I was totally seduced by Richmond. That place gets me, every time. A front porch for everyone! Great friends! Great food! Proximity to my family (close, but not too close). Only 100 easy miles away from Katie! AND I could have what is essentially my dream house for somewhere in the 400k neighborhood.
But, friends, it is hot there. And while it would be a great career move for ME (I could essentially make the same amount of money there as I would here, while living on about 60% of the income), it would not be a career move in the least for my husband. Plus, everyone smokes actual cigarettes, which kills the air all around you.
But still, all the benefits are food for thought. I am submerged for at least 15 minutes a day in the swells of East Bay house porn. Here, my dream home costs about 850k, which firmly requires both of us to work as hard as possible so that we can afford the life we have and hopefully retire someday. But the food is delicious and super affordable. And the air smells like flowers, 90% of the year. And, of course, there are about a million other reasons to be in love with this place over a place like RVA. Walking Niko to his school this morning reminded me of all the lovliness... a beautiful day with zero humidity, like most every day here, year round.
Anyhow. House porn. I have a problem. I guess I just feel as if, when we buy a house, wherever it is (probably in the east bay), I'm pretty much not leaving. I want to build out a garden and work on it for years. I want to know a house's very bones. I want to know (and fix) every creaky floor board. I want to watch trees grow and grow. I want to know every neighbor's drama and dog. I want to set up house and never, ever leave. I want this moving around to just plain stop.
In sad news, I found out while we were away that Sopor has cancer, and that it's in her lymph system. I take her today to get her stitches out (I had a bunch of the cancer removed before I knew what it was). I'm excited to let her hang around outside again, for her last days. She seems to be feeling fine after what was a rough recovery. I've never taken a pet in for surgery before, and it was ugly. I'll be happy to throw the cone away and be done with it. I just want to enjoy her and make her happy for the time she has left. She's been the best cat for me, and I'm super sad to think that she won't be with us for much longer. In fact, I don't want to write about it any more.
In happier news, Niko's birthday is the day after tomorrow and I am starting to feel super excited about planning it. He has requested pancakes for breakfast, an extended school day (I guess he wants to bask in the glow of his friends knowing it's his birthday), and strawberry rhubarb crisp for dinner. We are buying him binoculars. And maybe a kid's bird watching book?
I don't know what I'm doing for the party yet. I need ideas. I'm so travel weary and just want to do something small, which I'm sure will feel large enough to him, anyhow. He has requested chocolate balls instead of cake, based on a gluten free mostly dates and nuts recipe that a friend made in RVA. Berkeley kid wants gluten free, vegan, chocolate balls instead of cake! And he told me this morning that we sure need to eat extra vegetables this week because we didn't eat that many while on vacation. Sure, kid, no problem. I love it!