Dreamin’ of the South

22 Feb

I think a lot about moving.

My father was in the Air Force, so growing up, we moved every 2 1/2 years. I lived in 4 states before I turned 9.  At that point we moved to Athens, Greece.  From there we went to Wiesbaden, Germany, and our final destination was Illinois.

I met my husband just after high school.  We got married young – I was 21, he was 26.  About 6 months later I got pregnant with our first child. I remember being very adamant about wanting to find a place where we would live forever.

It never bothered me to move as a kid.  In fact, I distinctly remember finding out that some people never move.  What?? They live in the same place forever? How odd.  I kinda liked moving to a new place.  I’d get a new bedroom, I’d make new friends, I’d have a different playground to play on.  All was good!

But once I got married, and began my own family, I suddenly knew I didn’t want them to have to move.

So we settled on a piece of land in the small town my husband grew up in. We designed our own house, and I played “contrator” while 8 months pregnant with our 4th child.  We moved in two days before she was born.

When hubby was growing up, the town only consisted of  300 people.  We have since doubled in size, but it’s still a very small town.  I like it though.  We have an awesome school, with great teachers.  Our class sizes average about 15 per grade.  The parents are very committed to their children’s educations.  We have a post office and a small fire house. We also have a gas station that houses our little grocery store. We have a family owned restaurant, one Catholic church and six bars.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s a very German community.)  We have 2 very well-maintained baseball parks, but no stop lights, and no police station.  Everyone knows each other and most are related in some way or another.

Sounds good right?  It was, for about the first 7 or 8 years.  We felt very comfortable raising a young family here.  No fear of crime.  The kids could play in the yard or ride their bikes into town.  We never felt the need to lock our doors…..

But… everyone knows each other.

And everyone knows about each other.  And if someone hasn’t heard, another person is happy to tell.  This has led us to distance ourselves from the community.  Especially now that 3 of the 4 kids are in High School and College, so they attend school in a different town.  And our 4th child, prefers activities that are based out of other towns (bowling, the community theater, etc.).

After living here for 13 years, we have definitely outgrown the ‘small town-farming-hunting-four wheeling-beer drinking-tractor pulling-lawn mower racing’, mentality.  There’s no intellectual conversations, no sophistication, no worldly experiences.

It’s not their fault.  Most of them have never left the county, and have no desire to.  They spend their days at the bars, the clubhouses, driving around town, nosing about other people’s business. And they are happy with that.  And that’s okay….. for them.

For me, I want to live in a place where people have experienced other things.  I want to live with people whose stories aren’t about the deer they shot, or what little Johnny was caught doing.  I want to live with people who ask questions because they are interested, not because they’re digging for information so they have the inside scoop.

I think that’s why I like my job so much.  I get to see people who travel, who come from other cities.  I enjoy talking with these people, and asking them questions about their job, or their hometown, or their travel experiences.  One lady stayed with us for a month and a half while she worked on  a project for Anheuser Busch.  She’s from Brazil, not married, and very independent.  I didn’t get to speak with her too much, but deep down I was wishing for a life like hers.  I’m sure she wouldn’t say it’s all that glamorous, but to me, it sure seemed like it.

StratoSit (husband of ShadowRun) and I think about where we would most like to live.  This is a favorite pasttime of ours – dreaming of where we’re going to go once the kids are gone.  We go back and forth quite often…  Do we want to live in Florida in a condo with a view of the ocean? Or do we want to live in Florida in one of the planned community areas, maybe near the panhandle.  Or how about St. Augustine, Florida.  There’s a lot of history there, and it’s still along the ocean and its in… Florida.

We’ve thought about Virginia.  It’s south-er than where we are now, but not exactly Florida.  And it’s history and townhouse living are very appealing to me.  We also talk highly of Tennessee. I love the mountains (how fun would motorcycle riding be there!  :)).  Nashville is one of Strato’s favorite getaways.  He loves having the option to go see live music anytime he would like, as he is a musician himself, but I don’t think it’s far enough south.

Texas has been a consideration as well.  Living near a college town, is somewhat appealing because of the energy and excitement in the areas surrounding them.  We’ve considered Austin, but don’t know too much about the other areas.  It’s south, though, so that’s a plus.

Lately, I’ve even thought about Italy, or somewhere in the Mediterranean.  I love their lifestyle, and think I could easily fit in.  Fresh fruits and veggies, wine (with no ‘h’), bread with olive oil…walking, biking, topless beaches (ok, that part scares me….)

It’s definitely fun thinking about where we’re going to end up.  Realistically we can’t leave until our youngest is out of high school.  She would totally be able to adapt wherever we end up, however, we really like the idea of her being able to spend time at her grandparent’s house.  She goes there at least twice a week, as they live one block from the school, and I’m sure she, as well as Grandma, would be devestated if we ‘took her away’.  Again, I grew up not having family around, but my husband always was able to visit his grandma, so even though I may not be used to it, I agree that it’s very beneficial.

So… five years or so before we can move.  Until then, we dream.  And most likely we’ll use some of our vacation time to test out a few of the places we’ve been dreaming about.

If any of you have suggestions… we are definitely open to hearing them.  Only one criteria has to be met — yep, that’s right — it needs to be SOUTH of us. 🙂


Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Everyday Living, Family, Vacation


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

15 responses to “Dreamin’ of the South

  1. abby

    February 22, 2012 at 2:05 am

    It’s fun to at least dream isn’t it? I admire your wanting to expand your horizons and your intellect.

