Jul 27Liked by Hugo Schwyzer

Lovely, Hugo.

Yes! I too need to see hills.

Easy access to an ocean or a massive park is nonnegotiable because long walks with my bouncy, large, and goofy dog contributes to my own happiness.

A peek-a-boo view of a bridge or city skyline is preferred, particularly those areas where one can be mesmerized by a thick blanket of fog.

I feel fortunate and deeply grateful that we managed to purchase a little home perched on a steep hill overlooking the bay in SF 22 years ago.

However, my husband has grown tired and impatient, preferring a world of isolation away from traffic noise, viscous drivers, and unfriendly neighbors.

So, he bought acreages of land accessible through winding roads three hours north of SF, hidden between rolling hills shaped like Hershey's kisses.

At times, he persuades me to travel and join him, hoping I would learn to appreciate peace in "the country" and

acquaint myself to right-wing neighbors who entertain me with intriguing stories and teach me the do's and don'ts of country life.

And though our political views are in opposition, we manage to respect and embrace each other's company.

Yes, It's all over the news with flash warnings about a massive exit out of California to places with flat lands, sweltering desserts, McMansions, and "too good to be true" type of property taxes in places such as, Texas, Florida, Idaho, and Arizona. And yet with such a deal, I agree with your poignant entry.

To me, living here in California is still at a "low cost" and as I age, I am finding it priceless.

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Well put. I was seriously considering moving to Austin (I'm now in San Jose near Cupertino). Just to be sure, I went there for almost a week. After a few days, I thought, "What in God's name was I thinking? Why would I want to live here?"

As you said, the weather is a big, big deal. Going there made me appreciate here. I can walk the dog or run almost every day of the year.

As for friendly neighbors: I have lots of them. Walking a cute, friendly dog has led me to meet many of them, and the dog remembers what house they live in (even after the house has changed ownership, unfortunately).

Even the financial "rent" is higher there, meaning the property taxes (thanks, Prop 13).

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Kinda surprised we've known each other for a decade and this is the first I remember hearing we almost shared the same hometown. :)

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