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. 🙂