I live in a city not far from San Francisco. At last count, approximately 80,000 people called it home. My house is downtown. I can walk to Peets, Starbucks, the hospital, vet, various doctors, restaurants, bars, parks, library, schools, vineyards, Trader Joe’s and a handful of other grocery stores.
But, my city also has this to help keep me and my daughter sane:
Every week, we drive to the north side of town, wind through the hills to one of the oldest ranches in town.
And while she learns to do something I grew up doing in my own back yard, I get the joy of returning to the sights and smells and sounds of my childhood—the good parts; the ones we adults like to hold onto.
I remember riding to En Earl’s store on my horse to buy candy with my friends, racing through the ravines as fast as we could ride, swimming in the reservoir in the summer riding bareback, miles from home, trying to carry home the carp we’d caught with our hands in the drain pipe. How did we get them home? Why did we think they’d survive in that old horse trough/bath tub? Lord, the smell.
While I can’t imagine living in the country again, I’m so glad we have a place to go that feels like home. And a place where my daughter is making memories of her own.