Um, yeah ... I write a Christmas newsletter. I know it's tacky and all that, but I can't help it. I always want to brag about my family's accomplishments come this time of year, and as I get older I find fewer reasons to avoid doing it. So here is our 2008 newsletter entitled ...
The Faber Girls 2007 & 8: Getting Ready to Jump
Hello all …
It is with joy in our hearts that we write to you from our favorite place in the world … The San Francisco Bay Area. We had to move 3,000 miles across the United States (again) to come to that realization, but we did, and with a lot of hard work, a little bit of luck, and Leslie’s good real estate karma, we sold our home in Connecticut in a bad market and high tailed it back! We may be dense, but we are determined … and so we arrived here happy and in good health. In fact, the last time we wrote a Christmas letter like this was in 2006, when, after moving to one of the teeniest states in the country, we were still high on our adventure and looking forward to what we hoped would be a holiday full of family & friend reunions. It wasn’t meant to be, and so we spent most of 2008 getting ready to jump and all of 2007 deciding we wanted to.
It wasn’t all a drag, however. Elizabeth thrived at the private school she went to. Hamden Hall was academically enriching, and she found her most bosom friend there. She and Margaret will be friends forever, we are sure. If we could’ve snuck Margaret away with us, perhaps hidden in a suitcase, to avoid missing her, we certainly would have. But then her mother would miss her terribly herself. She and Elizabeth talk on the phone almost every day, and see one another regularly on her laptop’s videocam. Isn’t that something?
One of the best things about being in CT was watching Leslie in action. Not only did mowing that god forsaken lawn get her in good physical shape, but she applied her talent as an informal interior designer to get the house we bought in shape for resale. And I’m telling you, she did it all. She replaced the garage doors, put in a new front door, and a new sliding door to the three season room. She put new flooring in the lower level, retiled the foyer, blacktopped the driveway, and painted everything in sight. She installed all new window coverings, and a black railing along the front porch. She installed a beautiful light/fan in the three season room, and had insulation pumped into the attic. Home Depot knew her by name. Before we knew it, we ready to sell. It was a beautiful place when we left it!
I could tell you countless stories about that process, the sale. Let’s see … one Saturday, Leslie was out tooling about when she realized she had 15 minutes to visit an open house just around the corner from us. Doing her homework by reviewing the market, she found the agent we’d eventually sign with.
The house was sold to a man who bought for his daughter, who was ironically a lesbian. She and her girlfriend were moving from Florida, and I’m convinced it was Leslie’s conversation with the father that really clinched the deal. She made sure he understood the neighborhood was a good and safe one. After stormy seas, our sale closed, and a day later we were off to the West Coast on another Faber adventure.
So … In late June of this year, we landed in South San Francisco not knowing when our things would arrive. The economy adversely affected even trucking, and so our belongings took much longer than expected. Ironically, however, our van arrived in no time whatsoever (the last time we moved it was weeks in the waiting). We spent the time looking for a place to live, which Leslie nailed down in no less than four days. We spent the rest of our transition in a Marriot Residence Inn enjoying a quasi-vacation. In short, we gave up about 3,000 square feet in Connecticut to live in a box, and once again we are spending most of our time in a 15x15 foot livingroom with two rowdy dogs who begin their raucous happy dance immediately when everyone arrives at home. It’s a small two bedroom, in a nice section of Belmont, and has a lovely deck in the back,and an entire posse of hummingbirds living in the unruly foliage that is our backyard. The rest of our things are in storage until we decide the housing market here is soft enough to invest again.
Elizabeth is attending Taylor Middle School with all her friends from Green Hills. She’s also met new friends and recently spent a week away from home attending outdoor education, which was a memorable event. A social butterfly, she has nailed down the social adeptly … but, of course, without ever forgetting Margaret. Leslie and I are often amazed at how she is capable of navigating her complex social scene which snakes through middle school and reaches across the country.
I have a wonderful job as a location manager working for a highly competitive consulting firm in the San Francisco Financial District. It is hard to put into words how good it feels to be back in the city, not to mention back in the saddle. I am surprised regularly at how much I learned at PwC, however (19 years of corporate boot camp indeed); and can testify that PBMS taught me things I needed to know (not to mention the wonderful people I worked with there). I took almost a year off when we were on the East Coast, and it convinced me I’d rather be working. Truly. As much as I needed the rest, I’m not the stay at home type.
Last but not least … our old van, Vera, who Leslie adored, was finally put out to pasture to make way for a new Chrysler Town & Country van that has swivel back seats and a table in the middle. Leslie named her Sexy Sadie. She and Sadie are getting to know one another.
The three of us are anxious to re-experience our favorite Bay Area holiday tradition and enjoy Christmas dinner at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco. We look forward to many prosperous holidays going forward and wish all you the very same!