Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Family Time!

Since everyone else has posted entries about family, I figured it was my turn now. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I am a California native from what I used to consider the "little" town of Petaluma - about 45 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, along the 101, in Sonoma County. Since moving to Massachusetts, I've discovered what a little town truly is, and in comparison Petaluma is a booming Metropolis.

I was raised on a 40 acre ranch on the outskirts of town, and grew up with all that "farm living" brings a person. I was in 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) and raised a herd of Guernsey dairy cows that I showed at local fairs and expositions. We always had a number of other animals around, including sheep, pigs, three horses for a few years, typically five or so dogs and (at one time) about 35 cats of various ages and varieties. Most of these cats were from a single, over productive "Mama Cat" who always eluded my father's efforts at capture for spaying. Eventually we shipped the entire cat herd to a friend's dairy where they were having a rat problem.

My older sister and I were lucky while growing up in that our parents never split up (coming up on their 35th wedding anniversary in 2009) and our grandparents (on my mom's side) lived just a stones throw away on the ranch. We always had a strong family connection and learned the valuable lessons of loyalty and respect for others early on. When I was 20 years old, and making my own way in the world, my parents sold the ranch and moved to four acres a few miles down the road. Having all that property was great, but also a burden to maintain. Four acres is just right to let the four dogs run around and grow some olive trees.

While I have headed out into the world, my sister remained in our hometown close to mom and dad. She now has an amazing son, Lucas, who just turned seven years old. Above is a (somewhat fuzzy) picture of he and I with my mom on a recent whale watching expedition to Bodega Bay. We didn't see any whales, but the hot dogs and ice cream were great!

I don't have any children, other than my 17 year old cat Tobie. He's a tuxedo, and he's been with me since I was 13 years old. He's lived in all the places I have - Petaluma, Santa Rosa, West Hollywood, San Francisco (two different apartments), Fremont, and now in both Quincy and Rockland in the Boston area. I did a tally and both he and I have moved over 12 times in his lifetime. I'm sure we have a few more moves ahead of us.

We just completed our most recent move, from Quincy to Rockland, where we live with my partner Jason in a brand new condo. Building a life together is interesting, and challenging, and fun all at the same time. Deciding what goes where, who is responsible for what, and balancing personal time with "us" time is turning out to be an adventurous voyage in its own right!

1 comment:

Sarah Crossman said...

Matt, I like that you added the "reactions" widget to your blog. I can see why, while this data of whether people consider an entry funny, interesting, or cool is interesting to know and consider, having this type of poll data could definitely contribute to a highly successful, and well-followed blog. I think I might go add that to mine......