I was incredibly lucky to find a soul-mate (in that same kindergarten class, I might add) who also likes to live a tad bit outside the box. Joe and I both have a sense of adventure and an incurable case of wanderlust, and so we have chosen to leave our comfort zone to wander in search of flavors other than vanilla. We don't really know what this New Year holds for us, but we know it won't be the same old thing. It will be new and exciting, interesting and terrifying, challenging and spectacular. This year will have a life of it's own in a completely different way than new year's usually do; it will be a defining experience for both of us ...and our little cats, too (add Oz-ish witchy cackling, stage-left)!
While we truly look forward to the adventure, there is a part of me that is loathe to leave my little cocoon here at home. Although I wasn't born here in Santa Cruz, CA, it is the only home I remember. I loved growing up here in this beautiful area. We rode our bikes around the
quiet streets and through the open fields throughout the neighborhoods until called in at dusk. We walked to school without fear and were watched over by friends and neighbors as well as our parents. That's not to say we weren't fully versed in being wary of strangers, but back then it was safe to run to a neighbor's door if something or someone scared you. Parents didn't feel the need to be in constant phone contact with their kids (not that it was an option then, anyhow) and in fact enjoyed "getting them out of the house" during the day. It wasn't a Mayberry world by any means, but for us kids it was darned close! So yes, I feel some sense of loss at leaving, but the truth is...that world is long gone anyway. The town I grew up in slowly dissolved over the years as the population grew and the associated problems grew all out of proportion to that growth. I once again live in the house I grew up in and we still have awesome neighbors, but the traffic is hideous and the junkies have taken over. I can't drive more than a couple of blocks without seeing someone living in a box on the sidewalk, and no-one seems to do anything about it. The powers-that-be think enabling is the same thing as compassion, and I don't see any signs that it will get better. Yes, I could volunteer and continue to believe that will help somehow, but the truth is I just don't believe that. I fully support those who do volunteer their time and energy; they are absolute angels. For ourselves, we choose to move on in search of our own future elsewhere, at least for now. Santa Cruz will continue to be home base for us and we will return for doctors appointments and visits, of course. We will miss our friends and family here, but staying in touch is so much easier in this modern communication age than it used to be. When my aunts and uncles did this years ago, we wouldn't know exactly where they were for months at a time. Now we can send e-mails any time we have internet connectivity, and everyone can follow us on Facebook and this blog as well (both at LnJ Photo Nomads).
Strangely,I find that the people I will miss the most are the ones I see only occasionally and won't keep in touch with; the clerk at an often visited store, the former customers I bump into everywhere (it's still a small town in that way), the folks I don't know but see walking their dogs regularly. Have you ever had that happen, where you pass the same jogger on the way to work every day? Over time you start to nod to each other, then eventually wave and smile, and then one day they are not there; you don't see them again. Did they move, change their schedule, pass away, or just give up jogging? You never really know; they just disappear out of your life, and although you never really knew them it still leaves a hole. That is a little bit how I feel beginning this new adventure.
I'm sure a few tears will flow as we pull away from the curb, but then the siren song of the open road will drown out any doubts and that giddy feeling of unbridled adventure will kick in and it will all be fine. Each day will be new and exciting again, just like it was for that little girl I used to be. Why did I make a red and green pumpkin, you ask? Probably because I was over anxious for Christmas to arrive, but I prefer to think that even back then my undeveloped child's mind understood that it was my world and I was free to color it any way I chose. We still have that same freedom today, my friends, so choose the bright and exciting colors!
Happy New Year, My Friends!! -Lynn, Joe, Amy, Milton and Rose