Renters By Choice

I got lucky.  The first time I became a published writer was back in 2004 when the Los Angeles Times published my personal essay, “Paying Rent Pays Off When They Go Home.”  It explained why my husband and I chose to be renters rather than home-owners.  (You can click here to read my essay).

Thirteen years later, we’re still happy renters. 

Earlier this week, we shared a day off together and spent the hours while our son was in school running errands and wrapping Christmas presents.  We began the day with a leisurely coffee and a walk in the neighborhood.  We visited several shops and went out to lunch.  And though we drove to all those places because of my weakened legs, they were all still close enough to walk.  We spent the day getting things done, supporting businesses in our community, and enjoying each other’s company. 

Because we choose to live where we do.  Because we’re renters.



From time to time, I re-read books from my home library.  I have hundreds of books, and I don’t remember many of them.  So instead of searching out a new book, I read an old book that seems new to me.  (It’s a good way for me to weed through my collection and decide which books to continue to keep and which to donate to our public library).

I recently picked up Leonard Nimoy’s poetry collection Come Be With with Me. (I have no memory of reading this book, yet I must have at one time because it has a place on my bookcase).

This is the power of books.  On the first page, as part of Mr. Nimoy’s introduction, I found words I didn’t realize I needed to read.

Living things must change. 

I am a living thing which must change.  If I can accept the changes, I can accept myself, and when I accept myself I can enjoy the changes and the beauty of the changes in the garden of my life.”

I don’t accept my changes easily.  Just the other night, I sadly told my husband that I don’t walk nearly as fast as I used to.  People half a block away are soon passing me on the sidewalk.  Some days I just remind myself “slow and steady” is all I’m after.  I may be walking slowly, but the important part is that I’m walking.  Other days, it stings to hear another parent at my son’s school overtake me on the sidewalk and casually call out, “You’re not going to win any races.”  She’s right.  I won’t.  She doesn’t know that I’m trying, really hard, just to get from point A to point B. 

But I am a living thing, and as Mr. Nimoy wrote “living things must change.” 


On another change-related note, my son, who attends a Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school, recently received his first report card of the school year.  The format of the report card has significantly changed since last year. 

I don’t like it.  That’s the short version.  To read the longer version of why I don’t like it, you can click here to read my personal essay “What Do You Think of LAUSD’S New Report Cards?” recently published on