This is a new chapter in my autobiography update for 2014. It consists of two articles, I previously wrote in my blogs on the subject of snowbirding and our several moves in the US from 1960 to 2002. Comments will be appreciated.
A. Our Snowbirding Year for 2011
Photo taken at the Balanacan Cove Convention Center with David III and Frank Irlandez, March, 2011. Frank and Flor Irlandez are the owners of a resort in Mogpog, Marinduque, Palm by the Beach. Flor was my colleague in UP Chemistry in the 1950's and Frank was a dorm mate during my first year in the US.
A lot of our friends often asked us if snowbirding is really great. You bet it is! However, this lifestyle is not for everyone. It is fantastic if you hate the cold temperatures in the US on winter time. But why are there not too many Filipino-American retirees snow birding?
My educated guess is that it just too expensive, maintaining two households. In addition, one must have personal help to take care of your house in US (abroad) while you are in the Philippines and vice versa. In our case, we are lucky to have a son who is single and has the time to take care of our residence in US while we are in the Philippines. On the other hand, we are spending a lot of money hiring a caretaker and gardeners to take care of our second home here in Marinduque when we are in US in the spring and summer months.
Just recently, we almost lost our Caretaker and Housekeeper. But after 1 month of vacation and sick leave, they decided to return. It would have been ideal, if we have another relative here in Marinduque to take care of our second home when we are in US, but I guess that is asking too much.
I hope that our current arrangement will continue as long as we have the energy( that is healthy enough to travel back and forth) to maintain this snowbird lifestyle.
Here are the highlights of our 2011 Snowbirding Year
1. Catholic Wedding and Reception of Elaine Lazarte and Alex Chalfin
2. One week of Marinduque International,Inc Medical Mission in Marinduque
3. Valentine Dinner and Dance and an overnight stay at the Bellarocca Resort & Spa
4. Attended several parties including Macrine's 75th birthday, Blessing of Bob and Elisa Howard Cottage in Laylay, and Dinner with Rene and Genny Nieva at the Amanah Forest Preserve, Cawit.
5. Dinner with Steve Sosa in his beach house in Quatiz, Gasan and
6. Holy Week and Moriones Festival Celebration
Is snowbirding in your future plans after retirement? If so, please feel free to ask me if you have questions anytime. After all we have been snow birding since 2002 and we have a lot of experience and knowledge on this subject. Cheers!
Note: I believe the word "snowbirding" is not yet listed in the Webster dictionary.
Moving is an Adventure
photo from topviralpictures.com
Although, I am not in the US navy or army, my family have moved nine times from the 1960's to 2002 . Most of these moves were paid by my employers. These moves are either intercity or interstate., voluntary or involuntary. Each move is for a different reason, but it is always an adventure, filled with anxiety and hopes for a better life and new experiences . The places we have lived are as follows:
Chicago, Illinois ( 2 moves), Kansas City, Missouri ( 3 moves), Modesto, California (2 moves), Pinole, California ( 2 moves), Silver Spring, MD and Sacramento, California( 2 moves). It was only in Colesville, Md where we stayed in one house for 12 years without moving.
Our first interstate move was from Chicago, Illinois to Kansas City, Missouri in 1964. After my graduation with a PhD. Degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago, I got my first industrial job in Kansas City, Missouri. The move was paid by my employer, Chemagro Corporation. The movers packed and unpacked every thing we owned which was not much. We first rented a 3 bedroom house in Gladstone, Missouri, right in town. The family( Macrine and three kids) got involved with the local church and country club activities. The house was right in town and after two years, our landlord wanted to sell his property, so we were forced to rent another house nearby.
This house is more secluded with an undeveloped land in our backyard. At the back of the property is a small creek, where our three kids love to play. We are always on our toes if they play on the creek, since we are afraid an accident may happened. An accident did happened, when our little David scrapped his knees and had to be driven to the emergency room for several stitches. Macrine was so scared ( too much blood), she did not realized she was driving in second gear on her way to the hospital.
pur first owned house in the US with the official address of 5701 NW Linden Rd, Kansas City, Missouri. It had 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and in one acre of lot, fully fenced with Sears chain-linked fence.
