Nearly a week ago, Sash and I had begun staying at her house in Menifee, CA, a bedroom community located in the Inland Empire, about an hour north of San Diego.
The family that had been renting the house from her moved out a week prior to us getting here. The house, which has five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, covering 3,000 square feet, is largely empty, aside from the patio furniture, futon, and television that we brought in from storage. It was good timing that her renters moved out just in time for our return to SoCal.
As Sash reported last May, she's returned from our road trip to take care of health issues that just can't wait any longer.
Since returning over the past week, we've hooked up with some old friends that we used to hang out with frequently. It's always good to see them again, but interestingly I no longer get this feeling of missing them. I think that something inside me says that I'll be back to see them again, even it takes another year or two or three.
I think part of it is knowing that we're all connected via social media, and that we can always get small snippets of each other's day to day lives over the Internet. Another part is knowing that in most cities across the country, we have other friends and family to help us feel welcomed and appreciated. But I think the other part is that I don't feel connected to a home anymore.
That is, San Diego, along with Southern California for that matter, no longer feels like a place where I'm "back at home". It's as if being on the road for two-and-a-half years, moving from city to city every week or two, has numbed my sense of grounding. Meanwhile, the friends we reconnected with recently all have jobs they go to Monday through Friday. They have to mow lawns, fix leaky faucets, and pay electricity bills. Whereas, I haven't touched a lawn mower since I moved out from my ex-wife over four years ago.
I found it liberating that over the past few months, I've been reading about the water shortage in California, and I don't feel concerned. Should the drought continue to devastate the Golden State's economy, I guess I'll just hang out somewhere else. There's something really freeing in knowing that when the going gets tough, the tough go riding.
But it's not like I just don't care. I feel as if I've paid my dues. I put in a lot of state and federal taxes as an employee, and having been a business owner for the past 14 years, I pay even more state and federal taxes. I've thrown so much money at Sacramento and Washington DC lately, I've earned the right stick my middle finger at Jerry Brown and Barack Obama.
A part of me has always wondered, however, what our clients think when they hire a marketing team that is constantly changing cities. I mean, I know that Sash and I have lost some opportunities due to clients preferring to hire contractors rooted in their geographic locale. But many of the clients who've hired us travel frequently themselves, and I think they "get" the concept of mobile living and working.
Sash, on the other hand, has been working on a list of her top 10 favorite cities. But I don't know if I really have any favorite cities. I do know that there are some places I just didn't like. Yet, I still enjoyed myself there. It's knowing that I can leave at any time without the hassel of selling a house or moving furnitture that makes me feel a lot better about visiting a shit hole.
This house in Menifee we're staying in has not been ideal for Sash. She bought it with her then-husband several years ago and actually used to live in it. Since returning here last week, it reminds of her of many bad times, and seeing it so empty now makes her sad. Part of the reason why we're staying here is so that we can clean it up and fix it up for sale. We have only a couple more weeks to stay here, and then Sash heads down to San Diego to housesit, while I take a short road trip.