Sunday, April 15, 2007

This is a photo that my sister, Valori, sent to me of her son's (my nephew), Aaron, recent class photo at the Monterey International School in Monterey, CA where Aaron has always attended school. If you look at the girl at 6 o'clock and then count three to the left, that's Aaron (long reddish brown hair). My sister and her life partner moved last May from Monterey after 30 years to Corvallis, OR where her daughter, my niece, Maya and her husband Eder and their baby Ben and our mom all live. After a lot of meditation and discussion it was decided that Aaron would stay in Monterey with his dad Eric at least for the time being. One of the main reasons (other than Eric is a great dad) was this school. It is an exceptional school and it's an honor for the students and parents who get to be involved there. Eric was just notified that, after managing an inn for almost 10 years, he is being laid off. Valori, Eric, and Aaron are Buddhists (I only mention it because it strongly influences them, as any religion is designed to do, in how they operate their lives). Eric, in addition to running the inn, has been studying for many years for his Chinese Medicine Degree and is almost finished. The plan had been that when he and Aaron finished their schooling then would make the major changes they had so long been working toward. Now they have 2 months in which to decide what to do. Most folks who have visited and not lived on the Monterey Peninsula see it as a dream come true or a blessing. There are many blessings and wonderful things about living there just as there are in many other places but there are also a lot of curses. The cost of living is insane (not so different from living here, but it was not like this when we moved here, thankfully). It is not set up for those who want to live simple, decent lives. It is for the very wealthy, others must work 2, 3, or 4 jobs to survive. My sister worked 3 jobs for many years there just to get by just as I worked 3 jobs as a single mom of two when I was there. It's not a realistic option for them to stay there. The only reason they were all there for so long was that they had jobs that also included housing which is very hard to find. Oopsie, I'm getting long-winded as usual. I'm asking for prayers for them now and in the coming months as they make all these hard decisions with very little, if any, room for error. And as they begin to have to say good bye to the only home Aaron's ever known in his 11 years plus, of course, their friends, and the usual angst that goes with leaving all the memories and comfort. As they say, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". Which, in hindsight, is not necessarily true, but certainly feels that way going in. They are a caring, sensitive family who, obviously, mean the world to me and, factoring in all worldly relativity, I would appreciate your prayers for them. Thank you, in advance, for your kindness.