California

I am sitting here in the neighborhood I always wanted. Remember the Edward Scissorhands neighborhood? wide road with sidewalks on each side, sans the pastels.

When I drove up Mountain Orchard in CT for the first time with the real estate agent, I thought, how romantic, a wintry, private, winding road leading up a rocky hill. Our house there was private, wooded, cozy.

But with the woods not only come lots and lots of leaves to rake but moths and bugs and ticks. The romantic winding road became a one lane, dead end, death trap with our house positioned in the middle of two blind curves. The major connecting road was too narrow and winding to feel safe walking, with or without the stroller.

Perhaps if I stay in any one place long enough, I'll eventually see some drawback. But here in Pleasanton, we are within walking distance of a nice little park for the kiddies, an aquatic center where the little ones can take swimming lessons, Safeway, Starbucks, Hollywood Video, a post office, and an elementary school, if we can snatch an opening. The video store is the nicest luxury to me. There's really something pampering about blowing off your responsibilities and browsing for a movie to spend a couple more hours watching later.

We have nice neighbors. One of the elders at the congregation here invited us to Thanksgiving with his family. Savannah has been invited to a birthday party at Chuckie Cheese's. She saw a commercial for CC's in CT and has wanted to go ever since. It's a real excitment for her to go.

After a couple of trips to IKEA we have settled in. The house is still a wreck, and it's driving me crazy. But I'm having a blast with popcorn and a movie almost every night.