Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Winner Is...

...Hartford, Wisconsin


  • Jobs
  • Culture
  • Family
So, maybe you were wondering what went wrong in Paradise. There were issues to begin with. How would you feel if you went to a job interview only to find out your potential employer invited all his friends so they could see what you looked like. Yes, that happened to my hubby. He has an accent. He's Albanian. Apparently that was gawk-worthy.

His current job is good, but it's pretty much the only job in town, other than Walmart and the gawkers.

The area began its downward spiral after the Pelican Bay Prison was built and family members of the incarcerated moved here to be close to their evil spawn, I mean loved ones. Sorry, sorry, just more sarcasm.

An unbelievable number of items are locked up at Walmart to prevent theft. It's WAY more than razor blades, perfume and electronics. Trust me. What isn't locked up gets opened and tested by customers, or stolen. I know, I worked there.

Everything is either moldy or encrusted in salt. Our car is both, to some degree. Our apartment is neither, thankfully, but it did have a problem with pellet stove soot, which is now repaired. Maintenance replaced the door. Maintenance is really good at Seawood.

Winter sucks. Well, the first winter didn't, because it had so many dry, sunny days. This winter is more normal, so it rained every single day in December except 3. January was pretty much the same. When it pours 5 inches in an hour, things happen, Redwood trees fall, mud and rock slides close roads, and Last Chance Grade gets really big cracks and tries to slide into the ocean.

I never found my creative side here. For all the positive beauty in this area, the only inspiration I got was photographing the ocean, clouds and sunsets, and collecting rocks. I had some ideas which didn't come to fruition. I can't get inspired looking at the side of my neighbor's garage. There was a time when we hoped to move into a sunnier place with a bit of a view, but that dream succumbed to the mold.  

My daughter wants to move back to Wisconsin, too. Maybe someday we will all be closer.

In all fairness, there ARE good people in this town. I worked with some of them. There are neighbors who watch out for each other and keep an eye on the meth-heads. The police are swift to act. The emergency responders and utility crews are awesome and work hard to keep people safe. Caltrans works overtime to clear the roads of mud and rock slides and shore up Last Chance Grade. Facebook groups have been formed to help boost local businesses and address problems. But that's not enough to keep us here.

So, back to the Midwest, but not in the smog, we're staying away from the smog. My only regret is how much it costs to move, and now we are doing it again. I'm thankful I got to live here for a year and a half. I always wanted to live in a beautiful place that people take vacations just to see. I did it. Now if we can just find a place with a view and trees that turn pretty colors in fall, my life will be complete. I know that sounds weird. I didn't realize how much I would miss autumn leaves and the change of seasons. Here my head is stuck in a state of "green". There is precious little gold or red, and no white. As much as I hate the cold, snow is beautiful, and the play of light and shadows across the snow is inspiring. I want to walk with my hubby under trees ablaze in fall colors and step on the leaves. When were were planning to leave northwest Indiana, two choices popped into my head, Wisconsin or the West. The West won because at that time we didn't know anyone in Wisconsin and we had an offer to stay with relatives until we got on our feet. The main difference now is my hubby has a cousin and a job offer in Wisconsin.


  1. I'm so sorry things didn't work out for you there. Hopefully Wisconsin will be better :-)

  2. I don't know why comments are always showing up twice. Anyway, thanks!