“Being of a certain age is somewhat like being in limbo when one has been on a moving screen in the workplace for most of one’s life. Reinvention is the key.” — Joan Marsan-Murphine
There’s an illusion of satisfaction and comfort in living in a place that is familiar. But when life throws a curveball and you have to pack your bags in Orange County and head north on Interstate 5 to Santa Clarita Valley, reinvention is the key. As a 77-year-young working woman, toilet paper (yes, toilet paper) was the impetus that brought me to the Valencia neighborhood in SCV to “visit” my older son and his family. Toilet paper was not to be found in the OC during the start of COVID-19, so they invited me to stay with them for a few weeks while things “settled down.” Well, that was February of 2020 and, as we all know, COVID did not settle down (but thankfully toilet paper became plentiful again).
My visit quickly turned into an unexpected quick move from my comfortable surroundings in the OC in May 2020 to a lovely 55-plus apartment community in Valencia, conveniently near my son and his family. With that whirlwind move came the wonderful bonus of being able to easily attend my grandson and granddaughter’s concerts at College of the Canyons and Valencia High School before they headed east to colleges in Michigan and Massachusetts.
In the past two years I’ve learned a lot, and I’m just getting started! For instance, it’s possible to keep working remotely for my company in Irvine from anywhere. It’s hard to meet neighbors when everyone is wearing a mask! I also learned streets don’t go in straight lines here; they wind in sinister mazes (much like health care) until you figure out you can get to most places you need to go from McBean Parkway, Newhall Ranch Road and Magic Mountain Parkway. Newport Beach may not be 15 minutes away now, but the ocean is a mere 45 minutes or so via Highway 126 with a lovely stop for brunch midway at Rabalais’ Bistro in Santa Paula. (Best beignets west of New Orleans!) Bodhi Tea Leaf Trader gives Starbucks a run for their money.
This weekend was the first time I ventured out to shop without a mask, and it felt good! Now maybe I can meet my neighbors! They say you become acclimated to your surroundings, and I’m embracing my new home in the SCV.