We’ve been living in the suburbs for about 2 weeks now. In many ways, it’s great to be out here in Livermore. It’s close to the church for me, the weather is warmer than some of the chilly mornings/days in Berkeley and Oakland, we have an actual house to live in with a backyard that Sadie loves…but, one thing is clear: we are living in the suburbs. Now, it doesn’t quite have the feel of other suburban areas around big cities. Livermore has a population of around 80,000 and there have been many times in the past two weeks that we’ve felt that we’re living in small-town America. Whether it was the Thursday Farmers Market in the park around City Hall with the kids playing and running around, or the old car show that covered blocks and blocks and blocks of downtown Livermore…or many other random moments, we’ve thought, “Ahhh, small town…..”
Our first dinner out was at the First Street Ale House in downtown Livermore. We were sitting at a larger table when a young family came in – and we offered them our table and took a smaller one. They bought our beer for us. The next day I went to Safeway and was [obviously] struggling to carry everything I was trying to get. An employee came up and asked, “Can I get you a cart sir…? Looks like you have a lot there.”
I’ll just say – that certainly never happened at our Safeway in Oakland/Emeryville. It’s like someone sent out a memo to Livermore that we were new and that they should treat us well.
But it hasn’t been all fun and games. We’re now home-renters – and we have things to take care of. Like ants – lots and lots of damn Argentine ants [photo here]. And raking leaves and all those things that many of you are just laughing about right now because … well, that’s just part of life. I know, I know…and apparently so is mowing the lawn. Something I’ve never actually had to do. I got out of it growing up because of my allergies, and I think that’s probably still a worthwhile excuse, but – somehow I don’t think that’s going to get me out of it now. And it’s funny – as much as we don’t want to fall into the whole “keeping up with the Joneses…” it’s easy to see how one can start to get a little self-conscious about the length of the grass on their lawn – seeing the neighbors’ lawn every day. The above photo show the Argentine ants view of our grass (a little overgrown and with some weeds…) and the neighbor’s grass beyond.
So – life in suburbia. It will take some getting used to – but we’re really enjoying ourselves. The people at the church have made us feel so welcome and provided us with some great free meals and free furniture for our finished garage (that can serve both as where we do our yoga and a place for youth to hang out). If you want to see some photos of our place as of last week, you can check them out here.
Oh. I forgot. Did I mention we have a sprinkler system…?