Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Changing Mantra

Soon after we made the decision to move to Seattle in the fall of 2005, a mantra began to form which I’ve since repeated to myself many times over. You see, the state of Washington collects no state income tax and that was certainly a plus in the decision making process as we pondered the move from our beloved San Diego to Seattle. In California, my wife and I were paying nearly 10% in state income tax and I would gladly not have to pay that to the state of Washington upon moving to Seattle.

Of course, the sales tax rate in Seattle is about 1% higher than in San Diego but that was seen as a small price to be paid in exchange for escaping the certainty of California’s tax slice and definitely a nice positive in moving to Seattle.

As my personality has a need to seize and focus on the positive, the mantra I struck up played out over and over as such;
  • It rains so much in Seattle – but there’s no state income tax

  • The real estate market in Seattle is a lot more expensive than we thought – but there’s no state income tax

  • The commute traffic on the 405 and 90 interstates is actually worse than San Diego’s traffic – but there’s no state income tax

  • Winter includes rain, ice, snow, wind and lots more cold than San Diego – but there’s no state income tax

  • The rain nearly set a consecutive days-of-falling record in January of 2006 – but there’s no state income tax

  • The rainfalls of November 2006 were truly all-time record setting – but there’s no state income tax

  • The winds of December 2006 caused the ridge line nails in our new roof to pop right up and with the help of a tree limb, managed to rip our attic fan right out of the attic - but there’s no state income tax

  • Those same winds also led to a loss of electricity at the house for 7 full days just before Christmas 2006 - but there’s no state income tax

  • The ice and snow of January 2007 meant we couldn’t even drive our cars down the road to our house as the hill was an impassable sheet of ice for nearly 5 days - but there’s no state income tax

  • And of course, there’s simply not much use in owning a pool in Seattle as we had in San Diego – but there’s no state income tax

Yes, the use of that mantra was one of the ways I attempted to stay focused on the positive during one of the rougher relocation transitions we’ve made in our nearly 30 years of marriage.

Now that we’ve lived in Seattle for a year and a half however, I realize that the tone of the mantra has slowly but surely changed:

  • The summer of 2006 was absolutely spectacular with long dry, warm days and there’s no state income tax

  • Watching the Blue Angels perform over Lake Washington from the shores of a small and fairly un-crowded beach right near the house was a thriller and there’s no state income tax

  • The majesty of Mt. Rainier in the early morning glow of rose and orange tinted sunrises is truly inspirational and there’s no state income tax

  • The view from atop Rattlesnake Ledge on a clear day is breathtaking and there’s no state income tax

  • The changing views of Lake Washington; from the commute bridges of the 90 or the 520 or even from our house, always makes for a pleasant moment of thought and there’s no state income tax

  • The high school our youngest son attends is a little less than half the size of his school in San Diego, the curriculum is markedly stronger and there’s no state income tax

  • The occasional glimpse of Bald Eagles around Lake Washington and many more spied spectacularly on the Skagit River in winter is amazing and there’s no state income tax

  • Skiing at Crystal Mountain on the slopes of Mt. Rainier is close enough for a nice day trip where for two winters in a row now we’ve seen great snow conditions and there’s no state income tax

  • Downtown Seattle, which is actually much more interesting and pleasant a downtown than San Diego’s, is usually just 20 minutes from the house with all of the shopping, music, restaurants, waterfront markets, and ball parks one could want and there’s no state income tax

I’m not sure where the future adventures of life will take us or how long we’ll remain in Seattle but what was and in some ways still is a difficult relocation transition from our beloved San Diego has turned out to have a few more positives than I ever imagined and no state income tax!


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2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:41 PM

    go back to san diego, we don't need you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:23 AM

    It's such a lovely & positive Mantra and surely beats out upstate New York because there is state income tax...but there's lots of good weather here that always keep people in positive mood.

    ReplyDelete