Down the Hill/Up the Hill

Yesterday was a day of errands down the hill. The closest place to buy groceries (and anything else I have not ordered online) is an hour down the mountain (we call it “down the hill”.) Down the hill to the west puts me in the suburbs of San Diego (too much traffic but a necessity to get to the beach.) Down the hill to the east and I am in the desert, very quickly, only 20 minutes that direction….but no shopping. There is a lot of sand and cactus, a few lizards and some very cool places to hike…in the winter. Down the hill to the northeast and I am in the Inland Empire. This area developed east of L.A. when Interstate 15 connected San Diego to L.A.promenade Temecula

The Inland Empire is a consumer’s mecca. Clustered into huge plazas, the mega-stores stack up making shopping efficient. I arrange all my “city needs,” like delivering the recyclables, (no such thing as pick up service up the hill) Dr. visits, pet needs, household requirements and personal things (like a haircut) into a once-a-month, marathon trip down the hill. Yesterday I left at nine and got home by six. Nine hours was darn good for all I accomplished.   I even got my biennial mammogram!

My last stop was the local farmer’s market (only ten minutes from home) where I bought amazing local organic produce…melt-in-your-mouth strawberries, chard and baby kale. Sherry, the local Ag teacher, had tri-tip on the grill, a musician was playing her fiddle under the shade tent, and the high-schoolers, stepping into the freedom of summer holiday, were hanging out. In Warner Springs, the farmer’s market on Thursday from 4-6 is the only thing going for entertainment!Warner Springs, CA

This place I landed four years ago, the back country of San Diego County, is paradise for me. My friends from L.A. say I am “way out there!” I am “way out there”, if anywhere in San Diego County can be considered “out there,” and I love it. My window is open and when I pause to listen, all I can hear is the sounds of birds and Lonnie’s saw coming from across the yard where the yurt is going up.

I may have an hour’s drive down the hill to get yogurt, but up the hill, I have pristine water and air, birds and wild animals, dark skies at night and always peace and quiet. For me, this lifestyle is priceless.Warner Springs Valley

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