“You can’t go back”, but what if you didn’t go anywhere, and things changed all around you? Places and people change, stores and restaurants go out of business, people move and others move in, seemingly in the blink of an eye.

How did it all happen? Silicon Valley beckoned, and people arrived to fill the need for tech workers, who in turn needed a place to live. So the developers continue to have a field day, turning vacant spaces into high rise apartments after filling the larger areas with single family developments. To arrive on time for an appointment, one must leave an hour early to drive across town.

Years ago, a man commented that the streets in town were nice and wide and easily navigated. Today those streets are filled with the traffic generated by the newcomers at all times of the day.

We are told to use less water, so our gardens are dying of thirst, all to accommodate those newcomers. Where are the people on the planning commission?

I’m glad we found this town so many years ago, when you could still walk down the street and possible know your neighbors along the way. When your children could play outside till dark or walk to school without worry on your part, and when you didn’t make sure all doors were locked before your went to bed. Homes which a short time ago sold for a nominal price now go for upwards of a million dollars, thus making the term “millionaire” meaningless.

For many years I left the doors open to the studio while I worked, and people often stopped to pass the time of day and see what was going on. It was nice. There were two large dogs in those days, Lisa, the German Shepherd, and Max, the Dobie. Both welcomed visitors, with the correct amount of wariness. It was nice.

Do I sound old and crotchety? I suppose so, though I try to go with the flow and realize this phenomenon is repeated itself in most places today. It is just the way things are and are likely to continue, so “get used to it lady!”

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

22 thoughts on “YOU CAN’T GO BACK”

  1. It’s the same in Sydney, Kayti.
    All of a sudden people decided wanting to live closer to the city and the suburban block was exchanged for the apartment within the walking reach of cafes and the much desired avocado on toast.

    This pushed up prices to astronomical levels. Many blamed the Chinese and a war developed between won-ton and avocado which pushed up prices even further.

    Still, many kids get around on skateboards while sipping on a Coke, a perilous situation better watched from the distance of a park seat.

    I laughed reading ‘get used to it lady’.


  2. Our avocado prices have gone up in price too, and though they are grown here, we have to wait till they come from Mexico. I may have to get a couple of skateboards.

    It isn’t just our town though. My little town of Alameda is suffering a new growth pattern as well. Growing where there is no room to grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would say the mainland Chinese immigration to our area Kayti has drastically changed our town. Too many people and too many people who do not speak English. I feel as if we have lost our town and I know I am not alone. It would be one thing if people smiled and embraced American values; it’s quite another to feel that our system and services are being used with little gratitude and a lot of entitlement.


    1. I can’t help noting (with tongue just slightly in cheek) that we’re being overrun by immigrants from California and Colorado and Illinois — people who want to escape high taxation, but who don’t want to embrace Texas values. It’s amusing and a little sad, all at the same time. On the one hand, they want out of a system that’s oppressive — and then they set about recreating it here. People are weird, sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As my father, an Oregonian, used to say; “There are too many Californians moving in here.” He felt so strongly about this that when he became ill, he refused to move closer to me in California. Said he had been born in Oregon and he woould die in Oregon. And so he did. When we moved to Washington, they didn’t like us either. What can I say?


    2. As a former neighbor used to say “You no longer have to travel to China (et al) they are all here.” It IS a different world. I am often amazed at the different clientele at the various Costco; at ours, many Asians, in Union City, mainly Hispanics. The demographics change with the borders. Now that my sight has dimmed, I am more conscious of watching where I am walking than who I bump into.


  4. Every now and then, I hear someone say, with a sigh, “Well, we just have to change with the times.” And I think to myself, “No. No, I don’t. At least, not in the most important ways, I don’t.” I don’t have to be chained to an electronic device. I don’t have to be impolite, or constantly angry. I can live without knowing who’s in and who’s out.

    Most of the time, I check the news headlines once or twice a day. Sometimes I don’t know a thing about the latest events until well after some facts have been established. I eat fairly sensibly, but I don’t obsess over sugar, caffeine, gluten, or meat. I do not worry about my carbon footprint. I intend to keep driving a car with an internal combustion engine, that I control. And so on.

    Which is to say — no matter how things change around us, we still have some control over our personal worlds. It’s true that we’ve lost a lot — including the easy friendliness of that earlier world — but then, we lived in a time when people looked at one another and talked to one another. Who sits on a porch and waves to passers-by any more? Me, when I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s much the same here, Kayti. There’s another way to look at it, though. We were lucky to have the experience of living in communities where there were rush minutes instead of rush hours and ordinary families could afford homes.


  6. London, where I was born and used to live, became like this. It was one of the main reasons why my husband and I eventually moved out to rural Wales. Here, there is a little development, on and off, but not so much that it ruins anyone’s way of life.
    That said, I’m probably still a ‘newcomer’ even though I’ve been here about a decade. But here – people talk to each other and don’t take each other for granted, unlike in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My granddaughter lives in London, and says much the same thing. Wales sounds and looks beautiful. We visited there a few years ago, and found the people so welcoming and friendly. The only perfect place to live is within ourselves though. No one person or place can make us happy.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ahhhhh….rural Wales sounds like heaven, Val. Good for you! I remember a trip to Scotland three years ago (or so). Richard’s brother-in-law, Alistair, planned our itinerary. We drove (nervous the entire time) out to Oban and then boarded a ferry to the Island of Mull. No Americans were there. No real tourists that we could discern. A slice of heaven for us, those three days.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, but it’s hard to get used to it. I am saddened hen I visit two formerly small towns where I lived happily — CarsonCity, NV and Spanish Fork UT — that now seem all pavement and cars. All i can think about is getting back to the out-of-the-way, quiet town where I live now. Unfortunately, it is threatened in an opposite way — loss of jobs due to the decline in coal mining resulting in loss of population and vibrant businesses. I worry about young families that are struggling, but I am happy here. The world does change and we must adjust; but it can be difficult.


    1. I remember Carson City from so many years ago. Quiet, rural and eminently liveable. Sch a shame than people ruin it all. It’s hard for the young and the not so young to find affordable living in the areas they work. The hordes of people moving into our area is appalling. It’s a shame to have to think we have lived in the best times and they are behind us.


  8. Actually, Kayti, I could have written this. We have lived in the same house for 32 years and when we moved here, ours was a small development with a farm across the way. That went first, with about 100 homes standing where cows used to graze. The barn burned down one night after development of the land began (after they moved the livestock away), but I still wonder if it was an accident. We were a ways out from “the city”, now our area is desirable because it’s so much closer in than the sprawling suburbia. Yes, times do change. Our little acre has stayed the same though the trees are much bigger and the bushes bushier, so we can still pretend things haven’t changed — until we go out into the hustle and bustle of what has grown up around us, wondering who can afford the McMansions that have been built all around us and how they bear the hour and a half commute into the city!


    1. We are much the same Val. Our trees shelter us, and unless we venture out into the hustle and bustle, life is much the same. We find it is necessary to pick and choose the times we go shopping or make appointments. Certain businesses, ie the hospital for instance, have become so busy you have to choose a good time to find a parking place. The freeways are crowded and we are fortunate not to have to use them daily.


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