Relating my home buying story got me thinking about another decision to move.

When I first moved back to the States, I lived at Hillary‘s house until I could get my feet solidly on the ground. I then found a cute 1970’s-era apartment to rent that accepted cats (not Carmen, but my previous feline companion, Kiki). It was in a central location, and I loved it.

About a year after I moved in, the neighborhood started to change, and it went downhill quick. Three of the four surrounding complexes went Section 8, as did many others on the block. It became a rare occurrence when I wasn’t woken up in the middle of the night either to a fight in the street or helicopters flying overhead with spotlights and garbled warning messages.

San Diego Police Helicopter

[They seem much less scary in the daytime!]

I was fortunate that neither my place nor my car was ever broken into, but I didn’t want to tempt fate. The increasing danger level became too much for me, and I started looking for a new place to live. I found one in a much nicer area (with a much higher price tag), that had an ocean view from the living room window. I wanted it, so I put down my deposit. Of course the frugal side of me was screaming out about the added monthly expense.

I was still questioning my decision when that night I woke to the sound of two women having words (rather loud words) in the middle of the street. When I was finally awake enough for my brain to turn the screaming sounds into English, I heard one of my favorite quotes of all time:  He don’t love me just for my food stamps!

My decision instantly was settled in my mind, and I never questioned it again. Yet another example of serendipity to the rescue.

Have you ever had a neighborhood turn on you? or What is your favorite overheard line?

8 thoughts on “Destiny”

  1. Oh, no. Not the “He don’t love me for my food stamps” line. A tell-tale signal that a neighborhood has gone sour for sure.

    My favorite line was from my kid brother when he was five and I was twelve. He meant to say “I’m not as dumb as I look,” got some words flipped, and came out with: “I don’t look as dumb as I am!” We laughed for days over that. Still laughing.


  2. WEll I think that one has to be right up there. Serendipity indeed – guardian angels?? My daughter lived in Los Angeles until this last fall – right near Beverly Hills and Hollywood, where one block the wrong way can put you in a whole different demographic. I think she was just inbetween the two blocks – as she’d have helicopters swarming often at night too – she and her roomate referred to them as “ghetto birds.” Nice.


    1. I know what it is like to live “in between” blocks. Neighborhoods out here are very block by block. Unfortunately those boundaries don’t remain constant!


    1. They are very scary! You made me laugh by pointing out the similarities of “Cops” and Lifetime TV movies. It was a surprising comparison … and oh so true!


  3. I found this post really funny. That line is just crazy. You’d just have to laugh if that is what you heard someone say early in the morning like that.

    I had an apartment that started going downhill. Every night for weeks one of the businesses across the street would have their store alarm go off. This was every night for weeks and it was loud enough to wake up everyone in the apartment complex. You know it’s bad when people get up and look outside at what’s going on. Needless to say, we were all getting upset about it. I didn’t last long after that.


    1. Even though I didn’t appreciate being woken up in the middle of the night, I did laugh when I heard the line. It was too perfect, plus it was a huge confirmation that my move was right.

      I fully understand why you would move away from the store that kept getting broken in to. How long before they started in on your apartment building? It was definitely time to go.


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