We spent October 2020 in Eureka, CA, and moved on to Monterey after that. What brought us back now is our impending grandchild and her parents. That, and Jonathan and I can’t seem to find a way to live together comfortably in hot weather.
Eureka, in far northern California, has very little snow in the winter (annual average snowfall, 1″), quite a bit of rain (annual average rainfall, 46″), and cool summer weather when temperatures rarely top 75o F. How did the two of us who have been chasing summer for seven years, traveling from one warm region to another, always choosing the desert over the garden, end up in a cool place?
I loved all the hot places: the coast of Colombia, Aruba, northern Peru, Darwin Australia, but each of these houses were on the beach or had a swimming pool. In principle, though, I don’t want to own a pool and handle the upkeep. In the US, where air conditioning is widely available, we don’t have to tolerate blistering temperatures, and theoretically we could live anywhere. That’s how we ended up in Charleston, SC in September 2019. We met some lovely people there, and enjoyed our walks, beachcombing, and bird watching, but the heat and humidity created a problem. For Jonathan to keep from dripping sweat on the furniture, the temperature had to be kept at a level that required me to wear a sweater and fingerless gloves.
Where we have found middle ground is in places that don’t require frequent use of air conditioning. We enjoyed our months in Monterey, CA for that reason and now we’re going to give Eureka another try. We’d become completely unaccustomed to rain when we first visited, but the drought that afflicts the entire western US, especially California, is not as bad in this area because there is rain. We feel growing appreciation for water that falls from the sky free of charge, and I will purchase rain pants for walking.
I am enjoying life in a place where almost no one uses or even has A/C. I can open my windows and let the cool air in, and yet I can count on pleasant weather to go for a walk most days.
Unless it’s raining.
The last time we were here we decided against staying because of the regional shortage of health care personnel. We are giving it another try in hopes we can make it work with a bit more effort and greater lead time in making appointments. I have high hopes. As of January 2022, Humboldt State University became Cal Poly Humboldt, adding a dozen new programs in the coming year alone, and doubling enrollment over the next seven year, supported by more than $400 million from the state and federal governments. I am hoping that the expansion will draw more health care professionals to this area and that among them will be the retina specialist I need.
Jonathan found us a perfect house in Eureka, open and sunny, and we plan to stay here for a year to start. Even though we will be out of town for a month now and then on our travels, committing to a full year in one place is a big change for us.