All Good Things Must Come To An End

ozzimus prime, ozzy, australian shepherd, monterey, carmel by the sea, sunset, beach

And no, it’s not my marriage! That is still intact, thank you very much.

I just hit my one year anniversary of being in California. Man, I wish I was able to celebrate that. Moving here was such a major life change, and the adventures I had planned were endless. And most of them got cancelled thanks to over half of my time here sheltering in place. California has basically been closed since early March. Lucky me!

All of the east coast guests I was hoping to host, wine country weekends, hikes through redwood forests and family holiday celebrations, all canceled. Luckily I had a few visitors and I’m so grateful that they were able to come.

Even if Lisa was flat!

Needless to say, I was very unmotivated to even try to start a new design business. The whole thing has been quite depressing. E-Design just doesn’t provide the same level of happiness to my design soul.

After this long ass journey of my husband taking a job here THREE years ago, my staying behind in NJ so our youngest could graduate from the town she grew up in last year, to finally being able to join him and start something new for us, I was SO HAPPY to actually be here. I really love it here. I really don’t want to leave. I don’t think Ozzy does either.

But.

COVID-19 has shut down all of the big tech company offices like my husband’s (many until July of 2021), and the whole work from home order is permanent for other big ones. We are here in CA because of his proximity to headquarters, and now he doesn’t ever get to go there. For a really long time. 

And now the fires and smoke and heatwaves that are forcing us to remain inside with the windows closed to protect our lungs and the air conditioning off to conserve energy. Sheesh. 

But.

We are isolated from our kids, all of whom live in the NJ/NYC area. The other part of the country that was majorly impacted by the virus. That’s fun.

But.

We are really far away from our extended family, which normally would just be a flight away if we had to get there, but flying is just WAY too stressful these days. It used to be under 5 hours to drive from NJ to NH or ME, and it’s not really an option now.

But.

Have you heard the rumors about how freaking expensive it is to live in Silicon Valley? Paying the price might be worth it for proximity to work and to all of the places we love to go, like San Francisco, Monterey, Napa, Sausalito, Muir Woods, the Pacific Ocean and so on, but with most of that taken away right now, why spend the extra (EXTRA!!!) money to be here?

On the other hand…

He can work from home anywhere in the country now. I can work again. I am excited about the opportunities for my new business in the new location. Unlike here in CA, I have a LOT of east coast contacts, design friends and resources to tap into, as well as people I know who could benefit from hiring me.

And…

The Atlantic Ocean is also beautiful. The White Mountains have their own awe inspiring views. Boston is a great city and easy to get to. The best Lobster Rolls are a stone’s throw in any direction. We won’t be the outcast Pats/Sox/Celts/Bruins fans.

And…

We will be close to not only our families, but our life long friends. Even with a mask and social distancing, it will be nice to see them in real life and not in a FaceTime or WebEx chat (never Zoom, the evil competition). Our kids will be a short driving distance away, as well as my NJ friends!

So…

After twenty three years away, I’m sure a lot has changed, but a lot remains the same. New Hampshire is still “home”. I honestly never thought this would happen, at least not before retirement. I never imagined we would be going home at this point in my life.

And…

Funny though, as of three weeks ago, I don’t think we were ever considering actually buying a house! Yet, here we are. Something popped up on the market and we snagged it sight unseen, along with all of it’s imperfections and quirkiness. I am absolutely FILLED with anxiety about the fact we just spent the most money we have ever spent in our lives on something we didn’t even see in person. This is crazy! Talk about impulsive. We are due to close on it next month. 

And…

Now here we are. I’m anxious. I’m sad. I’m excited. I’m depressed. I’m happy. I’m stressed.

I didn’t expect to leave this rental house for a long time, and I basically unpacked EVERYTHING and was really trying to make it a home. Suddenly I am on very limited time to pack everything back up, remove my personal mark on this house (remember the One Room Challenge I did??) and get ready for the movers who arrive in 24 days. WHAT??

Of course I want to try to squeeze in as much of California as I can, if the smoke from the lightning fires wasn’t so bad. I’m running out of time!

As great as California has been, and as much as I love it here, the fleeting affair is over. At least for the next year or so. 

Yeah, who knows?

We could be back in CA next year. Or Europe. Hahaha. I’m kidding, but am I really? 2020 has thrown us all for a loop. Who knows what 2021 will bring. We know nothing is forever, so we are just going to make the most of it all and enjoy the adventures. Maybe you’ll follow along. Might be fun.

