I’ve become a free internet aficionado. I’ve had tea at several different places in town now. Need to handle finances? Go have tea to use free wi-fi. Need to email someone in NZ? More tea. I’ve had so much tea I may never enjoy it again, but I finally found a place on the couch at Scott’s former place of employment, with good wi-fi and no fluid intake requirements. My bladder is thankful.
Anyways, we’re wrapping things up in Chico today. A handful of errands, and we’ll be off. It’s a beautiful day in town today. There were crazy wind and rain storms all weekend. The creek flooded the parks and nearby neighborhoods, and there’s some trees down and some power out. But today seems to be the calm after the storm (or between?), because the sun is out and is mildly warm. There’s barely a breeze. The air is SO clear, it finally feels safe to breathe in (the local farmers burn crops during the fall in Chico, and although I enjoy their crops, they destroy our air quality for months). Even though it’s a nice day, it also feels like a nice day to say goodbye. Or at least, goodbye for now.
For those of you that don’t know, Chico is a pretty cool town. Theres a mid-sized state university, as well as a decent art scene, great food and wine, one of the nation’s largest city parks, and some of California’s friendliest people. I grew up in the bay area, and I didn’t know that people this nice existed (outside of Minnesota) until I moved here. They have the time to help you with directions, they smile and look you in the eye when they say “thank you”. It’s all in the little things, but after being here for nearly a decade, I notice these little things and try to incorporate them into who I am.
People in Chico bike to work. They go to farmer’s market, at least twice a week. They support small business, and there’s more Runs for This and Walks for That than anywhere I’ve ever seen. The sense of community here is huge, and I love it. Of course Chico has it’s downsides, like any town. It’s a college town, so there’s alcohol abuse and cool-old-mansion-turned-frathouse abuse. There’s crime and way too many transients (probably my biggest complaint). But it is beautiful, and it’s become home. And I truly feel that Chico has shaped who I have become. I suppose all I’m getting at, is that I’ll miss it.
|Bidwell Park (and creek, about 15 feet lower than currently…)|
Don’t get me wrong though. I am super excited. Everything feels surreal right now, and between my cushy vagabond princess life (living out of huge suitcases, still having 2 cars, having my own shower…) and the fact that I haven’t had the normalcy of going to work or making dinner, etc… I just feel like I haven’t actually gotten to soak in the reality of our move. But I have a feeling that over the next 8 days, that will become much more real.