Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why I Am Moving

"Why did you move?" This question from one of my readers appeared as a comment on my last post. I'd been asking myself the same thing all day. Standing alone on the empty beach under a gray sky with the man who loves me sixty-five miles away, how could I not ask that question?

I tallied up the reasons on the walk home and have been going over them for the last day and a half.

1) My eighty-eight-year-old mom is coming to live with me, and would have trouble managing the four-story "tower house" floor plan of my current place.

2) I've wanted to live by the water ever since I was 11 or 12 years old, goofing around outside my friend Kim's house with her skateboard and her transistor radio playing The Beach Boys "Little Surfer Girl." I'd already caught the wave that included Elvis's "Blue Hawaii," and the Gidget movies. By the time the Gidget TV show aired, California was mine--if only inside my head. When I finally moved to L.A. from the midwest a decade later, I couldn't imagine how I ended up so far from the ocean.

3) I have more than 35 years of memories in Los Angeles. Nearly everywhere I've been in L.A. is someplace I've gone with The Someone. The narrative runs through my head constantly. I'd need some sort of lobotomy to stop it.

4) Downsizing was okay. It was good in many ways, in fact. But despite the fact that buying a bigger place seems misguided at almost 60, I want to gather those people I love and enjoy to my heart and to my hearth. I think I have some talent for this. I have three children and three grandchildren. I hope to have more (grandchildren, that is.) I am serious when I say I want house guests. I hope my grandchildren will come for a long stretch of each summer because I think parents need a break whether they realize it or not.

5) It's cooler here. I'm wearing a wool sweater right now.

6) There are blue herons and pelicans, and other birds I haven't yet learned the names of.

7) I have a boat dock here. I lived in a house with a boat dock until I was five years old. We had a pontoon boat, and a row boat, and a motor boat. I like boats. I need to learn something new. Kayaking seems like a good thing to learn.

8) About half of my L.A. friends have moved away. Others are planning on it. The rest live across town, and I seldom see them anyway.

9) The traffic in L.A. keeps getting worse. The smog is still bad--even though every year, they say it's not as bad as it used to be.

10) I had to move somewhere. Really, I did. It's not that far from L.A. There are trains--Amtrak, Metrolink. You could even come here by boat. If you had one.


janzi said...

Well, I think that you have done exactly the right thing for you!! I think [by reading your earlier posts] your life was one where you fitted in to the wishes of others, whether it was kids husband or anyone else, and now you have made decisions just for you... so jolly well done girl... its marvellous that you have been able to do this... having your mum with you in her later years is very kind and loving, but you haven't spoiled things by just making do, you have made a statement and fixed on a place where you can open your heart and breath deep. Your lovely lover is only a short drive away, so its not impossible for you to catch up from time to time.. maybe he might be able to get closer, but if not, those times together will be even more special!! Having the grandchildren to stay and share in the loving times of childhood like you did with the sea and boats, well, this is a priceless gift you can hope to give them... all in all I think you have made a super decision, and if I lived closer I'd be over straight away to share some of that gorgeous alive feeling and the smell of the sea!!!! hugs from across the pond,..J

Elizabeth said...

I can't wait to come visit. In fact, maybe I'll move next door. :)

Birdie said...

Even though you are lonely I think you are going to find peace in your new home. New memories are a lovely thing.

Elizabeth Harper said...

I agree completely with Janzi and well done you for doing what your heart tells you. Trust that.

Every time I've read any of your posts lately on moving I've had a strong visual image of you in a kayak pushing away from a dock and gliding off across the water.

In all the time I've been following your blog, I've not had any image of you come through that strongly or consistently. Not to go all woo woo on you, but that feels pretty significant to me.

Go get that kayak and find some peace in your new home. I think getting on the water will help you settle in so don't wait and don't second guess your decision.

Ms. Moon said...

I always say that Kayaking is sort of like walking. Once you get the knack it is such an excellent way to get around on the water. And quiet.
Have you ever read "The Living Dock"? I totally get what you're saying about docks. They are magical. Anyway, that book was written by a man named Jack Rudloe. It's a good one. He is the husband of the woman who just recently died whose video I put up on my blog the other day. He's a marine biologist too.
I think you are very brave to have moved. I find it inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Kayaking sounds lovely. And the water, I would love to live near the water, even within walking distance, but alas Katie is here, so here is where I will die.

Our mums are the same age. My poor mum is in hospital right now. It's not easy getting old and it's even harder watching your mum get old.