Goodbye, Sacramento, it's been good, but...

Well, I did it. After living in Sacramento for 38 years (and the closely surrounding areas of Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova for a total of seven years), I moved 92 miles southwest to Oakland.  The reason? Well, my daughters and my grandson live in the East Bay area. I missed being close to my them.  Right now, I'm temporarily living with my oldest daughter until the current tenant of the "mother-in-law" cottage behind her house moves out, hopefully on the first of February. Until then, I am grateful that my daughter and grandson are sharing their small two-bedroom, one bath house with me.  It hasn't been easy for any of us.  I have habits that I've developed over the years that are not conducive to living with other people. There are these awful periods of embarrassingly persistent obsessive behaviors, specifically, isolating in my room where I get lost in writing, reading or watching movies/documentaries for hours and sometimes days while eating stuff that I know I shouldn't.  I am striving to change these character defects, but unfortunately I'm not even aware of them until I'm called out about them by someone. Recently, that someone has been my oldest daughter, but she's certainly not the only one. I've been rooming with other people for the past two years, and they have called these unhealthy tendencies to my attention on several occasions.  It's a necessary, but humbling experience, one that I am taking an extraordinarily long time to learn because I still indulge in them. (sigh) It's tough being a human being with such glaringly ruinous behaviors.

All right, enough digression.  There are other reasons why I left Sacramento.  Transportation was a major problem for me.  You see, I can't legally drive in the State of California. Back in 2002, I was extremely ill (see my other blog, BerthaButtNoMore, if you want the 411 on that), and my sister thought it would be good idea if I had a handicapped sticker, especially since she spent an awful lot of time driving me to the hospital. I got the paperwork, filled it out, and due to the ongoing life-threatening health problems, I forgot about getting my doctor to complete the application.  By the time I started feeling better, the deadline for getting the paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles had passed.  There was a penalty for this transgression--I had to surrender my driver's license to the DMV official who refused to accept the paperwork, even though my primary care physician signed off on them.  Furthermore, she informed me that I won't be able to get another one until I take a behind the wheel driver's test. This made no sense to me then, and it defies logic now. I didn't own a car then, and I still don't own one. But DMV's action meant that I had rely on public transportation to get around, unless a family member or friend gave me a ride.

Public transportation in Sacramento, to put it simply, sucks.  A "discounted" disabled monthly pass costs $50.00 a month.  Fifty big ones for buses that I had to wait 30 minutes to one hour in either the blazing heat or frosty chill, which is the seasonal variations of the weather in Sacramento valley. To make matters worse, the area of service is extremely limited.  Many of the places I needed to go were inaccessible by bus. I wound up spending extra money for Paratransit or a taxi, which was money I couldn't afford on my limited income. Worst of all, most of the service ends around 8 pm.  If you don't drive and you aren't in your final destination before the 8 o'clock witching hour, you better find a broomstick or someone with a car to whisk you home. Regional Transit claims no responsibility and couldn't care less if you have to do the big foot for 10 miles to get home. That might be fine for a perfectly healthy person, but that doesn't work for someone (me) who has had five major surgeries in the past three years.  Simply put, most of my money was being used on rent and transportation.  I had to utilize food closets to eat, and buy hygiene products at a Dollar Tree.  Not that anything's wrong with Dollar Tree.  I love the place. I wouldn't have had soap, lotion and toilet paper without it. But doing the Dollar Tree/food closet shuffle was exhausting when you have to do it on Sacramento Regional Transit after so many surgeries. I barely had any energy to do things I love doing, like write for this blog and BerthaButtNoMore.

I had been considering the move to Oakland for almost a year, but after being caught out after that 8 o'clock hour one night and spending an outrageous amount of money on a cab, I realized that it was time to get out Sactown.  I love the place, don't get me wrong.  I was born there (as of March 27th of this year) 54 years ago, 15 months before all of us Shortts were shipped off to Itazuke Air Base in Fukouka, Japan.  Sacramento been my home on and off until us Shortts finally settled there in 1973. 

But everything in life eventually ends, and in this case, for the better.  I now pay $20 for an AC Transit monthly disabled pass and I pay the disabled rate of 67% off for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, the railway system that connects most Bay Area cities). I can get to just about anywhere I want in San Francisco, the East Bay and even the South Bay. I don't have to rush to be home by 8pm anymore, or pay extra money for a cab just to groceries.

The other reasons are a bit more elusive as far as an explanation goes. Over the past five years, I've been noticing an increase in what I can only describe as rude, crude and sometimes overtly violent behavior on the part of some Sacramentans.  But I really don't want to delve into that.  I'm way too tired.

Sorry, Sacramento, but I just can't afford you anymore.  Goodbye, and good luck to my hapless Kings! You look pretty bad this year, but I love ya' anyway!



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