In 1990, my then-fiancee and I travelled through Humboldt, just a couple days on our way to visit her family in Oregon. At that time, we said that if we could find a way to make it here, it would be worth the effort. In 2004, we got our chance, with me importing a job for a year. After that, we struggled for another year, and then we both found good jobs that allowed us to stay.
We've seen bright lights; we prefer the fog. We don't smoke, aren't hippies, but still appreciate the groove. We don't love all the little towns equally, but we do love that most of them feel like a place rather than another side-by-side patch of stucco-covered bedroom community. We get to the beach nearly every weekend and still appreciate having a half a mile of it to ourselves, rain or shine. We know the open spaces are not untouched but they do feel unspoiled. Rather than decry the lack of culture, we enjoy the bits that are here and are rare for a rural place.
I know that we had some luck, but every day I see people making their own luck. They found their own business or they prepare for work in the industries that we do have.
It's harder than a number of other places, but far from hopeless.
So stay if you want to badly enough. If you're in Eureka on a prized and, yes, rare sunny day, do what I just did at lunch: walk through Old Town and the boardwalk around C and F Streets.
Last, thanks Mr. Childress for a nuanced and insightful piece.
A number of family child care providers are clients of ours at the Small Business Development Center.
None of them get wealthy. In better times, they are able to be with their own children while making some income and offsetting some of the cost of their rent or mortgage. During times like we've seen recently, the financial situation for many becomes untenable.
If they go out of business, it affects more than the provider and their customers. Quality affordable child care is a key piece of the infrastructure of our economy. If parents are not able to find it, they will either choose not to work to their full potential, or they'll worry about their kids while they're at work, making them less productive.
I don't have kids, but that doesn't mean the child care situation is not my problem.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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