I sit here in my office looking at blank walls. Decorating will happen soon. It’s still impossible to park either vehicle in the garage. But the kitchen is done, I have a brand new bed to sleep in that has a base that can make me into a Kae taco, and the back yard beckons with its garden that is also a delight to a plethora of songbirds.

Home. I have a rather permanent one after three years of being a bit of a nomad.

Chico is about 90 minutes north of Sacramento. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

I bought a house in Chico in March. My mom is my roommate. She’s 86, a survivor of the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in 2018.

I’ve been visiting Chico since I was in fourth grade; so a really long time. That’s when my oldest sister, Jann, started college. She and her husband, Lester, moved back years ago and raised their three kids here. Another sister, Pam, also went to Chico State University, so the trips to this town as a kid just kept happening.

This city of more than 90,000 people has always been a place I’ve enjoyed visiting. Now I get to explore the area on a deeper level—something that hasn’t happened yet with all the boxes that came out of storage.

I love that it has a real downtown, stores/restaurants that are welcoming, road and mountain biking, and that famous brewery.

When things start to open up as the pandemic allows, being in a university town will be incredible because all that it will have to offer along with the energy of college students.

For now, I’m trying to figure out who to play tennis with, how to get the word out that I’ve started an outcall massage business, and generate some more freelance work.

Living with mom is the easy the part—so far. She’s agreed to dust; I’ve agreed to clean the floors. She’s agreed to take care of the plants; I’ve agreed to cook. The cost of TV service is hers; the hot tub care/expenses are all mine.

While Tahoe is no longer my address after nearly 19 years, it will always be part of me and someplace that I will visit often. Plus, I know there are a few more books in me with Tahoe themes—and Baja. For now, I am focusing on getting settled and seeing what this part of Northern California is all about.

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