I write this card from the guest room of Roger's house on the island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay. Betsy is in the process of transferring some of our stuff to a house in Berkeley where we will be house sitting for a few weeks. Tomorrow we are flying to Boise for our first Christmas together at the house of my sister (who is going to have a baby at any moment). And I am still tired from my first two weeks as a Kelly Girl (see VC 22 John 11). In short, our lives are topsy turvey and for the time being we are gypsies, living out of suitcases, forever on the move.
Shortly after sending out the last issue of Archipelago, Betsy lost her job as a city editor of an Orange County paper. This was actually a relief for both of us; Betsy hated her job. Since I had been completely unsuccessful in my job hunting, and since we both really wanted to live in the Bay Area anyway, we figured why not just take the plunge.
So we decided to move into the most expensive part of the country during a depression without either one of us having a job. Betsy got some severance pay from her paper, we both grovelled before our long-suffering parents, and somehow we got together enough money to make the move. In the final weeks before the move I did some freelance Macintosh consulting and picked up a little extra pocket money. I even managed to trade some Hypercard stacks for one of Aristippus's flea dips.
The move itself was a nightmare. It took fourteen hours to load the truck, and by the time we finished (at two AM), Betsy and I were literally crawling up and down the stairs. We then drove across LA, woke up one friend to drop off Betsy's car (I had previously driven my car up to Alameda), and then drove to another friend's house and collapsed on his doorstep just as the sun was coming up.
Later that day, after a nap and a hike and a lunch, Betsy and Aristippus and I headed north. Aristippus was NOT amused by this process and made sure we knew it. To add insult to injury, the moving van we rented had a giant cow on the side for some reason. It was like driving a milk truck (YETCH).
Roger and Rose Anne were good enough to take us in, and the next day we found more friends to unload the truck and cram 98% of our possessions into an 8 by 8 by 8 storage cube. Then we were off again, over the river and through the woods, to visit my Grandmother for Thanksgiving in a place called Paradise (about two hours north of Sacramento). My parents rendezvoused with us there and reclaimed Aristippus on a temporary basis. Upon returning from Paradise I instantly found a temp job and for the last three weeks we have been living in Alameda with Roger and Rose Anne.
Much of our time before the move was spent saying goodbye to friends, and much of our time since has been spent saying hello to more friends. Before we left Paul flew in for a weekend and we all went to Disneyland and had a big poker game and devoured one incredible meal after another. The weekend before the move Betsy and I flew to Florida where Betsy was the maid of honor at a wedding. Since arriving in the Bay Area we have spent some time with Janine, visited some of Betsy's friends both here and in Sacramento, entertained some more friends from New York, and had a wonderful dinner party in San Jose with my old boss Rick and with Larry and Diane and their enchanting daughter Kristen. In the midst of this Betsy and I celebrated Chanukah and engaged in the usual pre-Christmas shopping frenzy.
A year ago at this time I was alone in my cabin telling myself I really should get a life. Now I have a life-and-a-half, and I've never been happier. It's been a stressful year, with many changes, but at every stage we have been blessed with a remarkable collection of friends. Heaven only knows what will become of us in 1992, but I can guarantee it will be interesting.
Happy New Year, everyone!