It's official. Well, about 80% official -- I'm moving back to Fresno. Buying a house, too, a big'un so there's space for an office and whatever else I need. We were offered the house we're in by the owner at a price that was easy to refuse. It's far too much, though normal for the market here, on an iffy corner with tons of traffic and lots of noise at all hours -- you don't know noise until the local motorcycle gang decides to cruise through town and use your corner to rev their engines before hauling off at break neck speeds. Twenty or 30 bikes later and the windows are threatening to shake out of the frames, and the dog is hiding under the bed. Plus there's the 5AM diesel truck run that runs five days a week, and the elementary school across the street. It's just a loud corner, and it rattles my nerves something fierce! We considered buying this house because even though it's expensive (in our eyes) we qualified for it, but I just can't handle the noise. I'm ready for a peaceful house in the middle of a block or on an acre or just not on this corner! The Van Ness house in Fresno was scary to live in because of the neighborhood -- it was situated a block from a methadone clinic and was host to the city's many homeless. I can't tell you how hard it was to sleep alone in that house when any little sound would wake me, however harmless, because more than once a stray person wandered into the backyard and attempted to open the back door. Or how often I was panhandled walking out my front door by someone walking up the walkway to my front door, or how many times I discovered a drunk person passed out on my lawn, or people having sex -- yes, having sex! -- in between my house and the house next door, right under my bedroom window! And then to come here to this slow pokey little town with almost zero crime and zero craziness but with this crazy noisy corner that even now is driving me nuts!
I went through the list of pros and cons of staying or moving back to Fresno, and found that there were more pros to moving back, which kind of bothered me. I love it here! The people are great, the weather (and I've said this a million times) is awesome, the ocean is 20 minutes away. But there is work in Fresno for me, classes and workshops and growing crops and helping a friend run a sweet little store in the country. And there are my babies in Fresno. And the mountains! I've so missed the mountains. There are many more opportunities for distillation in Fresno than here because I know folks with plants that can be distilled. With my own home, I can finally put things in the dirt to grow for distillation as well. Fresno is still a poop hole; there's still rampant crime and homelessness and drug addiction and insane traffic -- it's the wild west over there! -- but at the same time, it's my hometown. I know the streets like the back of my hand, I know the landmarks and the little gems and the hideaways. I will miss Atascadero dearly. I have adored the isolation it has afforded me.
I will begin packing tomorrow. Those things that aren't essential to the day-to-day living situation are going into boxes or being sold off. There may be a few perfume/incense/soap related items in the 'sold off' section as well, but not much. I've culled my collection a few times in the past few years and I'm not willing to let go of anything significant anymore. Oh, and I guess we have to maintain some kind of homey look to the place in the midst of packing because the realtor will be bringing prospective buyers into the house as early as this week. The thought of people wandering around my house gives me anxiety. I'm a very private person and knowing that a stranger is giving my life the once over disturbs me.
I really have my work cut out for me. I'm exhausted by the idea already!