the atlas

A list of places that are important to my life. Some names have been changed to prevent random searches from finding this site.

Treetown – a tiny hamlet in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California, about 45 minutes from Goldville. I spent the first 14 years of my life there with A-mom and the Old Bitch, then another 2 years after the Old Bitch moved away. There is a lot of natural beauty here, dominated by the huge ponderosa and sugar pines, and the colorful madrone trees. There is a lot of poverty, drugs, and white trash here. Unfortunately most of my memories from here are bad, and I don’t think I can ever go back to this place.

Goldville – the small city in the Central Valley of California where I attended school. We moved here from Treetown when I was 16, and I moved away for good when I was 21. Some people find this town attractive, but I see nothing but a hot, dry, and nearly dead landscape. I hate this place. This is a town where young people want to escape, old people come to die, and those in between wish they lived somewhere else. There is a lot of poverty, drugs, and white trash here. I finished school, lost my A-mom, met my wife, sold everything, and moved away as soon as I could.

Hippietown – a collection of a few small cities on the Northern California coast. Everyone knows this place as the home of giant redwood trees, marijuana plantations, and the hippie culture. My wife and I lived here twice in the span of 14 years, first while I went to the University here, then later when we returned to be close to my wife’s family (the fish-in-laws and the goat family, before goats). Dan was born here. For no apparent reason, and despite having a pretty good situation, we moved from Hippietown to Ohio in 2005. The fish-in-laws moved to Ohio in 2013; the goat family moved to Ohio in 2016.

Reno – Home of the University of Nevada, and my first attempt at freedom at age 18. I had some good times, I met and lost my first serious girlfriend Beth, and I had to leave due to money problems and bipolar problems. I learned some valuable life lessons here, even if I didn’t learn much at college.

Vancouver – the one in Washington state, directly across the river from Portland. We lived here for three years after I graduated from college in 1995. I had my nearly-fatal car accident here, and Nicole was born here. Despite having a pretty good situation, we moved back to Hippietown to near with family. This is the only place I have truly missed living.

Funk – a mythical place in Northeastern Ohio which might appear on old maps, and is symbolic of my mood at times.

The Sierra Nevada mountains – my backyard when I was younger. My mental and physical refuge. Granite, trees, canyons, wetlands, snow, A place of immense spaces and breathtaking beauty, where the spirit of the forest and the rocks infuses your very being. If you can’t feel the mountains here, you must be dead inside.

North Carolina – Dan moved to Raleigh in 2017. We vacationed at the beach in 2016, visited Dan in 2017, and will visit him again in 2018. Maybe we will move there after retirement.

Baseball stadiums everywhere – my favorite place to spend an afternoon.