One of the most difficult decisions to make when moving to another part of the country is: What community will best fit the needs of my family? Many different aspects make up these decisions, some of which are schools, location, make up of the community, real-estate values, population, safety and the list can go on and on. In Southern California, with a population of around 17 million people, there are many communities to choose from. In our situation, schools, availability to club swimming and real estate prices were at the top of the list.
After hours and hours of looking and investigating we felt Claremont met most of our criteria. Claremont is located about 35 miles east of LA. With a population of around 35,000, it honestly feels like a little oasis protected from the world around it. Recently Claremont was selected by Money Magazine as the 5th "Best Places to Live" in the U.S. The article highlights the top 100 smaller cities with populations between 7500 and 50,000 across the nation with criteria ranging from education and economic opportunities to levels of diversity and crime rates. Other factors mentioned were access to health care, arts and leisure activities, weather and economic opportunities. Claremont was the highest ranked California City on the list, followed by La Palma in the 16th sport.
So, how did it happen that we ended up in a community like Claremont? Some would say it was just "lucky". But I can tell you it was prayer. Prayers of many family members, good friends and loved ones. Just ask Joan (my Mom), she will tell you it was a miracle. And she would be right!