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Thursday, January 17, 2008


A New Beginning

San Mateo, California
  • A city in western California southeast of San Francisco. Named by a Spanish expedition in 1776, it was the center of a Mexican colony from 1822 to 1846. Population: 96000 (apprx).
Quite different than the city 25 miles to the south in which I spent the last 13 years. Prettier, scenic; there are more trees. And there are other differences. No cookie cutter housing projects, not in the area where I live. Homes are older, larger. I no longer see students walking to schools. There are children in the neighborhood but they are driven to school and back by their parents. Certainly more quiet. But if one finds that there is no garlic for the pasta sauce there is no need for panic. Less than half a mile down the hill there is a small shopping center that has a Safeway store. It also has a good Chinese (Hunan) restaurant and one of those ubiquitous upscale coffee shops.

Looking east out of my window on a foggy morning
© Musafir

Like the quietness and the scenery but there are certain things about my old neighborhood that I miss. For one, I cannot step out of the door and chat with a neighbor. And I have more friends in that part of the valley who are important in my life. Then there are my daughters and their families. In this part of the world a distance of 15 or 20 miles means nothing and, yet, there is no denying the fact that I am further away from them.

Owners of the house graciously allowed me space in their garden to grow sweet peas and for planters containing herbs that I use for cooking. The netting for sweet pea vines is in place and the seeds are in the ground. Now , if snails can be stopped from destroying the young shoots the flowers will bloom in March. Some years back when I hiked the DalesWay from Ilkley to Inverness in England, I passed a nursery that had a sign which read "Sweet Peas are now ready for planting". It was the middle of May!

Decisions to relocate are hard to make. In my case it was not absolutely necessary but, rightly or wrongly, I decided that it was time to move. The process itself can be very stressful. Good friends came to my aid.

It was a clear, crisp morning, temperature around 60 deg. F (16 deg. C) when I went for the first run from my new quarters. Had run on Crystal Springs Road in the past but not as a resident of San Mateo.

Went down Parrott, turned right on DeAnza, passed the shopping center and I was on Polhemus Road heading east. About two miles further Polhemus meets Crystal Springs Road and one can go right toward El Camino Real or left toward Skyline and the six-mile long Sawyer Trail which meanders along the Crystal Springs Reservoirs. I went left but not all the way to Skyline. On the return leg, going up Parrott was hard but it was a short stretch, less than half a mile.

Researching San Mateo on the web I came across an interesting item.

The Episcopal Church of St. Matthew, Consecrated May 23,1866

Original Episcopal Church of St. Matthew
© Episcopal Church of St. Matthew

© 2006 Steve Whittaker - http://www.episcopalstmatthew.org/

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in San Mateo, California is one of the oldest stone churches west of the Mississippi. Its history begins in 1864 when the village of San Mateo had a population of 150 people, 25 houses, a railway depot, Roman Catholic Church, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and a grocery store. To the north was San Francisco and Grace Church, now Grace Cathedral. There were several Episcopalian families in the area, and the Reverend Giles Alexander Easton arrived from San Francisco to conduct the first Episcopal services on April 24, 1864, in the local schoolhouse.

"Eternity is an infinite extent of time, in which every event is future at one time, present at another, past at another."
-- Dictionary of Philosophy, edited by Dagobert D. Runes

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