When my one and only bought that house in Los Osos/Baywood Park, she did not ask me if I wanted to leave the Bay area. I might have reminded her that in less than a year we have moved twice: once from our condo in San Francisco and again after our big move to Oakland. We stayed a mere few months in Senior Independent Living, across the street from Lake Merritt, and then we came to this tall building a block from the lake but closer to BART, which, by the way, I have never ridden. And probably won’t before we pack up and head to our next location, which is south of here near Morro Bay. We will be living less than a mile from my one and only’s son, her eight-year-old granddaughter, and their dog.
My one and only says from our new house we can go right out the door and down the street to the Elfin Forest. There we will find not just 200 species of plants, but 110 kinds of birds, 22 species of mammals and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians. If coyotes roam the Elfin Forest and they look like dogs, I will probably want to attack them. My one and only says they will want to attack me too. Okay, bring them on.
Or not. Maybe I will change when we’re out of the city. I already peacefully mix with birds at Lake Merritt and mingle when we visit the estuary in Baywood Park near where we will be living. My one and only says we are not next to the water, so we will be walking on a marked trail to the estuary and the two blocks that are downtown Baywood Park. There’s a grocery store, two restaurants, two inns and a coffee shop where you can only sit outside. On Monday afternoon there’s an outdoor market. Should we crave bustle, San Luis Obispo is 12 miles east of us.
My one and only also mapped our early morning outings to the nearest Los Osos Starbucks, saying it could take us 27 minutes if we walk at full speed and don’t stop. Doesn’t sound like a plan to me: I don’t want to walk in the dark or in the rain; I will resist and insist that we drive. In turn, she will insist I use the yard and we will both hope I figure things out for myself. So, two big changes pending: no elevators and less leash time.
As for what she’ll do with me each month when she goes north to meet her Bay area commitments and her friends. She could put me in a kennel or hire a house sitter/dog walker. Maybe she’ll take me with her and I can stay with Cooper, Greg, and Victor who live where we did in San Francisco. I am always happy to stay with them, seeing as I am still familiar with the streets we used to walk when we lived there. This could be a good urban corrective for the rural life I will soon be required to live.