house-sitting,  I forgot to pick a category

Tastes like Mexico

feels like Mexico

I’ve been here a few days now and I’ve been having way too much fun. I’ve been meaning to take photos and put together a cohesive story outlining my thoughts about staying at the Actuallys’ but I guess I’ve been too busy to pick up the camera much. I’ll try to do that more in the future.


I did however, take a short photo-walk to the little downtown area during the lovely sunset light the first night I was here. I love it here. I want to move here. I can’t discuss the exact town they are in for privacy purposes but it has just the right amount of rural charm mixed in with urban sophistication that makes me feel like I’m home. I grew up on a dead-end country road with no sidewalks and I think part of me is always trying to recreate that. Someday I’ll find “my home.”

$2 books

There will always be a part of me that wants to run down the rocky asphalt road in my bare feet in the summer night air and sit on the warm brick steps of the porch of the house I grew up in. I can still see every detail in my mind. The way the crab grass grew over the driveway. The smell of orange blossoms and water being sprayed into the air from a nearby sprinkler. The sound of some crazy mockingbird echoing the way the sprinkler sprayed through it’s ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-tdrtdtdrtdt! cycle from left to right.

Toby talks more and more about us staying put in Southern California. Even though I’ve lived here most of my life, it just doesn’t feel right. Mostly because where I live is not the country. I love the weather where we live. I love the beach. I love it all. But it’s not where I thought I would live for the rest of my life. I thought it was just temporary. I never thought Bug would grow up and go to school here.

Who knows what the future holds. But the more I walk around the Actuallys’ town and the more I fall in love with how close Mexico is (the broken sidewalks, the sound of Mariachi music floating out into the night air, the dry dusty roads, the oleander bushes pushing their buds into the bright blue sky…) the more I think I could make a home here.


Now if I could just talk Toby into it.


  • Jennifer

    Trying to figure out where we’re going to end up living is practically an everyday conversation we have over here. Jeremy and I both know that we don’t want to stay in Southern California. We just can’t figure out where our home is. We have a list. Maybe we should throw a dart at it one day and commit.

    The Actually’s town sounds very nice. I’d love to hear mariachi music on a regular basis.

  • lynne

    This post resonates with my own current feelings what am I going to do with the rest of my life? Stay here or make another life somewhere else where hopefully I can breathe easier or plug on away at this career I’ve been carving for 12 years. But then what?

    I’m always trying to get back to being 10 years old running bare foot through corn feilds towards the blue twinkling sea. Crab fishing in the morning, swimming in the afternoon when the sea is out leaving deep pools. Running along the sunbanks imitating the million Dollar man as your legs sink deep into the sand. Den making in the woods. Blackberrying the list goes on.

    Last weekend I went to friends wedding in Romania. It was something else. A lot has happened to improve many people’s lives since the wall came down. In the rural village I visited there are still horses and carts often seen on the road and cows loitering in ditches not something you see in the UK anymore. I got to walk in cornfeilds, lie down in the earth and watch the cloulds glide past in the sky and breathe.

  • Gayle

    Brenda, I love your description of your childhood summer nights. I feel like I’m right there, too! I hope you find the perfect place to make your home.

  • Susan

    I love all the pictures. It looks like a lovely place to live. I think we are all looking for that perfect place to have a family and grow old. I wish we could find it sooner though.

  • Annika

    I always thought I’d raise my children in a city, but Los Angeles doesn’t seem to be that city. Rather than feeling the pull back to New York, though, I am feeling the pull of the desert.

  • Gramma

    Bloom where you are planted. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll pull up stakes and move on. When we began to see our children “go native” by communicating in “pidgin” under the house, we grabbed the opportunity to leave Hawaii (great place where six kids did not need to wear shoes). But, metropolitan DC with all its culture, progress and history was too fast-paced for mom and pop. German Shepherd, Princess rode in the front seat with me even when I ventured out to do marketing. Out of good ole USA into a foreign land sure walloped a shock, but I think we learned to appreciate what we had had and we experienced a new, delightful growth pattern. About schools…you are alreadiy “home schooling bug” with all those excursions and exposure to the world around her and her craft projects.

  • BeachMama

    As much as I love where I live, I often dream of living somewhere else. I have done it in the past and always ended up back here. Perhaps, I am only destined to visit these other wonderful places, so I can keep on dreaming.

  • OMSH

    I ended up in the place of my dreams – it may take a while to get there, but let me tell you, it is WORTH the wait. My daughter turned 8 years old the day we packed the last of our goods into the moving van to head home.


    Nothing like it.

  • Bethiclaus

    I grew up in Chula Vista, which while hardly the country, is a sweet suburb of San Diego right on the Mexican border. I’ve always kind of hoped we’d head back, and now we’re actually considering it. I sure hope we do!