By: Joey Uva Enoch
Well it has been a couple of months since I’ve posted. Today, I find I have a free Saturday with absolutely nothing planned. Well, I do have to pick up my dry cleaning and attend an anniversary party this evening but that’s a breeze.
Where have I been for two months? Working on our home and embracing change.
Trevor and I have been city dwellers for many years. It was easy to walk up the street have breakfast, meet friends for a drink, shop at a specialty store, or catch some art event in a moment’s notice. Now we live in the “Valley”, the San Fernando Valley to be exact. Summer in the Valley is hotter than in the city, by fifteen or twenty degrees. We knew that if we moved to the Valley, we had to have a pool. We knew that it might take some getting used to, the transition from our urban life to becoming new homeowners in a quiet neighborhood.
After we moved in and got the inside of the house situated, we tackled the patio area. We created an outdoor lounge and dining area. We have not eaten a single meal at our dining room table since. Eating breakfast or dinner outside has become one of my favorite things about our house. I love being outside, hearing birds chirp, watching the hummingbirds come up to the feeder and hearing Trevor’s grandmother’s vintage wind chime that he restored just for the house. Sometimes when the chime rings, we look over and say “Hi Grandma!”
Next up was the landscaping; there was a lot to be done. We got a couple bids but after I saw how expensive it was, one bid being $8K, I decided I would do it myself. It was off to Lowe’s for a lawn mower and garden tools, things you don’t need when you live in an apartment in the middle of the city. I have never landscaped before but Trevor and I have the same taste. We wanted it drought tolerant and desert inspired. After all, with the Valley being so hot, it was the best possible landscaping solution. I have spent over ten weeks landscaping, six to twelve hours on some weekends and on weekdays after work until about 9pm. It has been exhausting but the sense of accomplishment is great. I actually love working in the yard, something I never thought of when I lived in the city. I find it very meditative. I don’t think about anything, my mind is clear, and I am completely focused on the now of what I am doing.
I’ve been with the same company for almost nineteen years and commuted 38 miles one way every day. Living in the valley reduced my drive to 15 minutes. I love it. The downside was that Trevor had to commute to the Beverly Center where he manages a store. But moving here is exactly what we were meant to do because a couple weeks ago Trevor walked in from work and told me his district manager offered him the Calabasas store to manage. Now he doesn’t even need to get on the freeway.
We have had a few gatherings since our move in. We had a Father’s Day celebration with our family, Trevor’s Birthday Party, a 4th of July Pool Party BBQ for friends, and a pool/ bbq day for Grace and friends. It’s so nice to have a home where we can have family and friends come and enjoy it with us.
Grace spent almost three weeks at the beginning of summer in South Africa with her mother visiting her grandmother and relatives there. When she returned from vacation and I picked her up, she said in the car, “Papa, I missed my room and my new bed. It is the most relaxing place to sleep.” I am so glad she feels comfortable and at ease in her new home too.
We got two new puppies, Duke and Ruby. They are a Chihuahua and Terrier mix. They’re about fourteen weeks old and as adorable as can be. And of course, Grace loves them.
This coming Monday I start a new position with my company, a whole new role in a whole new division. More change.
My life has been all about change this year. I feel like my life is on a new path. I am a lucky man. I have an amazing partner, a wonderful daughter, a supportive family, and great friends. They are all taking this journey with me and I am blessed.