Thursday, July 21, 2016

San Diego Bound

Just a short post, but a necessary one.

The Saturday after next, my family and I are going to San Diego for four days to see what it's like. This summer has been particularly taxing, and especially wearisome on my mom, who can't handle the kind of extreme hot and bitter cold that Nevada summers and winters specialize in. She's getting older and consistent weather would be better for her. Also, there's the San Diego Zoo, and she's always wanted to live in a city that has a zoo, and this is a zoo that she's been to before.

But for us, it's also reconsidering where we are in this place and in our lives. Las Vegas and Henderson hasn't been the home we hoped for. We figured, wrongly as it turned out, that with so many people coming from so many different cities that there would be a genial openness, that creativity and imagination would abound under such auspices, that we could get to know the Strip and outlying areas and casinos and daily and weekly enjoy it all.

The people, for the most part, are closed off. The tourists, as would be expected, are given the white-glove treatment, while residents barely get any discounts. We live this every day, and they can't even manage a deep discount on residency shows? They'll make the money back three minutes later!

Considering the number of apartments we've lived in, the lies we were told, the air conditioning not fixed properly and broken down before the hottest day of the summer (last year), the leaks in that same apartment, the noise upstairs in our current apartment that's vindictive and nothing has been done about it yet, it's too much for us already. In our first year, at Valley Vista All-Ages Mobile Home Park, we had essentially a metal cargo container, which is what all mobile homes feel like. Understandable. We had to live somewhere to get established. That summer was brutally hot as well for us, unused to such heat, and my mom slept with two fans going in her room, and then the electric bill for that summer was astronomical. Then came where we live again now, that first time a year after Valley Vista, and there were smokers above us and next to us who smoked in our apartments, and the complex said they couldn't do anything about it because people had a right to do what they wanted to do in their apartments, no matter the health hazard. Well, that second year, as my mom said, we had to get used to it because we were here. Maybe it would get better.

It didn't. It hasn't. I especially don't like having to hibernate during the day in summer, being told that it's best to go out either early in the morning or late at night. Get your groceries at 3 a.m. or 10 p.m. I want to get to know my city. I want to see everything that it is and know those streets as well as I know the books in my home library. I want to know its history, but history here disappears in a puff of smoke and debris, as it was last month or so with the demolition of the Riviera hotel tower. Not that it was any great loss at that point because it was a shithole when we went to see that Russian ice skating show in 2007 when we were tourists, and I'm sure it got much worse by the end. Even so, there's no promotion of its history. The Strip doesn't want to know. What money can it make right now? THAT'S what it wants to know. And I'd be ok with that if it offered more in the way of getting to know it. But it doesn't want to be known. It wants to be revered on the surface, but do not go any deeper.

It's not wrong to have hopes about where you're going to live. Why shouldn't we? We look forward to a place and what it possibly offers. We visit it and plan where we want to be, and you bet we visited Las Vegas and Henderson many times before we got there. And I thought it could be home. I wanted it to be home. I was tired of moving. But we've had to move five times in nearly four years, because of various circumstances including the smoking and the neglect we experienced in our previous apartment complex, before returning to our current one. It's not worth it if you have to struggle so much during.

Now, I'm not raising hopes as fervent as I had for Las Vegas and Henderson. I'm being cautious this time. The rents in San Diego do concern me, as it does my mom, but we are a family of four, and I'm sure my dad, my sister and I can find jobs before we get there. I know what I want to do, my sister knows what she wants to do, and my dad is dynamic in the business education field, so he'll have no trouble finding his niche again in San Diego. But we have to see where we want to be first, what works for us, what's feasible for us. I want to know a city, historically and otherwise. I don't want to be trapped inside by merciless summer heat anymore. I want to see my city during the day, too.

So we'll go. We'll see what areas of San Diego interest us and then pursue them. But there's no turning back. We're not staying here in Henderson. My mom can't handle another summer like this one. I don't want another summer like this one. I want to enjoy my home. I want to see everything it offers. I want to study its history. I hope this will work out better. A small hope right now. But still some hope.

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