Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Reasons We Left the Midwest
(the second time, 1998)

10. we'd been to San Diego

9. freezing winters

8. humid summers

7. fresh food and wine

6. progressive thinking

5. outdoor recreational options year round

4. some job opportunities are just too good to refuse

3. happy, employed husbands make for happy, stay at home moms

2. mittens, hats, and snowpants present major sensory issues

1. no surf

I love Facebook! It thrills me to reconnect with high school friends and college sorority sisters and rekindle memories at odd times of day. This one's for you Laura Battles!

For those who don't know, Jim and I both grew up in the snow belt of the Midwest, Ohio; the beautiful, more-New England-than-New England, culturally sophisticated, East Coast suburbs of Cleveland, to be specific. I'm totally serious. If you've been to Chagrin Falls, you know what I mean. If you haven't, then you have no room to talk. You must see it yourself, preferably in fall foliage.

In any case, having been there done that, we decided over a champagne toast to move to New York City right after our honeymoon. It was grand. The primary motivation for that first departure from the heartland was adventure.

A couple rungs farther up the corporate ladder, we found ourselves driving cross country to wild and crazy California. I held a stereotypical expectation that was fuzzy and not altogether flattering. Nonetheless, what's not to like?

Fast Forward 7 years. With 2 year old twins, Jim said "yes" to another offer that was too-good-to-be-true. I was crooning, "Chicago, Chicago...it's my kinda town" for weeks anticipating the joy of bringing up our children with the same Midwestern values and four seasons that we'd known. We had an idyllic house with a wrap around porch, the best climbing tree on the block, exceptional neighbors and no fences! It was grand, in a totally different way.

But, corporate America is corporate America, and relocation packages were being handed out liberally. One frostbitten January night I was sewing curtains in the midnight oil. Jim came in the door and said as tenderly as ever, "You might not want to buy any more fabric." That October, a year to the day, we left the Midwest again for Silicon Valley.

This list reflects what we've come to love about California. It is an abridged version compared to what the Travel and Tourism Commission recently garnered from Jim.

Come visit. There is always room at our inn.


  1. I lived near and worked in Silicon Valley for years. I really miss the food, the weather and the attitude. Now we're stuck with beautiful mountain scenery, but lots and lots of snow.

  2. when i met you i thought 'you guys are so california... so beach.' =)

  3. hope you don't detect the bitterness. it's 20 degrees outside and i'm sitting at the computer with my jacket on and an electric heater going and my hands are blocks of ice...