Yeah. So. We moved to California. It still doesn’t read quite right as I type it. As if out of a myth. But, 3 months in and we’re finally starting to settle in.

We only have a couple boxes left to unload.

Why did we move to California?

It started at a coffee house. Katie was home visiting her mother up in the north Chicago suburbs during an early February weekend. She ran into one of her good high school friends. Chit lead to chat, and he said he was working at a cloud-based / marketing automation company in California. They were on the international stage, in growth and acquisition mode and were looking for folks to jump in.

He sent in her info on Sunday night. They got her resume off her website and emailed her for an interview on Monday. She had her first interview on Tuesday, the second on Friday.

After the second interview, they offered her a job.

But there was a catch.

The catch was that the job would be in San Francisco. No telecommuting available for a good long while. No relocation any time soon, if ever. Especially not as the team was being developed.

The upside of moving to California.

The job:

Corporate marketing. Product marketing. Katie would get to be on the other side of the fence. She would be given structured, targeted responsibilities where she gets to grow, a defined chain of command, regimented goals and a developed outline of the playing field.

It’s on the verge of becoming a profile position

And she gets to grow her company’s product.

More tools. Less mops and buckets.

The weather.

It was about 3 degrees along the lakeshore when she was on her last Google Hangout interview. It was 60 degrees at the corporate office in California, where the meeting took place.

The family migration.

Her mother was on the verge of heading back to the Oregon coast once the ink dried on the divorce papers.

My aunts live on the west coast. One would be four hours away in Bakersfield, CA; the other would be 12 hours away in Seattle. And there’s an airport 20 miles away if we tired of checking out the incredibly diverse California terrain.

My sister’s best friend is up in Portland, OR. Once she finishes rehab, if she decides not to come back to San Fran, she’ll probably end up in Portland with her

My mother only has a couple years left before she can retire with full benefits and with the unheard of pension.

My childhood best friends were leaving the area: one moved away last year, albeit to the other coast. ‘Carolina. The other is looking to move this way, down in San Diego.

Silicon Valley.

You can’t pop a top off a bottle of wine out here with out a tech guy hearing it. With the area comes amenities:

  • They take their parks seriously out here
  • There’s an amazing number of places where top musical talent can play
  • Great weather all-year round
  • There’s a vineyard over here, a vineyard over there
  • Count to ten. By the time you get to 4, another area tech meetup will be announced

The downside of moving to California.

Being a fourth (or fifth) generation VHS grad comes with benefits.

I’m pretty tied into back home. We were running meetups and helping grow a tech community back home

Client base.

Despite the pinched nerve in the neck, twin ear infections, and the flu that put us in a helluva bind to start the year, the home base was, well, at home.

The potential.

We were testing out Project 03. Almost too much because we weren’t getting enough work on it.But we always had meetings, and the tech accelerator was becoming a reality.

The OldOld Man.

He’s the second in our four generations of VHS grads. His parents were the first, in 1916. Grandma is buried in Graceland Cemetery on the south side of town. As are his parents, sibling, cousins…

”When I go, bury my bones in Valparaiso.” – OldOld Man

He ain’t goin’ nowhere’.

Probably. His neighborhood best friends, The Edwards, have been by his side since 1967. They sold their homes and moved into the retirement community a week apart back in August of 2012 (side note: OldOld Man moved to the community the day Katie moved to town). Mrs. Edwards died two weeks before Katie got the California job offer. The Edwards are more ingrained in the town than we are anymore. But with the tragic loss, it leaves those two old men to go out as Secondhand Lions.

Unless we can make him a deal, ‘promise him that we’ll take him back when his time has come if he comes out with his family for the end.

That’ll be like flipping a mountain on its hind ends.

”I don’t want to go.”

I stole David Tennant’s line. Bite me.

It was the worst winter since I’ve been alive and, still, it was home. The littlest bits of roots were beginning to grow.

I know all the roads. And the back roads. I know every nook and cranny to my hometown. I know how to get to Chicago without using an interstate. I know the best bars in Wrigleyville. I was friends with all the owners of all my favorite restaurants.

I’ve never lived full-time more than 50 miles away from Chicago. It’s a security blanket.

The price.

San Francisco area is comparable to Chicago in most all prices but housing. Good Gawd. Bay Area housing prices are 400% more expensive than in Chicago. It’s frightening.

It will take some serious time to get a down payment and get something that has a yard and a view. Serious time.

The decision was a no-brainer.

We had to go. Not only that, but the move gave me enough isolation to catch up from the winter flu and get back to mapping Project 03 and getting it ready.

So, away we went.

sundown at Emerald Glen Park, Dublin, CA
The view of sundown at Emerald Glen park in Dublin, CA – before they put that water park monstrosity in its scenic way.

Since then, more family has migrated.

Her mother has moved to the Oregon Coast. Tillamook.

Her sister just got accepted into the University of Oregon.

My sister is leaning heavy towards moving to Portland, OR.

My San Diego-bound childhood best friend is still looking westward.

More on the movie, Katie’s job, Project 03 updates and the pain in the neck that’s hindered my life.

And pics. Of course more pics.

Shoutout to Chris Bake for helping fix the image upload.

I finally feel like I can write, again.

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