Moving to rural inland SoCal in our mid twenties for T's first teaching job took some adjusting. Farther from the beach, from stores and from our friends, it was now a 37 mile drive to college, where I was finishing my degree and teaching credential. but getting to Orange County was a smooth 30 minutes on a good day, not that big a deal. We liked living in our little yellow house on the hill, looking out over the citrus groves, red tailed hawks circling overhead, the manic sounds of coyotes howling and yipping into the evening darkness. We were spoiled for country living.
By the time we were ready to retire, our country life had been spoiled. Horsethief Canyon Ranch and Sycamore Creek housing developments moved in where citrus groves had been. I missed the scent of orange and lemon blossoms on my drive to work, and my 12 minute drive to work became 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, until finally I planned for an hour just in case the freeway had a problem. It took forever just to go grocery shopping, fighting the traffic, finding a parking space, waiting in long lines. Errands took hours. Cars clogged the roads. We were living in the fastest growing area in the country. Where it had always been hot in inland SoCal, now it was also humid since the new homes had grassy lawns with automatic sprinklers watering nonstop. And I don't do hot and humid very well.
Our new 'hood is census designated as "frontier, " which means we're far from hospitals, food sources and jobs, with around three persons per square mile.
This is the first of three posts introducing our frontier and how we adjusted to a different culture, found new people and became much more self reliant.