Long Time No…
July 7, 2004|Posted in: Uncategorized
…and I really mean it!
The last few months have been an unbelievably hectic time, as the newspaper ramped up and took off, leaving my option of work-from-home virtually impossible. Instead of commuting the 100-mile roundtrip three times a week, I was driving it five days for work, plus most weekends as well. My only escape was when I could crash on an Alameda couch and save myself the late night/early morning turnaround.
The point of moving my kids to Sonoma County in October was for a better standard of living — good schools, country living, safe streets, more time with grandparents and cousins. Unfortunately, the result was I was on the road so much that I barely got to see my kids. Instead of improving my time with my kids, I seemed to abdicate the raising of them to my extended family, and that just wasn’t OK with me. I missed my girls. I was rarely home to spend time with them, in our sweet little house in the woods, and on weekends, though there were hundreds of fun outdoor things we could have done (Bodega Bay, Spring Lake, horseback riding, biking, hiking in the Sonoma hills, etc.), I was too exhausted to make the drive anywhere. I think in those seven months the extent of our exploration included two or three trips to the mall in Santa Rosa, and that was it.
I was home for a few days in April, sick as a dog, and while lying there in bed, I realized how great it was not to have to make the drive for a few days. What a blessed relief not to get into the car — ack. It was just too much. What were my options? To leave the Sun and take a job (several of which were available) in Sonoma County, or to return to Alameda and take back the mantle of Island-dweller, although without the family support I had enjoyed in Petaluma. And when faced with that decision, I found I just couldn’t give up on the Sun; it meant too much to let it go. From that point onward, I set my plans into motion to return, found a lovely Victorian cottage in the West End to rent, and moved back in mid-June.
Since then, I’ve been getting organized, unpacking, and having my computer worked on so I can get back online. It seems that viruses ate the brain of my computer, so I had that fixed, and also bought a new computer with some more advanced technology. The whole shebang should be back online any day now.
Is that boring enough for you? Good — my work is through here.
Advice for Aspiring Writers? Not everything you write is gold.
Next time: The days of summer, spots and polka-dots, steps and stairs, and love.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.