Back on the Grid

Cynthia Bryant

By Guest blogger Cynthia Bryant

My dog, Daisy and I packed up our house at 27th and C Streets on Sacramento’s Grid and moved to Elk Grove in July 2003.  Now, one month shy of 15 years, my dog, Stewart and I will pack up and move to a new loft at 21st and H back on the Grid.

I try to remember why I decided to move to Elk Grove.  First, I wanted a new house, one that I could design myself or at least pick out the finishes.  Second, I hoped to have a house big enough that I could host my family for the holidays. Finally, I wanted a Tuscan-inspired entertainment backyard.

I made many great memories in my Elk Grove home.  We had family Christmases there. My nieces and nephew grew up in that house, two of them even lived with me for a time.  The house was on Oscar Circle, which gave me a great reason to host exciting Oscar parties for 13 of those years.

Fifteen years saw many changes for me as well.  I lost both my father and my mother. My dog Daisy grew old there and then I lost her too.  The commute went from 25 minutes to close to an hour or even more on some days.

One thing that didn’t change was my backyard.  It remained the pile of dirt that it was when I moved in.  Eventually I added a patch of fake grass and a table and chairs.  “At least plant some sod,” I heard regularly from one of my friends, but for some reason I never could bring myself to commit to that Tuscany backyard.

It is odd for a single woman, with a Capitol-focused work-centric life to be in Elk Grove.  I didn’t really fit in. My friends were all downtown. My nieces moved there as well. I started seriously thinking about moving back about 5 years ago.  My parents were gone and having the home base lost its importance.

Those who know me know that I often talk about doing things that never quite happen (Tuscan-inspired backyard?) Two years ago, I threw my annual Oscar Party, but it wasn’t fun anymore.  It may seem strange, but I knew then I had to move back downtown.

Last fall, I asked a realtor to check out my house, rented a storage space and began “downsizing.”  It went slow. After an initial deposit of a few boxes I didn’t visit my storage space for months. In the meantime, my commute seemed to grow worse.  It was exhausting.

Then a miracle happened, I picked up the phone and called a random realtor.  We visited a few properties, one of which I fell in love with. I made an offer a few days later, which was accepted. I turned around and got my house ready to list.  It sold within 24 hours.

I am now frantically packing, fortunately I work well under pressure.  My book of choice these days is the Japanese tidying up book. I am thanking of lot of stuff for its service and then tossing it.  My new loft has 3 fewer bedrooms than my old house, one less bath; it’s 700 square feet smaller and it doesn’t have a 3-car garage.

In a few short days I will be back on the Grid after a 15-year absence.  I am looking forward to walking to work, dropping by the Midtown Farmer’s Market, and grabbing an Uber so I can have that extra glass of wine.  Stewart will miss his dirt patch backyard and all the places in the house he had to hide his bones, but I think he will like our walks and the extra time I can spend with him.   

Will my return to downtown dramatically change my life?  Probably not, but I have committed to using those 90 minutes I get back each day from my commute to spend a little more time on me and a little more time on Stewart.

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