You Can Go Home Again!!

I’m going back to this welcoming, red, dutch door

I write this blog because I love to write, it’s fun, and most importantly to me, to share and leave memories, thoughts, philosophies, daily affirmations, etc… not only for me (cause I don’t remember anything!), but for my kids and my future grand-kids.  I started writing in a journal a little over three years ago and here are some random thoughts on my three year journey…

Leaving Tustin, July 2012…I didn’t want to live alone with memories…too much space, too sad…knowing that some of them would not live on…but I LOVED that home!

Diamond, Balboa Island, July, 2012…it was a cocooning experience that enveloped me and, although sad and confusing at times,  gave somewhat a feeling of relief of not living up to someone else’s expectations of who I should be. I was in a cute small space surrounded by the pictures and memories that I loved…and a little outdoor space to entertain in. My friend, Mac, said “it’s like a little Paris apartment!”   It was isolating being in the back, above the garage, but I took my beach chair & book down to the beach almost every day to escape the isolation and be part of the balboa island community…walking everywhere, like a small city.  My mom moved in 2 doors down…I got to see her every day for two months, which was such a gift…and I loved my landlady, Margaret.  Margaret and my mom went on a few outings together…a movie and bridge at the local yacht club.  My mom passed away…and then Margaret passed away a few months later…surreal, but somewhat of a bonding between our two families.  Lots of laughs and memories on our first mother’s day without them.


The Cottage


Amazing View

zpfile000 angela

Cabrillo, Lido Peninsula, July 2013…So happy to have a place to call my own…decorate and have room for both my kids.  Amazing view, amazing space…just perfect, even if a bit small….  ….but there were other plans for me! I didn’t know it at the time, but my last dinner party would be my book club meeting for “Boys in the Boat” on Tuesday, August 14, 2014.  On Wednesday morning I spent some time on my computer researching a property tax law that had been looming over my head & pertained to my impending 55th birthday in 2015.  So…after my research it was clear…I needed to move back to my HOME in Tustin.  There was a real estate bubble in my cute cottage neighborhood for a very short time.  I put it on the market, it sold before it was even listed and I made a very nice profit in the year I was there.




Marine, Balboa Island, Sept 2014..I literally had less than 10 days to find a place (contingencies had to be lifted on Cabrillo and closing was soon after).  I checked with my realtor from my days on Diamond and there was a studio, with garage, above my friend’s bookstore.  I didn’t think I wanted to do a year lease (since I’d be moving in July) but I didn’t have much time and realized I could use the garage for storage..and save that money.  Win Win!  This place is small, but has been easy to live in (once I moved the furniture around).  I love the light, the intoxicating smell of garlic from the neighboring restaurant, the grunt of the sea lions in the distance & the voices of the community I can hear outside my window….and coincidentally it’s owned by the same landlords as my original BI apartment on Diamond.

Six weeks until I call this “HOME” again

BACK HOME AGAIN, Tustin, July 2015….AAAAHHH! Time heals all wounds, they say.  When I left three years ago it was for many reasons and I truly thought I would not, and could not mentally, ever go back…at one point I even asked my tenants if they’d like to buy it.  Thank God they said “no”!  I am counting the days ’til I return to this unmatched suburban paradise.  My neighbors and I have watched our children grow, gone on numerous vacations together, supported each other through some really crazy times and just loved hanging out.  A new influx of younger families has moved in and rejuvenated the streets with the same activities that our kids enjoyed.  Okay, as one neighbor put it, “it can be a little stepford at times”…but really an unbelievable shangri-la.  I can’t wait to spend the summer back HOME, with parties on the lawn, mahjong within walking distance again and a feeling of security….with the added bonus of my daughter and future son-in-law living with me for awhile.  The new wall-words that will go up “…in the end a beach house is just a state of mind” and from my Dublin friend, Gina, this Irish proverb  “Níl aon tinteán ná do thinteán féin” which literally means ‘there’s no hearth like your own hearth’ or translated “no place like home”…Perfect!!


New artwork for my Tustin “beach-house”

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters,
in the end.”…Ernest Hemingway
(thanks to cest christine for this quote)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!


  1. What a great post, Jeanine! Hands down, some of my favorite memories of Balboa Island have been while you lived there. Truly a special time for me (and my mom!) but I am SO excited to make some new memories at Alray with you (and Taylor and Dan!)! Cannot wait to see the new beach chic you bring over there! Xx

  2. We all have wonderful memories of that house! I’m so happy for you….though I’ll miss you on the island. Don’t be a stranger!

  3. I love visiting you in Balboa… but I CANNOT wait to meet the Alray house! I sent that home so many postcards! I’m also excited to see how you decorate! Quinn is going to love it! Hooray for a new chapter! 🙂

  4. Not sure there is anyone more excited about you moving back “home” than Jack! I think he has been counting the days right along with you! He wants to sleep there instead of grandma’s ♡

  5. Alray was our home for a while too (best home exchange ever!) and it was such a warm-hearted place, stuffed full of your spiri, Jeanine. I bet it never emptied of it, but you’ll have any missing bits filled in the minute you walk back in 🙂
    The countdown is on!

  6. Wonderful! You have enriched all of us with your writing /and righting. You embrace life with grace-
    Thank you for sharing your journey – Yay You! Did someone say Pool Party at Jeanine’s?

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