The Evolution of the Empty Nest – San Francisco is Now Home

Making gravy 2021

This is my first holiday not living in my family home. My new home is now in San Francisco. When I first moved into my modern building I could not imagine feeling at home there. It felt like a temporary hotel type situation, maybe even an AirBNB, but now after 3 months I do feel at home and that it is possible to feel at home and be happy and comfortable almost anywhere. I got my first inkling of this feeling while traveling last week. I missed my apartment. I missed watching the sunrise. I missed how warm it is as it is south facing. I miss my lobby and neighbors. Who knew? But what it proves is we are more adaptable than we realize and I think that is one of the most overlooked characteristics that we can cultivate.

For this holiday I will be traveling back to the neighborhood of my former home. I will drive by my old house currently rented to another family. It feels odd not be setting the table, planning my guest list, and getting my appetizers together. I will this year be a guest. I have a pie that I bought. I have no idea how one would make a chocolate cream pie, but it is a favorite of my daughters so I bought one to add to the pecan and pumpkin pies to be served. So, this year I will spend more time picking out an outfit than cooking! This is the evolution of the empty nest. I can opt-in or opt-out of creating the holiday dreams of my children. For many years I made it all from scratch; chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin cheese cake, toasted sour dough bread stuffing, Uncle Basils gravy and so on… In the past our lives were seeped in tradition, but now new traditions will emerge. The fun part is we don’t know what they will be yet. They are forming now as we move forward.

Recently, I thought maybe Thanksgiving would be a thing of the past as we honor our Native Americans, but people love to gather and have time together, so who knows what this day will even look like in the future. I do hope for progress in our culture and honoring all of our human family on this day.

This morning I looked through the many pictures I have taken since living in the city. In the past there were so many faces of loved ones and friends, but now I take pictures of the city as I find it so beautiful on many levels. Secondly, I take pictures of food as the food is so delicious there, even if it’s just a burrito or a piece of pizza. So, today as I drive around my old neighborhood I will remember the many happy memories, but also know that I am also at home in this new place that has so much to offer and for that in keeping with tradition I am extremely grateful.

I was talking to a writer recently about my story, and he said that I showed so much resilience in how I lived my life, but I said I didn’t think so, I felt that courage was a better word for me. I do not want to be someone who stands still and weathers the storms of life, but rather someone who moves out into the storm and transcends it. I feel that this is what I have done taking this bold leap into the unknown and moving back to San Francisco to create a new life.

San Francisco is definitely home for now, but I will have my Thanksgiving this year around another table, but the faces will be largely the same and for that I am also deeply thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Love and blessings to all.

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