manifest destiny’s child, aka westward hos

Clear cold water crashes against the craggy coast and sprays barking seals lazing on white beaches. Dramatic cliffs drop to sea level, giving way to farmland filled with avocados, strawberries and artichokes. Mystical fog rolls in, and when it rolls back out everything twinkles. Echoes of Beats and Deadheads ring through a city that is literary and illiterate, confident and self-conscious, satisfied and starving. Giant and ancient redwoods reach for the sun and create a quiet twilight below. Patchwork vineyards unfurl over gentle hills that rise and fall like breathing.

We dream of the California coast.

And we’re going to California again, only this time it’s different. This time we’re taking the dogs, our cars and our whittled down belongings with us.

Perhaps it’s the middle-age crazies, or maybe it’s the freedom cry of two people unencumbered by a mortgage or children. Whatever it is, we’re moving to Monterey. Home of the Jazz Festival, California’s first theatre, public library and newspaper, monarch butterflies, migrating whales and blue water as far as the eye can see. It’s a small town a couple hours south of San Francisco and a quick, scenic trip up the Pacific Coast Highway from Big Sur.

It was inevitable, really.

We leave in March.

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19 thoughts on “manifest destiny’s child, aka westward hos

  1. Middle-aged crazies can be productive or destructive. You guys have wisely chosen productive. I live the double whammy of a mortgage and kids (My Choices!!) but that does not stop brief visits of middle-aged crazies!!!
    Anyway, this is falling into place for my crazy plan of riding my bike down the left coast someday when that retirement thing happens. I’ll expect a small place to pitch my tent and the fun of meeting you face to face and sharing many adult beverages!!
    Good for you to keep active searching the perfect life!
    Jim

  2. so funny – when I started following your posts I was like wow maybe Texas isn’t so bad after all; you reminded me so much of my literary acquaintances in SF. I’m back on the east coast (hate it) until my folks are gone (which sounds colder than the feeling really is), but when I move back I’ll have to look you up, there are some super-fun, funky places in Watsonville & Salinas, you’d be surprised.

    • Texas is great or not, depending on where you live. There’s a lot to love about Houston, and I fully expect to miss this town and many of the people in it (but not the brutal summers–they can go fuck themselves).

      This big move is about a number of things, including: a) we’ve both lived in Texas our entire lives and need a change of scene/scenery and b) I need distance from the motherland in order to gain some writerly perspective on my life. Plus, as you must know having lived out there, the central/northern California coast is breathtakingly beautiful. Houston has a lot going for it, but beauty isn’t one of those things.

      I’d love some tips on places to check out in the area. We haven’t made it up to Salinas yet, but I expect it will be a regular stop.

  3. I don’t know what to say. I just watched the Life of Pi and got this news in the same day. And the sangria is on sale at the Winn Dixie. (The good stuff, not the supermarket brand.) The room is spinning. The Sun and the Moon and the Stars are freaking out. Echoes of dog farts reverberate across the sky. This may be the End. Short declarative sentences have seized my keyboard and conjunctions confound my fingers.

    One of my favorite lines from pop-lit is when the induction Sargent asks Danny “And what can you do?”

    Danny replies: “Me? I can do anything.”

    That’s Monterey, baby.

    tj

    • I wondered when the other coast would chime in. Glad you stopped by.

      Crazy news, right? If you think this is something, you should see what’s going on in my brain right now. Mayhem, dog farts, puckered assholes and bounding joy mix with copious amounts of wine and coffee (depending on whether I’m going up or down).

      Lucky for me, there’s so much planning that goes into moving your shit from point Texas to point California, I’m barely noticing the farts anymore.

  4. Congratulations! This is awesome news, and of course an excuse for a farewell adult beverage… been making too many excuses not to. The lovely Nancy and I will also want to visit when we make our regular Napa trips… maybe an afternoon in SF?

    I will surely miss not seeing you around town, and wish we had the intestinal fortitude to pack it in and go on an adventure.

    Hogs and quiches,

    Dr. Ned

    • “I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I’ll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.”

  5. One of my personal top ten movies. I am shocked to see that final scene is only 1:56 long. So much wisdom in so little screen time.

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