    I really can’t advise here as I’ve not seen that much of the US, let alone outside the country. My husband and I sometimes think of Argentina, though.

    I also grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody else and their business. It was a little larger than your town, though. We had about 5 catholic churches and about 30 bars.

    • shadowrun300

      February 22, 2012 at 2:24 am

      Ratio of bars to churches is the same, though! Funny, isn’t it?
      I’d love to visit Argentina, but probably wouldn’t live there. I think if we leave the country, it will be to live in Italy. That’s really a dream, though. Our move will most likely be Tennessee or Florida, or maybe South Carolina (anybody been there??).

      • abby

        February 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        I have visited South Carolina! One of my brothers was stationed there (air force). It’s a beautiful city – lots of history – and then there’s beaches too! Great motorcycling weather *nudge*nudge*. You should maybe go visit.

      • shadowrun300

        February 23, 2012 at 6:36 am

        Well, I guess I have been to Myrtle Beach, but that’s such a touristy spot. It will definitely be put on my “visit with the intent to live” list. The climate certainly fits the bill!

  2. territerri

    February 22, 2012 at 2:30 am

    I was 21 and my hubby was 26 when we got married! Our living experiences were quite different from yours though. We both grew up in Saint Paul, both living pretty much in the same place all our lives until we married. Then we moved to a neighboring suburb and have been here ever since.

    I have wanted to move over the years, at least to a bigger house, or just for a change of pace. But he’s had no desire. If he has his way, we’ll die in this house. I’ve told him he can come visit me where it’s warm.

  3. shadowrun300

    February 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

    How funny that we got married at the same ages. My hubby grew up here, but went away to school, then lived in St. Louis for 3 or 4 years before moving back. He jokes now that he didn’t make it very far… but he really has. We’re definitely miles apart from most of the residents here.
    Is he at least willing to travel? Maybe you can be like your parents and just travel south in the winter.

  4. towardshealthylife

    February 22, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I watch house hunter international sometimes, that could give you some ideas lol. Italy must be beautiful, it has delicious food, history and culture too and you could learn italian ;-). Key west maybe. It’s in florida, must feel like the carribean and you wouldn’t be that far from your family. I am sure you would like to ride your bike on those highway bridges. I enjoy thinking about that kind of move too, there is something nice about imagining your life in a different place or country 🙂

    • shadowrun300

      February 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      We took a trip to Key West last winter and loved it! We were going to rent motorcycles down there to ride, but too many things went wrong that day so we took it as a sign that we shouldn’t do it. Not sure I could live in Key West, but if I was in Florida we’d visit quite often, I’m sure!

  5. agg79

    February 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Where to begin? I really can relate to some of your back ground. My wife and I got married right out of college at the ripe old age of 23. I then whisked her off her feet for a glorious 5 year stay in Germany (just south of Stuttgart). Had a blast living in Germany for those years but we missed our family/friends. We both grew up in Houston, so we are used to the big city conveniences/hassles. We attended college at A&M in College Station which is sort of a small town (for us) and we fell in love with smaller town life. We settled back in the Houston area but I occasionally pine for a place in the country or further out from town. I can give you some of the 411 on Austin, since my son spend the last 5 years at UT and had found a job up there. Really fun/cool town with lots to do/see/experience, but it has exploded in growth over the last decade. They tend to think they are a small town with lots of big city problems. I would definitely like to move there (or the surrounding towns) but the job keeps me here (for now). And, ISYN, the official motto of Austin is: “Keep Austin Weird”.

    • shadowrun300

      February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      There’s definitely some great things about living in a rural area – very quiet, pretty landscape, little crime. This may be a matter of the grass being greener on the other side. Austin appealed to us because of the growth – but I can see us settling in an area NEAR Austin… hubby says there’s a lake nearby? The mountains of Tennessee sound heavenly as well. We love nature and we love outdoor activities, yet we love intellect and culture….coffee shops and bookstores…warm weather… There HAS to be a place somewhere… it’s exciting to think about.

      • agg79

        February 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        Yes there are a few lakes/rivers around the Austin area. Lots of outdoor stuff to do. Mild winters (some freezing), moderate spring/fall, hot summers. No mountains but it is in the hill country which is why I prefer it over the coastal plains where we live. I’ve heard the Austin has a similar culture like Seattle or California (an oddity for Texas). Very techy oriented, oddles of coffee shops. Big plus is that cost of living in Texas is much, much cheaper than elsewhere.
        One additional plus, there are a number of nice farm-to-market roads outside of Austin with lots of twisties that make for a nice bike ride.

      • shadowrun300

        February 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        Mild winters – check
        hill country – check
        California/techy culture – check
        oodles of coffee shops – check
        twisty roads for bikin’ – check, check, check
        I think I’m sold! 🙂
        Seriously, though. When hubby was there last year, he loved it. We’ll have to find a few free days in the near future when I can go down and have a look. Thanks for all the info!

  6. Jules

    February 24, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I love both Tennessee and Georgia. I would love to have a cabin near or in the Smokey’s.

    • Mike

      February 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      * Smokies 😛

      Since I let the their/there thing silde, I had to redeem myself.

  7. Mike

    February 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve often wanted to live somewhere warmer as well. I like where we live, but I despise winter. I would love to live someplace where it is warmer all year.


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