Well, I certainly have had a lot of time to think about things, now that Ryan is getting over the surgery and I am getting over the stress of it all! Seal Beach is a very cool area. Still laid back, lots of older houses that haven't been torn down and replaced with MacMansions! The house is just two blocks to the beach and I have been walking along the sidewalk or along the beach at least once a day. The negative ions are doing me the world of good. It's definitely a location worth looking at as a home base. Just about everything is within walking distance - grocery stores, banks, library, post office and Main Street has an eclectic collection of sidewalk cafes, stores, bars and full restaurants. It's not the glitz of Newport Beach, still has the old beach town flavor which suits me fine.
When I spent the time with Cody and Mel in Apple Valley, I considered moving there, even went so far as to look at Spring Valley Lake, a nice area quite close to them. But the more I think about that, the more I know it wouldn't fit me and what I want my life to look like. I just don't think I am a suburban grandma!
For most of my life, I have done what other people wanted me to do - except my initial running away from South Africa when I was 18. But that was because I didn't know how to handle the situation I was in, as I pretty much had no role models to learn from. That role model deficit followed me for a long time! So I have either run from situations or done what I thought was the right thing to do, which was pretty much always what other people thought I should be doing and not what my heart, intuition, gut was telling me.
But now it's time to do what I know is right for me, regardless of what I am hearing from other sources about what I "should" do.
I love being close to the family here. That's why Seal Beach is good - almost equidistant from the boys. One-two hours to get to either of them, or them to me. Close but not in their pockets! Whether I can afford to find a place here is another matter, but I have simplified my life so much that all I need is a small place. I do know I won't go into an apartment in a complex. Here in SB, as in many other small beach areas, there are one-bedroom apartments over garages behind the main house. This would suit me fine. Or, if Betsy does decide to stick around and wants to share a place, I can do that.
Of course, for years I've talked about living somewhere other than the U.S., but my short stay in South Africa brought home the fact that moving to a foreign country as a single person is not an easy feat. Add the fact I am a woman and "mature!" makes it more difficult. It is a dream I have not given up on and who knows what the future holds for me. I just know that at this point in my life, I need to be here.
Of course, all this hinges on ecology coming through and I am ever-hopeful.
It also means I will not go back to South Africa to stay. The main reason being the boys and their proximity.
But a huge factor in my decsion is the fact that I can't do the traveling I want to do there, due to the lack of safety in the country. I am too independent to live there and it is not a place for a single woman, regardless of age. If there was a companion or partner in the picture who was willing to travel and explore, I would think harder about being there. But I have to face the fact that on my own, those options are non-existent.
I will miss seeing that side of the family and my friends there. And I know how important friends, especially girl friends are! And most of mine are in Washington, where I know I will never live again! If I am based in SB, I can visit there fairly inexpensively and the girls can visit me - which I know wouldn't happen in South Africa.
So whether ecology comes through or not, somehow I will find the ways and means to stay here. On 23rd, two days before Betsy returns, I head up to Port Townsend where Susan has a place for me, as does Mardelle. Teresa has a small truck I can use for transportation so hopefully the weather will cooperate while I am there! But it's Washington so....
And I will see my kitties!
Today, Ryan and I are going to have a BBQ with Cody and family for Mothers' Day and am really looking forward to that. Such a blessing to be this close.