These five posts are quintessential Old School Blogging. They are crammed with the minutia of my life. Stuffed with thoughts which only matter to me.
I almost closed comments as all I really ask is you spend time—no matter how long—sharing & carrying these feelings alongside me.
Readying for some Travels with Charming.
I will never forget the first time we drove up up up the steep hill into our new neighborhood and navigated the smooshed maze which eventually led to the house the husband had bought.
I wasn’t in love.
I look at the way all the cars were parked half on the curb and half on the street (?!).
I watched how the vehicles in front of us wove in and out and around each other in an effort to get OUT of our neighborhood and TO anywhere else.
I wasn’t in love.
I drove my Texas-car around for the next few weeks and discovered how infrequently I could find a place to leave it.
I realized in Oakland the parking spaces were few and the spaces which fit my almost-an-SUV even fewer.
I wasn’t in love.
Until one morning I made the choice to live in my ‘hood as if I didn’t own a car.
#2 reason I love Oakland, California is the walkability of my ‘hood.
these became my mode of transportation.
To be honest, my walking-choice was initially born from frustration (I was tired of driving to the grocery, finding no place to leave my day, and driving home empty handed) yet I cannot emphasize enough how this seemingly small decision has entirely changed my life.
And my love of my Oakland.
Though walking the streets I discovered a home where weekly SIDEWALK YOGA was offered (!).
Sequences drawn and left for other passer-by’s to try out (at home? there? I never figured that one out).
Through walking the streets I learned not only the power of observation and interaction, but of STOPPING and compelling myself to be present in a way I never could in a car.
I walked so much neighbors began to ask me:
I walked to much the baggers at my fave grocery would ask before bagging:
Wait. Did you walk or drive?
I walked so often with my Tornado of a sidekick (pre-Charming) our neighbors our ask us to talk out *their* dog.
For me this walkability of my ‘hood has been profoundly life altering.
It was a reminder our world is how we choose to view it (quite frankly not many in my area see us as “walkable” as I do).
It was the realization how when I get out of my car and amble among people amazing connections are made.
I met people in a way I never would have otherwise and I never had before.
face to face
eye to eye
hug to hug
Which leads me to my final post:
Runner Girl saysDecember 15, 2014 at 3:41 am
I’d forgotten the side walk yoga.
I’m gonna do that where I live this summer!
Jennifer F saysDecember 15, 2014 at 3:45 am
that’s awesome Carla, I love how the walks weren’t just for utility, they had a bigger meaning
Olive saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:06 am
You made me teary at the end, too.
I remember you said once on I think it was facebook? about seeing people and really seeing them.
That stuck with me a lot.
Liz saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:05 am
I am moving in February and plan to try and mimic your experience.
Right now I live in a car place in the suburbs and have met really few people in my 7 years here.
Ida saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:20 am
I know when I walk I am definitely more present, too, I just don’t have the time.
Coco saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:23 am
I grew up in a walkable place. I can walk where I live now, but it’s at least a mile to the nearest shopping center, and the Starbucks is at the far end. 😉
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:40 am
Ok, sidewalk yoga!? That is amazing!!!! Definitely haven’t seen it here where I live but I’m longing for the winter to be over so that walks can be a regular thing. This girl does not enjoy the cold!
Susan saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:41 am
love this!! We began walking in our neighborhood last spring and discovered a whole new area and met new people. I love the sidewalk yoga!!
Carla saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:43 am
I may have to try this in Austin?! I wonder if we get foot traffic by our new house… Hmmmm.
Suze saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:42 am
“Our world is how we choose to view it.”
misszippy saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:54 am
What better way to get to know an area and it’s people? Perfect. Will you keep up the habit in Austin?
Healthy Mama saysDecember 15, 2014 at 4:57 am
LOVE that yoga on the sidewalk idea!!!
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysDecember 15, 2014 at 5:40 am
The walk-ability of a city is one of the things that I missed most when we moved out of NYC. Can you walk to get around in Austin?
Joanna @Makingmine saysDecember 15, 2014 at 6:26 am
I walk with my little to the grocery store in the summer – it makes a mundane task a little brighter 🙂
Kristina saysDecember 15, 2014 at 7:14 am
I miss having a walkable neighborhood now – we live in the burbs, and walk all over that mountain with the pup, but cannot really walk for errands and things. We are still on vacation and are walking everywhere – I love it!
