Having arose from the ashes and settling atop the fire, I have found what I believe to be one of the advantages of living here in Valley Center (VC). However, I seem to have a distinct advantage over many, if not all of those other employees that think they got it going on. I am now teleworking. Or tele-commuting or whatever your so called boss thinks you’re doing when, “working at home”.
Living in VC presents many families or individuals the opportunity to work from home, or from “the” home. There are some of the best citizens here in VC that all seem to do something, even if it means staying at home. Yes, just to clear the fog, you Moms and Dads out there are doing something too. I regress . . . Anyway the point is, all of us moved to this area out here because it’s country. It’s about something that you have that your neighbor doesn’t necessarily share. It might be the mower. It might be the view. It might even be the quiet. Some of us have horses while some of us might have a nursery. Some of us might not have much of anything to show for what we work for, but we have our country.
Having grown up in this part of the country for many years (Temecula since 1976) I was raised a spoiled surfer since birth. I first lived along the Palos Verde peninsula beach and inland areas of San Pedro, Hermosa, Redondo, Lomita, etc. So having moved to Temecula, I became pretty used to having property around me since I began to drive. Yup, everything was dirt roads and my Baja Bug. Even the wife and I (married in Temecula) have been traveling throughout much of the North San Diego County since we started driving, then dating. When my wife and I had left Temecula, they had just got their first stop light. On the corner of Rancho California Rd. and Front St. There are many more stories about Temecula. Perhaps someday.
What my friend and companion (wife) of so many years and I have come to realize is living in VC is great (actually way more expletive). Since we live much closer to the freeway than most, it’s great. I know it can’t be as great for some of us if living somewhere in the VC area that takes 20 minutes on a good day with that Bear Valley tail wind just to get to the freeway. That’s what has led many, or given many, of us an opportunity to pursue alternative methods for obtaining income. Noooo, this isn’t some upper-desert cheap housing crack-factory kind of town. This is the kind of town that puts on some boots and does some diggin’. The kind of folks here that desire better things and work hard for it. These are the kind of neighbors that will still come and pull you out with the truck or tractor when you need it.
Folks here in VC might be in construction or they might be financial advisors. They may be somewhere in between. Something they do allows them to work at or from their home. Like me, I can now tele-work. Or it might be called teleworking. Or it might be called working from home. Whatever it is . . . it’s great. Having recently decided that this writing condition I have will not diminish again for the time being. I have found to be writing more and more just as there may perhaps be an author amongst us here in VC. Again the point I’m trying to make is I have just discovered this special thing about teleworking I have been given. This special aspect (that’s a big word) that gives me that advantage over most tele-commuting or teleworking along side of me here in VC.
When teleworking I have found that I can get more work done and remain focused on my tasks until I have a distraction, of course. Here at home the distractions only come about every so often. The dogs want to go out. The dogs want to come in. Oh crap, . . . the trash man. Occasionally, and only if your boss trusts you and doesn’t rely on your every moment, you can actually get a lot more done without the stupid people coming into your office (cube). But you are somehow still at work; perhaps connected by the email that can also distract from tasks. It’s then that I had realized the heaven in what I have here now.
Finally, after getting a break from my day of teleworking routine that began with checking email at 3am and included the physical training (PT) of walking up my hill three times without stopping around 8:30 today before it got hot. Then driving to Temecula and back for explaining my most recent changes to one of the environmental courses I am putting together, brought me home right at noon today.
I was hungry, but the dogs wanted to go out (it’s that whole Pavlov’s Dog thing). Ha, ha; these are the days of our teleworking lives. What got me thinking about how different I am, was just before I had decided to make myself some kind of lunch. I began to think of what I would have available to me in the refrigerator since I’m not accustomed to purchasing my lunch. Yes, I am a leftover guy. I’m the one that everyone croons over as the microwaved steam emits from my tuppers while scurrying back to my desk for fear of an eminent attack. The croons would be coming from the lunch-roomites that either consume their daily fast food or their microwavable frozen dinners. Very few would ever bring leftovers as apposed to me; I would almost always have leftovers. Duh, the shit I cook is friggin great most of the time. The stuff my wife makes is great (she’s learned a thing or two from you know who). So why would I not heat it up a bit and enjoy what I had the other night? Makes sense to me. We have even stopped, for the most part, eating dinners at home now since we only have one more child remaining on board. He is now driving and has pretty much found his solace and focus to attend the college of his desires, so he’s off gallivanting with other seniors of the VCHS Varsity Football team. They too are hustling for position at their university of choice.
So I had mentioned that I have this advantage. The advantage of knowing how to cook. And the advantage that my leftovers for the day are again a combination of a couple of good meals we had reserved from the weekend. My wife had made a parmesan polenta the other day for another meal, and I had native oak-grilled a couple of tri-tip for a party and reserved a bit for our family. I also had grilled some zucchini that needed to be acted upon when making the tri-tips. Now here’s why it is so special. I would normally take everything jammed into a plastic microwaveable container and basically stick it all in the office break room microwave oven. Normally I would set it, and forget it for about 3 or 4 minutes. After it was heated for the full time allotted (there’s other people waiting for the microwave) I would drag whatever conglomeration resulted back to my desk and huddle over it, consuming it before it had a chance to cool. Ok, sounds like everyone else’s normal lunchtime routine, unless you’re one of those break room avengers that use the lunch hour for social anarchy.
Today, my lunch took all but 1 minute and 35 seconds to prepare. I heated the polenta in the tupper (lid cocked) for 1 minute. Gave it a stir since it had enough liquid from the previous preparation, and plated it while the beef, I had sliced very thin across the grain, was heating until I stopped it at 35 seconds. I gave that trip tip a quick tossing in its juices then plated that atop the polenta. I topped it with bottled BBQ sauce and cold sliced zucchini. This was heaven. As if I had just paid $13 for this at some gastro pub. But it was better. Everything was super hot and very flavorful. Everything was free . . . and it was mine. I think the plate took about 90 seconds to consume. It was that good.
Now I ask you, “what’s in your lunchbox?”