would that be like? Would Martha Stewart and Donald Trump stop by for a visit? You would have your pick of any style of furnishings that you like. Everything would be shiny and new and always on display. Always on display…those are the key words.

When you live in a staged house, it must always be in showroom condition, ready for a perspective buyer at a moment’s notice. When the call comes that an agent would like to show the home, there is the frantic rushing around to make sure everything looks just perfect. Tossing wet towels in the dryer, making sure all dirty dishes are stowed in the dishwasher, mail and papers are put out of sight, and general running through the house to make sure everything is in place and ready for the showing..including all lights turned on. Then a mad dash out the door before the visitors arrive. This is followed by ‘where should we go for an hour’ and bated breath waiting for feedback on how the house showed.

Thank goodness this is just temporary…at least I sure hope so! Although I love living in a clean and uncluttered house, there is a lot of stress in keeping it pristine and in show condition. I’m looking forward to the day the house sells, and I can go back to living in a more relaxed state. I think I would rather have visits from the dust bunnies than Martha Stewart.

Moving Home to California to Retire

Blogs should have a theme and should be posted on a regular basis. This is common knowledge. This is what I have not been practicing. I don’t know how to come up with a topical theme. If I write at all, it will be about whatever pops into my mind. I’m not looking for hundreds of followers. So if you happen upon my blog in your searching, I welcome you and hope you find entertaining reading. I hope you’ll come back and see if I have posted something new, but I won’t guarantee that I have.

I follow a blog that I really enjoy. The writer lives in London and she posts every (well, most) Sunday. I eagerly look forward to her blog. She is someone who is in the midst of a life change…changing where she lives and looking for new employment.

I suppose in a way I am like her in my current stage of life. I haven’t moved yet, but the house is up for sale and when the move is complete, I will be heading home to California. I’m living in a beautiful area of the East Coast right now. But it’s not home. I miss my family and the sunshine and the ocean. I do not miss the smog and the crowded freeways and the earthquakes. But home is home and that’s where my heart is.

I’m also going to retire when I move. That’s a big change. I’ve been looking forward to not having to get up and go to work everyday. But suddenly today, on Memorial Day 2013 when I’m home from work, I realize that there is a good possibility that I could find myself with SO much time on my hands that I could become….BORED! Oh, I’ve read so much about making sure you have hobbies and interests to keep you busy when you retire. You have to have a plan about how you are going to spend your time. And I’ve nodded and thought to myself  “Sure, that’s not going to be a problem for me. I have plenty of things that will keep me busy!” But today, I started to question if that is really true. I guess I’m going to have to come up with some goals and schedules.

Another big change is that this will be a big downsize. Currently, the house is around 2600 square feet. In this area of the country, it’s a medium-sized house. And with .75 acres there is a lot of wildlife and trees to enjoy. I love watching the birds and the squirrels and the rabbits. We have mockingbirds here that I particularly enjoy. They are so precocious and have a beautiful song. I am trying to really savor and enjoy everything about living in my little secluded hideaway here. But I will have no regrets when it is time to move. I eagerly look forward to my new life in California.

I’m going to have much more to write about this whole experience. So if you are interested, check back.