Original post made by Simply Sterling on Nov 1, 2012
For a dozen years my hubby and I lived in Danville and owned our own business. Then we retired and moved to the Sierras but after a year and a half, I found myself longing for the benefits that the Bay area offered: like grandchildren nearby, old friends to socialize with, and activities that I liked. Despite a totally renovated house in a beautiful gated community called Lake of the Pines, I was not happy with our lifestyle.
I tried to fit in but I was not a golfer and preferred to watch the deer meander over the course than to chase a white ball with a cart. There were tennis courts available but my back said absolutely no way. I went to Garden Club a few times but I was a misfit with a black thumb to prove it. The deer had me pegged as a novice and ate everything I planted.The one couple activity we could do in our development was duplicate bridge and it conflicted with Scrabble, my favorite pastime.
I looked outside my community and tried Toastmasters, a great organization but with some rules I could not abide by. I volunteered at an animal rescue organization. After a brief orientation I was left alone in charge of two dozen cats. I wanted human companionship along with my feline friends.
And I invited family and friends to come up and spend the weekend. Some did but not often enough though the drive was only two hours and an easy one at that. My extra bedrooms were going to waste!
It became painfully clear that retiring to the Sierras was not the right thing for us. From a financial standpoint it looked so appealing. We owned a house more than twice the size of our Danville property for the same cost and lived in a country club setting. Lake of the Pines was a gated community with a huge lake, six beaches, a gorgeous pool, two clubhouses, a golf course, several tennis courts, and more than 200 deer roaming freely.
With Craigslist as my ally I began selling much of our furniture. We needed to downsize to return to the Bay area. When we couldn't sell our Lake of the Pines house, we advertised on Craigslist and found a tenant from Hawaii who rented it sight unseen. And it was on Craigslist that we found our Bay area rental, a real challenge since three bedroom rentals were in high demand. With perseverance and some luck, we landed in San Ramon.
So I'm much happier now that I am going to grandchildren's football and soccer games, family parties, community events, teaching Scrabble to seniors and best of all, I am once again writing.
on Nov 5, 2012 at 10:31 am
Thank you so much for writing this article. My husband and I are nearing retirement age and wondering if it might be a great idea to move towards the Sierras where we can buy more for the money and have more peace and quiet instead of hearing the lawn mowers and blowers every day in some part of our nearby houses and loud inconsiderate neighbors too often. But we did invest a lot of extras into our home to make it nice for retirement living but still I wondered if we should move after living here since 1990. I think I too would miss the convenience and variety of stores and resturants around Danville. Thank you again for sharing your experience and welcome back!