With my husband, Jeff, and our two cats, Mojo and Tiki, I live in a bright blue 1956 house in the Westlake District, a mid-century development in Daly City, a suburb of San Francisco. Westlake, by the way, was immortalized as the inspiration for Malvina Reynolds’ 1962 song Little Boxes. 1962, coincidentally, also was the year I was born.
I grew up in the mountains of Alleghany County, Virginia. Much of the county is rural and even agricultural, with a multitude of hot springs and waterfalls, several national forests and a large, gorgeous lake. Covington, the county seat, though, is rather unfortunately marred aesthically — though almost solely supported — by the paper mill that dominates the city both visually and economically.
As for many people, while my hometown is a place I couldn’t wait to leave, I do appreciate it more and more as I get older. While I don’t think I could ever live there again permanently, in many ways it’s a more relaxing place than anywhere I’ve lived since. Best of all, you still can see glorious starry night skies there, with almost no urban light to interfere.
At 18, I went away to Harvard, living in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston for seven years. In 1987, I moved to Washington, DC and northern Virginia “for a year, two at most” but stayed for 19.
Jeff and I met in 2003. Originally from the Bay Area (in fact, we now live in the house in which he lived from birth through third grade), he wanted to return and I’d always wanted to move here, so in 2006 we put our cat, Alex, in the Prius and drove five days across country. California suits me.