I usually save my big family road trips for the end of summer, but a few factors forced it to June, which was fine. I’m just back with, a yet again, dirty car and a great appreciation for the Golden state and the power of junk food to quiet children at a nameless truck stop.
It’s always nice to come home and realize you might have a pair of clean underwear in your future, but even in a quiet moment in my back yard there is the hum. The constant running of something, many things in a city. I got to taste the clarity of quiet and I’m still thirsty for it.
That’s why we endure the dirty cars and the truck stops.
I know I’m not the only one living in a state in crisis, but since I am a born-and-bred Californian, this essay by Peggy Orenstein hit home. The difference in our formerly ideal University system in my own lifetime is dramatic. And then throw in our out-of-reach real estate prices, and I totally get the folks who say, “Forget this!” and move to Las Vegas, Texas, North Carolina, etc. The percentage of your income to the price of housing is totally out of whack. Even in this supposedly flat real estate market, a million dollars can get you a fixer. Unless of course you want to drive 90 minutes to work, then maybe a family home is about $600,000.
I have a few childhood friends who took over their parents’ or grandparents’ homes. Bought out the other heirs, did a little remodeling (or not), and now raise their own families where they were little kids. The first time I heard about this (maybe 15 years ago) I thought it was quaint, practical. Now, I see it as near essential for most people to stay in the parts of California that are job centers.
It’s strange for us, the generation raised seeing our parents do better than theirs, and we are expected to do better than our folks. In actual fact, it’s going to be tough to just rock steady on the same plane they existed on.
Although to be fair, we do have better food and wine than when we were kids. At least there is that.