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COVER STORY

Finding love

in your own backyard by Stacie Charbonneau Hess Especially in February, it is easy to dream of greener grass. Heck, any grass really. Any little patch of green will do. It’s just like our lives, our human nature, to daydream that any situation but our own seems to have allure. When restlessness ensues in my life, I hit the road, literally. Usually we drive north to Vermont or New Hampshire, but any trip, by highway or air or train, will do. I find that often a change of scenery makes me appreciate what I sometimes forget to see. The bright smile of my daughters, the playfulness of my son, the loyalty of my husband. For this reason, trips can bring back romance, and fill our lives to overflowing with gratitude and appreciation. To shake up tradition a bit this year, Mark and I planned a trip over the holidays to the city where I spent my 16

twenties—San Francisco. We chose it because I had been wanting to show him and the kids around for years, my oldest was even born there, and I felt this magnetic draw to the city by the bay that eight years had not shaken from my consciousness.

W

e boarded the plane from T.F. Green for our 6:10 a.m. flight on Christmas Eve. We didn’t know who would be picking us up at the airport in San Francisco, and we had only bits and pieces of information about our 10 day rental in Russian Hill that we found on Craigslist. We packed our bags, threw them into the trunk, woke the kids up at 4 a.m. (they slept in their clothes so they could just stumble out to the car), and headed to the airport for an adventure.

February 2010 / The South Coast Insider

Now, here is where I interject a bit in my narrative. I recommend that the easiest way to liven up a marriage, or any love relationship, is to remove yourself from your day to day routine and do something completely different together. Because when you approach this big, wide world, it’s suddenly the one you love that becomes your anchor. Part of who you are is defined in this person, and this is not something you learn if you just keep doing the same thing every day, unaware. If you meditate and practice spirituality in some form, you may know this without moving an inch. But for the rest of us, the less enlightened ones, we need to sometimes get a change of perspective to get a change in appreciation for what we have. As we found our seats on the open-seating Southwest Airlines flight, we began

The South Coast Insider - February 2010  

The South Coast Insider magazine - February 2010