Long Beach, California

After a wonderful trek across the country, we’ve arrived in Long Beach, my home town. We’ve noticed a few changes in the two years we’ve been gone. Our old home, last year painted entirely white, has been repainted and now matches the white and green colors Susan I lived with. A restaurant or two have closed and/or changed hands. New bike lanes tighten up what always seemed to be very narrow lanes to begin with. One amusing addition is the construction of completely unnecessary roundabouts in the sparsely travelled old neighborhood. One only wonders why roundaboutmania has stricken the country. At any rate, presently the new circles lack yield signs and seem to serve the purpose only of blocking entry to moving vans. Where once a simple left-hand turn was merely a left-hand turn, now … well, Buckeyes will know that story. The most noticeable change is one I’m inclined to think is more perception than reality—the volume of traffic! Two years of rural Ohio driving has altered my idea of busy. Negotiating the city streets here in our Honda has me wondering how I ever managed with the full-sized Ford van. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists in a bigger hurry than we are all combine to make driving more of a chore than I remember it. Of course, I don’t want to consider my age as a factor in such a conclusion. I do recall, however, that as a young man driving, it was always an old man in a hat holding me up.

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