#22 In Roads-Joby


I’m looking for a local landmark and chatty Joby steers me in the right direction before I inquire about her unique name. “Oh, I’m from Ohio,” she shares. “There’s really not much to do for entertainment there but name your kids funny names. My sister’s name is Tobi, no we’re not twins, and my brother’s name is Dick but we call him Moby.” She seems to be on a roll so I ask if I can take her picture then settle in for the cool stories I can tell she’s about to share.

“I like sweets so I named my kids after candy. Heath is my son, named for the Heath bar of course, and Emma is called Reese’s Cup. And they are both very sweet kids.” She’s waiting to see if I laugh so I oblige. Born in Ohio, the gregarious gal has skipped all around the states. She went to college at U of A in Tucson, Arizona where she met her husband at a “very lovely place” called Dirt Bags. She says she spied him from across the bar and declared, “That man will be the father of my children.” And he is. Happily married for 25 years, she considers herself very lucky. They followed her husband’s construction job and lived in Portland after leaving Arizona, then on to Cape Cod and Missouri before settling in California five years ago. She eventually learned to love the Cape but likes the weather much better in California, though she had a hard time adjusting to the city life in Sacramento. “I hated it. I was constantly getting lost, I couldn’t even walk anywhere and I cried a lot.” She giggles. These days the country life suits her family better. “I like the pool here, it stays cool unlike Arizona where it was boiling. The kids like it here, too.”

Since her children are teens now, I ask if there are plans to travel after retirement. “We’ve discussed that but we’re trying to decide if we want to buy property instead. We think we might like to take up competitive gardening against each other. “Hey! Get away from my flat leaf parsley! Look out buster, that’s MY tomato.” You know, like that? We haven’t really decided. Besides, if we travel who would be there to tell the flowers that we love them?” I agree that yes, that’s one of the problems with traveling. Leaving your loved ones behind sucks.


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