I've lived here since 1990, and consider it home. I came here from Boise, Idaho to open a business. The business lasted for only five years, but I've never since had a desire to live anywhere else.
Even though I live here, and was born in Kentucky, and have lived in Georgia as well as California and Idaho (yeeeeesh, did no one want me?), I will always consider Petaluma, Ca. to be my "real" home town. We moved there in 1975 and it continues to be a major part of my life, though I left California in '89. It's in a beautiful part of the state...about 40 miles north of San Francisco...and it was there I graduated High School in '78, got my first job, and fell in love (or so I thought) the first dozen or so times. It was also there I joined the group that, to this day, is the thing I miss most about living there. When we first moved to Petaluma, we joined First Southern Baptist Church, later to become Petaluma Valley Baptist. In '78 I joined a gospel singing group which eventually became known as "Joyful Noise". We did several tours in the western states, and tried to do concerts as often as possible. We were together until '89 when for various reasons half of us moved too far away from the group to remain together. We still try to get together once a year or so and do either a scaled down tour or at least a concert or two. There's not a lot that I could have down there but can't up here. Joyful Noise is the one part of my life down there that's irreplaceable.
Anyway, here I am in the Seattle area, and I love it. My fiance, Patty, and I have been together since August of '93, and yup, we do plan to get married. We've stuck together through the loss of my business, the death of her Father in '94 and my Mother in '96, and my Father in '99, as well as each having some fairly tough health problems along the way. Patty was diagnosed in August of '96 with Breast Cancer, and in September of '96, I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy; the result of a viral infection I picked up while visiting my mother in the hospital. In retrospect, the late summer and fall of '96 was not the single best time of either of our lives. All that, though, pales in comparison to the good times we've shared and the strength we've been able to draw from each other. I'm happy to say that Patty's pretty much fully recovered, and, though I'm told I'll definitely need a heart transplant in the not too distant future, I'm feeling great anyway, and I've purty much decided that my prognosis is for a long and and at least semi-normal life. Well, knowing me, maybe not THAT normal! Now, at the start of my 41st year, I have a new appreciation for my life, and all that I've been blessed with.
Now, if I could just win that dern lottery.........