Sac O Tomatoes

here is an episode or two of the TV show Thirty Rock where Liz is contemplating following the man she loves on a move to Cincinnati.  She is reluctant because it is not New York. She treks to Ohio and discovers with her talents and looks she is an instant star and even a sought after fashion model.

That is kinda what happened to me here in this Northern California valley community. Well…not the model or star part…but the recognition of talent that I didn’t even know I had.

The Sacramento area is not where I wanted to end up. I guess I don’t know if I am ending up here…I am only 57. However here I type in an adorable little house just a mile or so from one of the largest railroad yards west of the Mississippi.

Today it is predicted to be 108 degrees at 6pm, going to be that hot until Saturday. I hate this. Also, that Sacramento doesn’t have a great reputation of a big important city…although it is California’s State Capitol. Maybe it is our Lt Governor’s now infamous quote: “It’s just so dull.” He openly admits he spends the majority of his time in his home town of San Francisco…a dream of mine: To live and be able to afford a home and life in “The City.”

I came to the area from Santa Cruz (cool Summer Marine Layer) with a two year side trip in Burlingame (more cool weather) before coming up here for my real job and affordable housing. I know heat. I lived in Arizona and the Southern California desert town of Indio. I just don’t like it. I feel slow and stupid when the mercury ticks above 90 degrees. It is hard to get anything done while sweating. I lived in Tucson…which is a very cool place except for the heat.  It would be a crazy crowded town if the weather was less brutal.

But, here in this area with no more formal higher education than a high school diploma, I am a magazine writer. And even get PAID well for it!  Stories based on my adventures here have been published on a national magazine’s website, and I have been published in a national anthology of stories. I have been included in our local PBS station KVIE locally produced “Viewfinder” series  twice and did an on-air 60 second spot for them for the local PBS “My Source” campaign that was picked up by the national PBS website…it is still available on-line. I think it occasionally shows on air and although I watch our station KVIE a lot… I have only seen it once…the guys at work say they see it. Also, KVIE used my written testimonial and photo for a few months to solicit donations through a series of mailings.

So, here I am. My talents known where they wouldn’t have been even tested in a larger market. I am ecstatic.  Not only do I have a lovely home, a loving husband, a bunch of crazy fur children, but I have a cool second career as a writer. And this just isn’t a fly by night thing; I am celebrating my 5th year contributing to the Style Magazine family of publications.

There is something fun and rewarding about interviewing and writing a good story about deserving non-profits, great artists, doctors, lawyers, newlyweds and so many others.  It keeps me grounded and with my “day” job that is very necessary. I consistently find people that are happy, up beat and really happy to speak to me.

So I may hate the outside heat, but the inside heat generated within my heart of my finally recognized talent is keeping me happy in a very cool place.

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