Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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I’ve fallen in love with a town.

Up to now, the longest I’ve lived in one place has been Winston Salem, where I lived for 9 years. Dragged around the world until I turned 16, I lived in Winston-Salem until I was nearly 25. I chose to go to Maryland, but that was for grad school. I could have as easily ended up in Houston, or Baton Rouge. But Houston was too hot, and Baton Rouge too humid. This June marked my tenth year in Maryland. I’d come to think of it as home.

But lately I’ve been enjoying La Jolla too much. I’ve been here three weeks, and enjoy it more daily. It’s a lovely town, mostly because of the Aruba-like weather. Despite the June Gloom lasting well into July, it’s been between 50 and 80. It rains so rarely in the cove near the coast, that one night last week we were shocked to remember what rain sounded like.

It occurred to me the other day that not once in my life have I picked a destination for a home. I stayed in Maryland because I was comfortable there, and I met Jon, and he has lived there almost his entire life. So I never had a reason to look for another place to live.

If I were going to move, La Jolla’s at the top of the list. Seriously. La Jolla has a lot to recommend it: Lots of job opportunities for both of us; Pati is in nearby LA; plenty of art and culture, perfect weather year-round. It’s really the weather that lulls you. What fascinates me are the wide-ranging activities afforded by the weather: Snorkeling, Kayaking, swimming and Scuba are a mile away at La Jolla shores, (not to mention activities I never plan to try, such as Surfing, water skiing, and hang gliding). Just a few hours away are some great Ski spots, and let’s face it, if you’re gonna ski you want to be on this side of the country. It’s also very bike-friendly. I’ve been getting some exercise walking to the store and back, but today I think I’ll try the bike.

It’s not just the weather – Californians, moreso than populations in other states, are very health-conscious. Of course, it’s easier to eat your fruit and veggies when they are locally grown. The freshness, variety and cost are better than in Maryland. I’ve been enjoying twice the avocados at half the price!

More opportunities exist for exercise indoors, too. Sarah and I found a great … gym? I guess “new age gym” is the best term. Eight Elements West teaches yoga, pilates, strength training, and offer various massages at relatively reasonable prices. Sarah enjoyed an hour-long massage, and I’m trying a free Yoga class on Thursday.

It’s clear that I’m falling in love with a place, and not for the first time. But when you’re used to moving regularly, wanderlust can, it seems, become a problem. Especially if your husband has no plans to move. When you’re living (even temporarily) in a luxury home near the cove, well, it’s no wonder I don’t want to return to my little shambles in Maryland.

So I’m now in the awkward position of looking for things to hate about La Jolla, just to spare myself the pain of leaving.

It’s a bit… overplanned, for one thing. No huge golden arches here, all the signs are low to the ground and uniformly designed. Oh, wait, I like that.

But the village is uniform, too. Long rows of low houses with Spanish-tile roofs. No, wait, I like that too.

Still, the East Coast has more layers to it, more history. Buildings that date back centuries, not decades. The biggest museum complex in the world is five miles from my home. Of course, Balboa Park and Old Town provide some depth of history, as do the native populations. Not to mention the lure of nearby Mexico. Wait. I keep forgetting....

Well, the people are nicer back home. It’s more insular here. And no one obeys the posted speed limit.

Truth is, it’s a nice place to visit, but I can’t afford to live here. Even a vacant lot here is almost $1,000,000. So I guess I’d better look forward to going home in a couple of weeks.



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