Good morning, rain! What a delight it was to fall asleep and wake up to rhythmic rainfall.
Halloween at the Stevens’ was cozy and fun. We carved pumpkins, went to a brewery, and Molly made incredible brisket and potatoes. The trick-or-treaters were adorable. We also noticed all the trick-or-treating parents carrying tumblers or copper mule mugs. It seems like trick-or-treating in Rocklin is quite fun for all!
Yesterday, the temperature dropped and it began to rain. We stopped in Davis for tomato soup and tuna melts and I felt absolutely giddy at the hint of fall.
I’ve been thinking about Molly and Eric’s generosity as hosts and how grateful I am for gatherings at their home. Our group of friends live allll over Northern California, yet everyone is pretty good about making an effort to hang out. It helps when the hosts/couple planning make it so nice.
At the brewery, we started talking about friendships post-college. Molly asked, how many friends have you made, post-college/grad school, outside of work? We were all pretty dumbstruck to think of any friends that didn’t have some kind of school or work connection. It got met thinking about a Vox article I read on the drive up. The article explores housing choices and friendship, finding our housing preferences contributing to increasingly isolated lifestyles. This quote made me pause:
Really had to think. All of our time with friends is prescheduled, often laboriously so, and most of us haven’t even had children yet. The last time I remember hanging out without pre-planning was dinner with the Huas after a last minute errand in Palo Alto. It was lovely and fun and happened in July. The lack of spontaneity is as much a product of being busy as geographic distance. You’re not going to stop by for a chat when it requires a 45 minutes and a bridge toll (and that’s not even terribly far!).
Think the authored nailed it with his analysis of our built spaces fostering isolation (and for more on that, I know a guy…:)) but he omits one incredibly positive development in the last 50+ years. In the home and in the workplace, women have far more equality and power. When men and women have the opportunity to escape the boundaries of home, to learn and grow in new places, the world is simply bigger. Relationships and communities streatch out to accomodate both partner’s interests and goals.
I’m grateful my friends are all leading rewarding personal and professional lives all over the country (and world!) but realistically, it means we’ll likely never all live close to each other. And that’s ok-thankfully we do a pretty great job of making an effort to travel and check-in.
Of course, another obvious answer to all this is to JUST MAKE NEW FRIENDS closeby. But the built environment alone can’t make that happen. I’m grateful to have lived in three amazing communities since grad school (Federal Hill in Baltimore, Eastern Market in DC and now Rockridge in Oakland) and yet I can’t think of a single friendship that doesn’t somehow trace back to work or school. Certainly never from just bumping into neighbors. Yes, I’m sure that would be different if we had a dog, and no thank you, still not happening.
Anyway, once again, no real conclusiong to all of this, just thoughts and observations from weekend conversation. And total gratitude for our wonderful friends for a cozy and festive Halloween!