Thursday, May 28, 2009


This week we went to Oakland, California, which is a departure for us from the country. City life is certainly different than living in the country. It is hard not to compare and contrast the two. Unless I stay in a place longer than one night, I just don't sleep well. I am a creature of habit and need absolute darkness to sleep well and even though I pulled the shades and the curtains, the light from the street still seemed to seep through and land in my eyes. it normal for the garbage collectors to start their rounds at 4 AM? Here in the country they do not arrive until around 6 AM, which seems early to me, especially if I have forgotten to take the can down to the road the night before. If you snooze, you lose, so to speak.

On Tuesday we walked down to Jack London Square and saw the USS Potomac that is in the water there. I have included some photos of it and a small picture of Elvis Presley, who purchased the Potomac at one time. There was also a huge container ship being loaded by a crane operator. What skill it must take to operate that large crane and manipulate the containers (fully loaded and very heavy) on to the ship. They are all stacked up, one on top of the other until the ship is loaded to capacity.

Lots to see in the city, that's for sure. But, I came to realize during this visit that I really don't think that I am cut out to live in the city. I need at least a small plot of land to get my fingers in the dirt and plant living things. I think that I would tend to get bored, even if there were lots of things to see around me. I really don't understand it. There is not much to do here in the country. There are no amazing restaurants within walking distance, there are no art galleries filled to capacity with young, cutting-edge art, there are no stores within walking distance either. But, for some reason I feel comfortable here. I don't mind driving to go see all these things. I guess it makes my life in the country more exciting because I have a really fun destination and I get to return to the peace and quiet.

We have always talked about buying a small townhouse or loft in the city as an alternative place to live. But, I think that I have to be realistic about it: I love the country. I could feel the tension of driving on the freeways in the city dissipate as we got closer to trees, open fields, and watersheds devoid of houses. Who am I trying to kid? I don't think that I am ready to live in a city full of people, cars, and buildings. I need quiet in my life. I need the noise to stop occasionally and in the city, it NEVER stops. There is activity 24 hours a day.

I learned something about myself this week and it was good to finally figure out that the loft experience is just a dream AND that I can go visit that environment any time I feel the urge. That is what is called a vacation. I can VACATE my house for as long as I need to, fill myself up with stimuli, and then come back home and release all that stimuli. It's good to get away yet it's good to come back home.

Dorothy was right: there IS no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like....


  1. lol, teri, i smiled to read about you needing complete darkness to sleep and the garbage people coming at 4 a.m.... i also need complete darkness to sleep, and resort to all kinds of stuff like putting a rolled up towel at the bottom of the door to keep out the hall light. and somehow the curtains never seem to do their job! as for garbage pick-up at early hours, this always amazes me. when i get back home i revel in the dark and quiet. : )

  2. Lynne--My husband thinks I am crazy because he says that my eyes are shut and the light cannot get in. I am glad to know that there are other light-sensitive people out there who know what I am talking about. I love your journals, by-the-way. are those obsidian nodules?

  3. hi teri, sounds like we had similar country/city visits this week! i had a hard time sleeping while there as well. i'm having a much harder time dealing with being home in the country than you are, however!

  4. Hello Teri Mahl. I was just wandering around and decided to drop in a say "hello"! What have you been up to? I'm still quilting, but a painful finger on my right hand makes me think carefully before I do any hand sewing. Time to feed the dogs - a silver poodle called Pepe and a white Papillion called Marty - and think about what we can eat tonight that is quick to prepare. Bye for now. Dorothy. (


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