so Steve, your comment got me thinking ...
being here in CA, I'm trying to analyze why I don't like it here. before it was just a gut feeling and I went with it, but being the introvert I am, I tend to sit back and watch what is around me.
a couple examples -
at the lake, we come with the basics - us in our suits, sunblock, few sand toys, towels, and a small cooler with snacks. everyone else has this, but it's times 10. not just bathing suits, but suits with UV tops along with hats and water shoes. not just a few sand toys, but what seems to be a playroom full of sand toys. not just a few drinks/snacks, a huge cooler full of food. umbrellas, chairs, boogie boards, goggles, floaties ... and on and on and on.
what if my kids want this, this, and that? better buy it all so they never complain ...
driving around south orange county, you will notice how perfect the landscaping is. everything is green, and it really is beautiful. but after awhile you notice that every single square inch is covered. planned for. used up. there is no area that I know of that is untouched. even the spaces on the on/off ramps to the freeway is landscaped. and watered regularly. there is not a tree in the whole county that doesn't have a steak holding up. God forbid a leaf falling on the ground. it's perfect. everyday.
what if we let nature take it's course? nope, water everything all the time ... even though there is a drought happening.
the kids are too "protected" with stuff; there is no room for sunburns, stubbed toes, or playing in the sand with your hands. the landscaping seems to be perfect so no one gets hurt walking down the street, tripping over a stick or something. no way to just walk on an unpaved pathway. no way your kids could go on a nature walk to find things for a craft project. why nothing when you can build another Starbucks?
there is no room for imagination. no free play. it's all chain stores. apparently there is something you "need" for every occasion. forget that, no occasion necessary. here, you just need it.
I'm sure it's not just SoCal, it's probably anywhere with money. people with money seem to live life based on their fears. as if money can cover it and make the it go away. I'm sure some think so.
there is a spiritual principal here; I'm sure there are more, it's just the one I'm sensitive to. its rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. it seems that no one is comfortable with real life. all the "stuff" clutters it up. it's easy to identify yourself with your stuff, which is what people do here. the facade.
I pray for an awakening.