Hello Old Friend!   You may have noticed that we have been in and out for the past couple months.  We have been going through some pretty big changes the past couple months.  Changes filled with mixed emotions;  bittersweet, and new growth.  We have always said, change is good.  It is good to shake things up, keep life fresh, and grow.  That is what we are doing;  shaking things up.

A few of you may have overheard some chatter that we had to move from our tiny home, and the 20 sq.ft. kitchen.  It was emotional tough; not leaving a space, but knowing I would not be seeing the people I have grown to love the past 10 years on a daily basis. No more, MEM poking their smiling faces in to say hi.  No more, Max getting me to play not one but a couple games of ping-pong, even though I am terrible at it.  No more, Ella and Maggie helping me make dinner.  No more, Evelyn or Will stopping by with mail, or to share a glass of wine.  Or the impromptu dinners.  I didn’t care about the material things.  It was the relationships that I was struggling with.  This was family.  Friends.  Children I helped nurture.

Then there was the realization that we did not want to stay in the city any longer, not because we had fallen out of love.  Rather it just didn’t make sense any longer.  Rents have tripled in two years, and it is criminal to give someone else all of that money, just to rent.  Buying in the city wasn’t an option, unless we wanted to leave in a closet.  We wanted space.  We wanted some adventure. Leaving a structure you cohabited, is  one thing, leaving the city was another. We both tease about leaving the Bay Area, to head East or maybe somewhere new and affordable.  But, we haven’t done it.  Now, after twenty years, we have done it.  I am tough until the moment we cross the bridge, on a that perfect, blue-skied day in the city, with the last of your belongings in our car.  The tears start flowing.  Surreal.  It’s like a break-up, one you hope to have back someday, but one that may not come around again.

Once we realized we had been out genderfied, we jumped ship so to say, and headed East.  Not quite the East, we always toy with but it was East.  We found a modest new home in “up and coming” West Oakland.  No question about it, it is edgy, and gritty;  but, we love it.  It is urban and industrial.  The distant sound of the train hitting the tracks.  Gorgeous nighttime views of twinkly shipyards, and the sunrises and sunsets are pretty awesome.  There is an old wreckage yard across from us, and the light shining on the graveyard where parts go to die, is amazing. The potential of this area is pretty grand, and we are thrilled to become a part of it.

In the same breath, we are so excited to be starting our new home together.  Sure we have been living together for 7 years;  but, we always lived in someone else’s “home”.  All fond, and more than lovely memories along the way.  But, this is ours;  all sparkly three floors.  We are excited to unpack boxes, set-up utilities, pick out paint colors, figure out the confusing world of blinds, try to fill all these cupboards in the kitchen, (remember we had everything in one cupboard in our old kitchen), meet all of our new neighbors, and we cannot wait to have friends and family over, on a regular basis, to break bread.

Last week, we had a “oh my god, what did we do” moment.  After talking through it, and remembering the positive things with change, we were good.  Some comfort food was still in order, though.

I have been wanting to make a squash lasagna for some time but have not found the time.  I could not find fresh pasta, and while I usually make my own, I wasn’t in the mood.  I did happen to find jumbo pasta shells, at a new to me market, and I turned my recipe around to accommodate this change.  Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with creamy ricotta, hand-heavy amounts of fresh sage, and then drowned in a brown butter bechamel sauce.  This recipe did not disappoint it was creamy, comforting, and perfect;  just like our lives, no matter where we are.  Our loved ones will always be wrapped in our arms, no matter where we lay our heads at night.  Change is good.


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