On our fourth year in Kansas City, we decided to buy our first house in Park Woods, Missouri, North of Kansas City. The house was a 4-bedroom ranch with a one acre of lot. We called it “The Nipa Hut”. Our Christmas Parties with the Filipino-American community in the area was featured in the two local newspapers, The Dispatch and Kansas City Star. We live in the Kansas City area for 5 years.
Our next move was to Modesto, California. Modesto is in the heart of Stanislaus County, a part of California Central Valley- a farming community in 1969. This was a voluntary move. After five years of Midwest weather, I wanted to move to California for a better paying job and climate. With the move, I got a 20% raise and fulfill my wish to live in a warmer climate.
My new employer paid again all our moving expenses, including relocation expenses. Shell Development Company also paid for our hotel expenses and help us in the purchase of a new home in Modesto, right in town. By this time we had 4 kids and decided to apply for American citizenship. It was granted in 1972. Our citizenship party was featured in the Modesto Bee- a local newspaper.
Macrine at this time wanted to have a gift shoppe where she could sell Philippine handicrafts and other gift products from the Philippines. So we decided to sell our house right in town and purchase a farm house with a gift shop in front at Skittone Rd, right in the border of Modesto and Salida. The gift shop was doing well, but after five years in Modesto, Shell Development decided to close their agricultural research and move all of it to Houston, Texas. Since we do not want to move to Texas, I decided to look for another job close to San Francisco or in the East Bay.
I was lucky to find another research chemist job with Stauffer Chemical Company in Richmond, California in 1974. We purchase a new house in Pinole, walking distance to the High School. We selected Pinole, since it had a “Debate-Forensic Program” that our oldest son wanted. When we move from Modesto, our oldest son said, he will never forget the fact, that we uprooted him from his high school at Beyer where he was active in the forensic team. So his requirement was that we move to a place where there is a local forensic team in the high school.
When all the kids graduated from high school, we decided to move from our 2-story house to a ranch type house in the same area. This was instigated, when one day, I sprained my ankle playing tennis and I had a hard time climbing the stairs to our bedroom. So we move to Silvercrest Rd up in the hill with a nice view of the San Pablo Bay. This time we do the moving ourselves. Since it was only about 2 miles from our former house, it was not a hard move, although we have to hire a local moving company for the heavy furniture and appliances. The expenses for this move came from our own pockets. In this ranch home on the hill with a view, we hold several parties for the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, Berkeley Chapter, when I was President at that time, 1988-1989.
In 1990, my new employer, Chevron Chemical Company, decided to close their agricultural division in Richmond. This time I promised to myself, I will never work for a private company due to stability concerns. My goal was to work either for the State or the Federal government. My chance to work for the Federal government came when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hired me as a review chemist and later Team Leader, after I attended a Job Fair in San Francisco in 1990. Luckily at that time, the Federal government had a budget for relocation expenses for employees under their Special Hiring Program. So without touching anything, the federal government paid for all our relocation expenses and also help us find a new house in Maryland. We found a ranch type home in Colesville, MD, north of Silver Spring. We live there for 12 years until my retirement in 2002.
Our home in Colesville, Md with the official address of 12808 Hammonton Rd, Silver Spring, MD.
The latest move we had was in 2002 from Maryland to Sacramento, California. Why did we decide to retire in the Sacramento Area? We want to be near our children and grandchildren, so at least we could help in baby sitting. Our youngest daughter and husband live not too far from us. Our two other children lived in Walnut Creek, about a 90 minutes drive. This move was our hardest move. We had to pay for all the moving expenses. After a garage sale, giving away some of our possessions to friends, relatives and neighbors, we still have more than 500 boxes plus two cars to transport across the continental USA. Since we were not sure where to buy a house in the Sacramento area, we decided to rent first. After one year, we decided to purchase another ranch type house in the city of Fair Oaks, the Eastern suburb of Sacramento. We love it here in Fair Oaks. It is convenient to shopping malls, the casinos (Thunder Valley and Red Oaks) and of course to my Pangga, Carenna. For details about our life in the various locations listed above, please visit my web site. http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com