The Great California Invasion of 2021

Out, Out Damn Californians

The Great California Invasion

Former Nevadans, we decamped California back to Nevada to escape out-of-control wildfires and taxes. We returned for peace and quiet. Yet, now in Reno, we suffer anew amid smoke from the same CA wildfires and the hordes of Californians who also flocked here. Yes, we’re in the midst of the Great California Invasion of 2021. And it’s pandemonium.

Now, all I can say is, “Out, out, damn Californians.”

“Why,” you ask, “am I being so anti-Californian given — as the expression goes — some of my best friends are Californians?”

The Great California Invasion

Well, it’s because this invasion has caused personal suffering a-plenty.

First, Handsome Hubby and I, no babes in the house-hunting woods, experienced sticker shock. Housing prices have shot up in Reno like firecrackers on the Fourth of July. Why? Largely because of increased demand from buyers making the exodus from the Golden State. In fact, a recent study deemed the Biggest Little City in the World one of the least affordable cities in the country! Ouch!

Of course, houses aren’t California expensive, but still, they’re pretty pricy in comparison to the proverbial “good old days” of just a few years ago.

And just like in California, buying a house has become a blood sport. There are hyper-competitive bidding wars. Saccharin-sweet letters to sellers. Tense hours of waiting. Crushing disappointments. Flowing tears. And then, more housing searches.

As for us, it took a few tries to find the right house, but eventually, we did.  Now, “all” we want to do is fix it up a bit. A little paint here. Some new carpet. And a spiffy hardwood floor in the family room.

Out, Out, Damn Californians!

But thanks — or more accurately, no thanks — to the Great California Invasion of 2021, we cannot get anything done in a timely manner.

Painters: Not available until October. When in October? Not clear.

Carpet: Oh, the material will arrive in two-three weeks. BUT a crew to install it? Not available until October. When in October? Not clear.

Hardwood floors: Don’t ask. Just don’t ask. Between a national lumber scarcity, a shortage of skilled workers to mill the lumber, and the time needed to “season” the wood, who knows when our new floors will be installed. Handsome Hubby optimistically says it may happen before Thanksgiving. But maybe not.

Who’s the Boss?

As for the general contractor, the majordomo in charge of the painters, the hardwood floor installation, and the tearing out of some cabinets and “walls,” building a new fireplace (don’t ask), and a project list longer than the Mississippi River.  Don’t dare bother him until October, when he is “officially” on the job. Don’t text him or email him. And don’t call him. And when in October will he start? Early, mid, end of the month? That’s not clear. But again, don’t bother him — except to send the deposit check.

What are all these men — and yes, they are all men — doing until then? They’re working hard for all the other Californians who moved to Reno ahead of us. I know this because several of them are our friends who rave about these craftsmen and insist we “have to” hire these particular workers.

And It’s Not Just the Mr. Fix-its

Meanwhile, try to book a doctor’s appointment … or find a hairdresser! Those people are booked solid too! Even before we moved here, back in July, I started booking new patient appointments with health care providers that friends recommended I see. When did I get those appointments? November! And now I’m considering myself lucky I got those appointments! Many recommended doctors aren’t accepting new patients!

And as for the go-to hairdresser? Her first available appointment was on September 20th. My gray roots cried out for mercy. The receptionist was without mercy or at least without any earlier appointment times. She explained, “We just have so many new clients. It’s all these people coming in from California.”

“I know. I know,” I said.

Influx Limbo

Yes, the Great California Invasion of 2021 has forced my life into a sorry state of gray roots and home-ownership limbo.

So, Handsome Hubby and I wait. We wait with all our furniture clumped and lumped in the center of the house and in the garage.

And until then, we camp/glamp in our own home.

Yes, it’s an adventure every day, but instead of fighting off mosquitos, we fight off fellow former Californians for skilled workers and resources. It’s not quite the Zombie Apocolypse. Not yet at least, but at this rate, I may be forced to erect my own border wall and with all the unopened boxes still unpacked, I just may be able to do it!

What do you say, my fellow Nevadans? Are you with me?

💖 💖 💖

With love, a wink, and a heartfelt “I miss you” to all my Berkeley friends! You know I don’t think of you as invaders … or zombies!



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