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California State of Mind... Use Your Words November 2014

Today’s post is the November 2014 Use Your Words Writing Challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers submitted 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a blog post. All words/phrases must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
native ~ winding ~ creek ~ bridge ~ spirit ~ clarity
They were submitted by:  (Confessions of a part-time working mom)  <Thank you, T, for such fabulous words!>

I am not a native of California. Sometimes, despite my New England and Southern roots, I feel like I was made to live here. I really do love it here. I am grateful I found my way here. For most of my life, I was a loyal East Coaster, and my heart was in New York City and Boston. I often said you would never catch me living in California. Now, I am here, and I love it. 

I love the weather and the people and the landscape. It is actually gorgeous here. It is not all traffic and beaches and palm trees, like I had imagined for most of my life. There are hills and mountains and grassy fields and rivers and farms. It really offers the best of all worlds. You may even be able to stumble on a creek or two, when we are not in drought conditions. 

Droughts are probably my biggest complaint. Yet, at the same time, my joints are a bit thankful for the lack of rainy days. I am quite fond of warm, sunny weather, and that is bountiful here. Along with plenty of things to do and see. It is really this amazing melting pot. 

You can enjoy the beach and the mountains and a grassy field and a big city, all in one day. Where I live, much to my delight, it does not snow. If ever I wanted to torture myself with snow exposure, I could do so in no time at all. Lake Tahoe and Yosemite are both short drives from where I live. What's better, is the fact that the trips to these places are beautiful. The drive to Tahoe is especially beautiful. You travel up into the mountains, on a winding road, and the views are spectacular. 

San Francisco is close to me as well. There is so much to do there. You can dine on foods from around the world, visit Alcatraz, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, explore small shops, and just lose yourself in the beauty that is the community of San Francisco. It is definitely a fun place. I have only been there three times, and I look forward to many future trips. 

I am a bit of a free spirit, so I am a bit shocked that I was able to stay in one place for so long. I tend to like to travel and move. I am a definite Nomad. I like to explore and have a change of scenery. I tend to get Cabin Fever quite easily. I guess, for the right person, even a gypsy nomadic free spirit can settle down. No complaints here. 

One of my favorite things to do, when I am feeling a touch of Cabin Fever, is travel down the back country roads, windows down, radio blasting, wind in my hair. It brings clarity back to my mind and peace in my soul. It is especially awesome on warm Summer nights. It is something I could not do back in New York or Connecticut. It is one of the many things about California I am grateful for. 

I am not sure why these words turned me into a spokeswoman for California, but this is what they inspired within me. When I first read them, I thought about my heritage and my childhood. I thought briefly about Thanksgiving. Once I sat down to write for you, California came to mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Now, do yourself a huge favor, and visit all the other blogs featuring a Use Your Words post. See what words they received, and how they were inspired by them. 

Anyone celebrating Thanksgiving soon, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. In honor of that, I would love to hear something you are thankful for. I am thankful so many people and things. I am currently very thankful for modern medicine. I am thankful also, that it improves every single day.                                    Baking In A Tornado                              Spatulas on Parade                     Stacy Sews and Schools                                   Follow me home                                          Battered Hope                              Someone Else’s Genius                 Eileen’s Perpetually Busy                    Confessions of a part-time working mom                               Evil Joy Speaks                            Crumpets and Bollocks                                     Sparkly Poetic Weirdo  


  1. Jules,

    Thank you for creating a wonderful post using my words!

    You have no idea how much you've made me smile for a couple of reasons :-)

    1. I love that "California" and "Tamara" go hand in hand in your mind!
    2. It goes without saying that I love CA as such. You desribed very well why. Once you go down south to San Diego you'll add that to your commercial!
    3. I think it's great that even though you are not one to settle down, you are there to stay
    4. Golden Gate Bridge
    5. Lake Tahoe

    OK, I'll stop now...

    Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better every day!

    Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family as well!

  2. Sorry. I am back. I HAVE to say this...

    6. Billy Joel!

  3. Jules, when I'm deep in depression over winter, I make my way to San Diego. I tease my husband saying I could completely give up my cute boots for warm sand between my toes. My favorite part of your post was when you were talking about driving with the music up and windows down. That is heaven to me.
    I'm grateful to be able to read all of these amazing blogs.
    Happy Turkey Day to you <3

  4. I love it. I'm not a huge fan of California. Something about the Pacific Ocean totally creeps me out in comparison to the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and my favorite, the Gulf, but I too am a free spirit and I can totally dig country drives. Living in West Virginia, I have access to some of the best country roads the world has to offer, and my best friend offline and I frequently jump in a car, grab Diet Coke and a pack of cigarettes, and just drive the country roads blasting our favorite music, dancing, breaking to have serious talks about life and what not... It's definitely revitalizing.

  5. I've been to that area and have to say that I'm jealous of where you live and how much you love it. I'm from Boston and living in the Midwest and just plain don't like it here.

  6. I, too, live on the Pacific Ocean - farther north. And I also wrote about the ocean and Thanksgiving this month. Great minds......right? I related with the wind blowing in your hair, tunes blasting!

  7. I have never been to California and never really had the desire but after reading such a beautiful description of where you live and why you like it, you may have changed my outlook on it!

    I guess I'll have to visit that state and find out ;-)

  8. What a beautiful tribute! Sounds like California is a wonderful place to be especially for someone that likes to travel and see new and different things. I need to go there!!!

  9. I love California. I have family there and I took a trip to San Fran my senior year.

    I spent the good portion of a day hanging out at the pier with the homeless people and panhandlers. Believe it or not, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip!


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