Except the packing.

Packing SUCKS. 3 whole house pack ups in 2 years. I’m kinda over it. I spent several months getting rid of packing materials and boxes in the weekly recycling, because there is no room for stuff like that in this small space. And now I curse daily (you’re not surprised, I know) about actually spending money on packing materials and boxes. It’s SO ANNOYING.

And yes…

I plan to drive from CA to NH with Ozzy, my plants, and the booze. Basically the only valuables I own.

Ozzy’s not thrilled by all of this.

40 Responses

  1. Jeez you are a strong woman! I pray for you a safe trip back to the East coast. Hoping Ozzy will give us a tour of all your stops again. And, since you bought this house, will we get to see how you would design the spaces? All the best to you!

  2. Whoop, whoop! When one door closes, another will open. It’s going to be amazing having you back in NH!! Good luck with the move and we will schedule dinner when it’s safe at our house to welcome you home. No judging our interior finishes.

  3. WOW!!!! Incredible!! I can imagine you are worn down from all this,but I also see you blossoming in your new home and back east again. I know it will be challenging, but if theres one thing ive learned about you, you can handle EVERYTHING!!

    Sounds like the right decision!! So happy for you AND relieved it was NOT your marriage. Shows what I get taking the month of August unplugged and missing my friend’s life transitions. Cheers and have a safe trip. Wintertime in New England will be SO cozy and the ONLY fire will be in the chimney, if you have a fireplace. ❤

  4. Just reading all these comments, Chris, lets me know you will have lots of friends waiting to greet you with open arms when you get back to NH. I completely understand every reason for moving back East right now, but I know it’s hard to pack up – again! I wish you all the best with that, and wonder if Ozzie will start barking as he gets nearer again to smells he recognizes.

    Have a safe trip back to your new home!

  5. Everybody has said it above but I’ll just add to the commentary – sorry you couldn’t play more in Cali- there is so much to enjoy and you took advantage of it – as best you could! Following along and seeing your discoveries through Ozzie’s eyes was a blast!
    I hope the packing goes as painlessly and quick as possible and that you are back on the east coast soon enjoying your family, friends and *home.*

  6. Sounds like a hard but good decision. I am sure Ozzy will be happy to be with you wherever you are! Best of luck with the move. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new home.

  7. Loooove this story!! What a crazy ride you’ve had! I saw your post on FB with the “guess where,” and I was secretly hoping you would be back to NJ… but NH is good too. I wish you guys (and Ozzy) all the best for a wicked easy move back to the Northeast. I can’t wait to follow your new house project!

  8. I am so excited for you, even if it all feels a bit crazy and out of control! ❤️ I am forever an East coast girl (even if it’s the Southeast) and I hope this means I’ll get to see you more often!

  9. Omg I am so psyched for you!! And me bc I just realized I can maybe hire you (?) to help with our renovation at the lake!!! Woohoooo!!
    ❤️❤️wish you the best as your 2020 adventure continues!!

  10. How could you be in my state and never be able to make it to Pasadena to visit your Design friends here.
    2020 has been a year of Surprises. Toki P and I will continue to follow Ozzies adventures from afar.

  11. Oh my! Life just never fails to surprise us! I’m just sad you didn’t get to spend more time enjoying that beautiful state, but that’s how it goes! Wishing you the best success and a smooth sailing trip back home.

  12. Sounds like the right decision to me. Guess I wasn’t wrong about the importance of pronouncing the name of a certain bridge properly although my final guess was wrong. From these few comments I can see friends are happy, your NH families are happy, and your girls must be thrilled. No doubt there will be many more comments of happiness and support going forward. I’m looking forward to hearing what Ozzy has to say on his next cross country journey! No need to plan your route East, you’ve done it before so just pull out those notes.

  13. Oh Christine. While I’m sad for you leaving California, it sounds like you’re going to truly love being ‘home’. I’ll miss the great beach shots and flower with Ozzy, but I also know your photogenic dog will fit right in wherever you are.

    Your new house is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Wishing you all the luck packing up once again!

  14. We will miss you here in California. We just had our three year anniversary here in Glendale just north of LA. We love it here. I get it that it is so expensive to live here; however, I am thankful for the people i met here including the LA interior design community. I wish you the best happiness and success. Take care and safe trip back home.

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