The Smiths Go To California

I don’t really know how to say this, so I’ll just come out with it:  We’re moving!

In case you want the gory details so you can stop reading, we are leaving Colorado sometime towards the end of February for Lodi, California.  In case you are too lazy to google Lodi, it’s just outside of Stockton and about 45 minutes south of Sacramento.

We are going for a super amazing job opportunity for Greg.  It’s one of those “comes along only a few times in a career” opportunities.  Even though we love Colorado, there was no good reason to say “no” to this new job.  More on that in a later post.

Let me answer a few questions that I can already feel burning through the computer screen.

Yes, I know that leaving beautiful Colorado will be tough.

Yes, I know that Sacramento isn’t as pretty as Colorado.

Yes, I know that California is way crazy/cool/nuts/amazing.

Yes, we did live in California, but we aren’t going back to California because we love it so much there.  We aren’t even going to be living in the same part of California.

Yes, lots and lots and lots of our family and friends live close to where we are going, but that isn’t the main reason we are going.

No, I’d never heard of Lodi, either.

Yes, I do know that there are lots of pot-smokers in California.  Oh, hey.  We have that here, too.

No, I won’t be learning to surf.  First of all, Lodi isn’t near the ocean and second, I tried surfing once and I was about as graceful at it as an elephant would be, so no.

No, I won’t be getting a tan.  Probably a few sunburns, though.

Yes, I will be happy for warm weather.  The winters here have almost done me in and the missing part of our genealogy that apparently involved a tropical island girl has been full-blown in me.  I start to quiver when the weather dips below 40.

Since we haven’t actually told very many people yet, nobody has been asking questions, so I don’t have a wealth of other things to pre-answer for you.  However, there are other things I do want to tell you that may not be obvious to ask.

My health has been not great since we moved to Colorado.  I would probably be termed “delicate” if I lived 200 years ago.  I have a chronic pain condition brought on by such happy good times as cancer, chemotherapy, and body parts being cut off and/or moved around significantly.  I was doing okay with it in California, but as soon as I arrived in Colorado, the “doing okay” part of me went toes up and I have done quite a lot less okay with it for four years.  For some reason, living 6500 feet above sea level makes my body crabby.  I was one of those lucky few who took almost four months to adjust to living this high in the mountains.  I still get randomly out of breath from doing something as strenuous as reading a book and my headaches can be epic if I forget to drink about a gallon of water every day.  That isn’t an exaggeration, by the way.  The hope is, and I’ve learned to do without hope in the pain department, that my body will be able to take a deep breath and focus some of that surviving at high altitude energy on getting my chronic pain back to a livable level.  Without extensive medication.  That would be kind of awesome.

Finding community here has been difficult.  And by difficult, I mean about as easy as tattooing a cowboy who is competing in the bucking bronco division of a rodeo. That’s a thing, right?  We live in a military town, so about half our population turns over ever three to four years.  I’ve made a few good friends only to have them deployed within a few months of realizing that we were mutually awesome.  I have spent a lot of time being lonely (more on that later, too) and even though I’ve learned to be fairly happy on my own, there are times when we’ve really needed help and it just hasn’t been available.  Yes, we CAN have our child end up in the hospital for puking 24 hours straight with no washer and dryer only to have the washer overflow the basement when it was delivered causing us to spend several hours  mopping and a few hundred dollars to get the water damage fixed all by ourselves.  I’d really rather not have to, though.  I’m sure that is understandable.

A good thing is that we will be five hours from our dear friends who have become family in Pasadena, six hours from Greg’s family, and about nine from my family.  My grandmother and aunt live an hour from Lodi and my best friend lives in San Francisco.  I have cousins close by and there is hope of people who will want to be an active part of our lives.

I can’t say enough good things about the people Greg will be going to work with.  They care about him, respect him, encourage him, challenge him, and I anticipate a pretty tired but happy husband coming home every day.

So, there are the basics of our move.  I plan to be writing a whole lot more about this process.  There is a massive, gut-kicking back story to this move, which I’ve been writing about for my own benefit, but will start to release when the time is right.  Suffice it to say, it’s been another growing time for us!

Blog series coming soon:  Moving is…!

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6 Responses to The Smiths Go To California

  1. Joe Echevarria says:

    My Wife lived in that area (Actually Ione Ca… look it up) and in fact there is a lot of beautiful area up there, not to mention great wineries. You will find a lot of beauty in that area without having to go too far. Lodi I know nothing of, but I know it is close!

    We have occasion to go up that way too, so perhapd when we do, we can look you up!

    Blessings to you!

  2. Rachael says:

    It sounds like you are ready and excited. I wish you all the best in health and happiness. You have had to endure more than one can dream.

  3. mom says:

    So excited for your family’s new adventure – Congrats to Greg on the job opportunity!!!

  4. Uncle Dean says:

    Welcome back to California. Wine and Weed included and encouraged!

  5. Angie Portugal says:

    I was just thinking of you the other day and how I just haven’t seen you much (mostly because we haven’t been around due to holiday travels and sickness and such). I’m sad to hear you are moving as you are one of my favorite people to see and talk to at church, but happy for the direction God is taking you and your family! It sounds like it’ll be better for Greg and his employment and you and your health. I’ll be praying all goes smoothly for you guys as you pack up and move and adjust to CA again. Love you guys!

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