I am looking forward to the next post…
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com saysDecember 15, 2014 at 7:53 am
Hi Carla….I so agree. I have been walking for so-o-o many years in the morning and definitely consider walking to be meditation as well. Then about 5 years ago my husband and I moved to a highly walkable neighborhood for all the reasons you mention. We didn’t really plan it but ended up using our car at least 25% less just by moving to our new location. We love it and can’t ever imagine living out in the “suburbs” again. ~Kathy
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast saysDecember 15, 2014 at 8:00 am
We choose where we want to live based on the walkability of the neighborhood… although unfortunately here it’s not as great as it was previously. But it does make such a difference, both in the connections made with people and in learning to rely less on the car!
Mar @ Mar on the Run saysDecember 15, 2014 at 8:28 am
This is great. I love living in a walkable (and running!) city (DC). I couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else where I wouldn’t have that option.
MCM Mama saysDecember 15, 2014 at 8:35 am
I hear you. I love the walkability of my neighborhood. I’m not always a fan of the overall DC area, but I love my little piece of it . In fact, we walk so much that the insurance company constantly questions the mileage on my cars…
cheryl saysDecember 15, 2014 at 9:04 am
I walk or bike pretty much everywhere on the days I don’t have to drive 45 min one way to WORK and back. Lucky you that when in Oakland you didn’t have to! Most people I know that live in that area bike to the train/put their bike on the train/bike to work and do it all over again on the way home. You are fortunate to be able to work from home.
s saysDecember 15, 2014 at 9:17 am
i love that someone drew yoga poses on the sidewalk. 🙂
Kim saysDecember 15, 2014 at 10:17 am
I would love to be able to walk places but we don’t live in a walk-able neighborhood – too far from all of the places we go.
messymimi saysDecember 15, 2014 at 10:46 am
Our neighborhood is walkable. Get outside of it, and you either have to use the culverts under the roadways to get anywhere, or risk getting run down on the highway. Don’t get me started about the highways that don’t even have sidewalks in front of the houses.
Alysia @ Slim Sanity saysDecember 15, 2014 at 11:58 am
I have some walkable places here, but I probably don’t walk at home enough. Thank you for the encouragement/motivation to start doing that more 🙂
Rebecca J Hoover saysDecember 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm
We moved to SF just over a year ago and I’ve been amazed at how little my boyfriend or I use the car, it basically lives in the garage. I do take it out about once a week for the grocery store trip, but that’s only because there’s plenty of parking. I either walk or take my bike everywhere I want to go (and this was a woman who hadn’t ridden a bike for almost 25 years). We’re planning on getting rid of it altogether after the holidays. I have absolutely loved our transition to this crazy town.
Marcia K. saysDecember 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Oh to have a ‘walkable’ place. Maybe that’s why I do marathons. Because the 20 mile tour of my ‘hood is pretty amazing.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysDecember 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm
Hope all is going well this week! *hugs*
Michelle saysDecember 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm
I love how you found something to love. I don’t love my neighborhood. Maybe I need to find some reasons to love it.
Lori Musselman saysDecember 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm
Ahhh. Such an emotional post. I love how you turned around your outlook.
Jody - Fit at 57 saysDecember 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm
You will leave with wonderful memories!
lindsay Cotter saysDecember 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm
that’s kinda how it was when were in new zealand. and i began to love it. Walking everywhere. Limited car time. So much talk time too! and mind clearing!
Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow saysDecember 16, 2014 at 3:16 am
I love these posts! I love that you walk 🙂 it is kind of like driving vs. flying – so many more memories with a journey that takes time and allows you a view! We live in a rural setting so walking isn’t truly feasible (20 miles from anything) but I do park and walk in town when doing errands – love the sights, sounds, smells, the EXPERIENCE!
Dr. J saysDecember 16, 2014 at 7:42 am
Perspective is everything! I lived for a while in a city I did not like! I used to say it was the city I loved to hate! Least I got the love word in there 🙂
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero saysDecember 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm
What a wonderful way to have fallen for your hood.
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats saysDecember 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm
Walking is the best! I am happy that I can at least walk the kids to school…. and to the library, coffee shop, if needed. Huge plus!
Jessica @ Absurd, She Wrote saysDecember 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm
When I was a poor grad student for many years, I didn’t own a car until I was 26. I walked every where. It was a wonderful way for me to get acquainted with the places I lived in for those years: Boston, Phoenix, and St.Petersburg, Russia. Now I am lucky to live in a walkable neighborhood, but the Pacific NW requires you have a car since it rains so much.