Being welcomed into this community has been pleasantly surprising during a pandemic when there is so much loss.

Photo courtesy City of Morgan Hill

By Pamela Metz

Pamela Metz

In the fall of 2019, my husband, Tom, and I decided we were ready for a change of scenery. We both lived in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota all our lives and were exhausted by the -50-degree weather that occurred each winter. Tom’s aunt Sandy had always told us what a great place Mor-gan Hill is to live, and Tom and I decided to move there in the spring of 2020.

As we packed up our Jeep with our belongings and two cats, we had no idea what to expect when we arrived in Morgan Hill. Unbeknownst to us at this time, the state we lived in was not the only dramatic change we would experience during the move. Sure, we had heard whispers about the new COVID-19 virus around the nation, but we had no idea what was to come.

We arrived safely and settled into our new surroundings smoothly, and I was prepared to start a job on March 20, 2020. I arrived at the job site as scheduled at 9 a.m., and by 12:30 p.m. that same day, I was furloughed due to the COVID virus, and a stay-at-home order had been issued. Not only was I out of a job at this point, but I couldn’t really explore my new environment.

I had always dreamed of going to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a myriad of other California cities, but that was just not to be at that time. In-stead, I got to explore nature in Morgan Hill. I hiked Anderson Dam, drove up to Henry W. Coe State Park and back down, walked downtown Morgan Hill, and found an abundance of restaurants for us to try. I en-joyed exercise, and since the gym was not open, I walked the streets each morning and was introduced to this new, beautiful landscape.

I learned that the morning air is pungent with the smell of garlic and that there really is a mushroom capital of the world. I found El Toro and dreamed of making it to the top (I’ll let the reader surmise if I did) but even more remarkable, I realized that Morgan Hill was not so far from Minnesota as far as being nice.

Minnesota is famous for how nice the people are, but it is not the only place where this rings true. Here in Morgan Hill, people wave and often take a moment to say hello to their neighbors, they help each other out on social media pages, and they try not to block the aisle at the market.

Even during a pandemic when tensions are sure to run high, I find myself talking to new people at the coffee shop and engaging with members of the community while running errands. The point of this story is to com-mend Morgan Hill for being nice and making us feel so welcome in our new home during such unprecedented times.

While this experience could have been isolating and lonely, it has been much different. We have made friends, we enjoy the culture of this town, and have enjoyed the transition from very cold to mellow weather. Being welcomed into this community has been pleasantly surprising during a pandemic when there is so much loss. We have indeed found our new home and for this reason, Tom and I want to say thank you, Morgan Hill.

Pamela Metz

Pamela Metz and her husband Tom moved to Morgan Hill in 2020 from Wayzata, Minnesota. She is a medical assistant working remotely at Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Edina, Minnesota. She is also a doctoral candidate working on a dissertation to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She en-joys volunteering with Fire Associates of Santa Clara Valley, research, true crime, and her two cats, Niles and Wally.

Robert Airoldi