Friday, September 12, 2008

Photo Story Friday: The Winds of Change Part II

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek



* * *

This is where I live now . . .

The view from my back deck.

This was a shot I just took on Tuesday morning at the park.

The cows grazing right next to my house (see the electrified fence?). We've only seen one escape and make its way through our backyard. You know, they run much faster than you'd think.

View of regular visitors to our backyard.

J at the park with the river as the backdrop.

I love where we live. There is no traffic. There are no crowds. The crime rate is low. Chances are you'll see someone you know each and every time you head out to town (both good and bad, I know). Nature is all around--deer, wild turkey, ducks, geese, wild birds, various farm animals, we even live near a llama farm.

Mr. Husband and I grew up just outside of Detroit. We were used to having houses right on top of one another, battling a steady stream of traffic wherever we go, hearing and in some cases witnessing crime on a regular basis. Our only dealings with wildlife typically were the small furry variety known as domestic canines and felines and the occasional squirrel. That's it.

No comparison, huh?

Well, you're right.

Sort of.

You see, in the beginning it was easy to live in this small town. I enjoyed it (as made evident by my article that darn near pimped small town living). But, there are limitations, challenges, issues, if I may, that have come to light even more so since giving birth to J . . .

1. We have only one mall (within 75+ miles). I know, I know. Big deal. And being that I'm not a huge shopper, this normally wouldn't be a big deal. But, now that I have J, we are limited as to where we can peruse come the winter months. I mean, you can only stare at the same few dozen stores for so long (Oh, and our Steve and Barry's is closing . . . ).

2. We don't have many dining establishments. Let's put it this way. Outback is considered ethnic cuisine, Panera is fine dining, and "buffet" exists in about 1 out of every 2 restaurant names.

3. The lack of entertainment. The only places to go out at night are to B-dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) and some skeezy bar. There is a community playhouse and one movie theater (well, two, but the other one barely counts) sans stadium seating (yes, I'm a seating snob). We have a cute downtown area in one of the nearby cities. There are cobblestone streets, adorable shops, great sightseeing. Unfortunately, come 4 PM, it rolls up the streets and snuffs out the lights. 4 PM.

4. Now, we could stay in our house all day long. There are plenty of toys, games, books and other forms of entertainment right here. Since I don't want the risk of being named "Hermit Mommy" (you just know someone has this blog title) and not providing J with the necessary social skills to make him a contributing member of society, I believe it behooves us to go out and socialize.

5. The only problem? Outside of the one mall, the park and that new outdoor play area where we were the only visitors (and we were the only visitors today as well!), there just isn't much to do. No museums (does an oil and gas museum count?), science centers (well, maybe the banks of the Ohio. That's definitely a few science experiements waiting to happen), or zoos (well, unless you consider the farms or my attic). I know. I know. We make our own fun. I get that. We do that. But, you can't discount the value of sharing the fun with other children. And yes, AFF, you raise a valid point about the happy avoidance of germs, but dang. Kid needs to build up his immunity, right???

6. The mice. Yes, we've had mice. And calling them field mice does not make them any more welcome. Not just one or two. Not just three or four. Try DOZENS. They took up residence in our attic. At first I was all, "We can't kill them!" (say in an annoyingly shrill voice for full effect). I forced my husband to buy live traps when we spotted the first ONE. We're pretty sure that when he went to empty the traps in a field that they just hike it back to Hotel Laskigal. About six DOZEN mice transports later, I nary shed a tear when one accidentally froze in the mouse cube while we were gone on a family emergency. I still remember the "tink, tink, tink" it made as my sadistic husband rocked in around in the cube. A mouse cube. How fitting.

7. The snake(s). I know. You'd think that having snakes would make the mice go away. Well. Let's just say this. They are. Now. But, before we realized how beneficial they are, we were too busy being freaked out finding a six foot snake skin in the ATTIC. I slept like a baby (my best trait) while Mr. Husband stayed awake night after night envisioning our attic as a scene from a B- horror flick.

What does this mean?

It means that our time is nearly up here in Smalltownruralville. Almost. Mr. Husband put in his request for a transfer. Meetings are in the works. Phone calls are being made. E-mails are being sent. We have ideas as to where we want to be. We would like more culture, arts, diversity, opportunities . . . for J. It'll happen. We just need to be patient.

But. All this being said, I can't lie.

When we go, I'll shed more than a few tears.

This is where I came into my own. Where the clouds of self-doubt were replaced with rays of confidence. Where the soft corners of my marriage became solid. And, where my existence made sense in a whole different way . . .

J's homecoming. And the reason this home, our home, will always be beautiful to me.

Stay tuned for WofC Part III . . .

***
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47 comments:

Cecily R said...

Your view is quite stunning. But I can see your point in both directions.

I could read your writing everyday. I just love your style and the pictures you paint with your words.

Kami said...

It will be bittersweet but you know, life is a journey and this place sounds like it was the perfect stop on your way...

Good luck as you and Mr. make some big decisions, I have no doubt it will all turn out A-1.

Kathryn said...

Oh I hear you. I am just moving 7 minutes away and I'm all teary. I know I would be really torn up if I actually moved cities or states away.
Still I know what you mean about small town life. Luckily the city we live in is small enough to be safe, but large enough to have plenty of stuff to do. Plus we are sandwiched in between three or four big cities and two hours from Chicago.

Maybe you could find the perfect balance in an area right outside of a major city?

It sounds like this is something you have thought about a lot and it is definitely in your best interest. :)

Lori said...

what a gorgeous place you have, but I understand where you are coming from. I am often that hermit mommy, but could go to pretty much anywhere if I wanted... and just having the option is good enough for me

Pregnantly Plump said...

I think every place has it's pluses and minuses, but I think it's wonderful that you guys have a chance to move. That is so great!
I try not to dwell on it, but I truly, truly hate where we live (suburb of big metropolis) but there really doesn't seem to be a chance of us ever moving closer to family and nicer people. It's great that you have the opportunity!

Karen MEG said...

That is a super picturesque setting that you live in. But I can see, especially after you have a child, that amenities become that much more important.

This is an exciting time. Of course it is bittersweet, as Kami mentioned, but you will have the memories of where life with J started. No on can take that away from you.

Good luck on everything. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey!

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I hope you get the destination you want. It really is a great place to raise a family. Keep us posted.

San Diego Momma said...

Hi Laski!
I see your name on so many of the blogs I read and I FINALLY came to visit.

Anyway, where you live looks simply beautiful and peaceful. It's OK that this place served its purpose in your life to this point and now your life might go in a different direction.

Like you pointed out, there's pros and cons to both ways of living, and it's exciting to think you might be in a new place soon, with new experiences and life lessons.

All the best to you wherever you end up...

Lindsey said...

Loved, loved your pics. Especially that last one of Baby J coming home. Precious!

We live in a very small town. We don't even have as much as you do, but truly we are fine. It's all about compromise, right?

Kristen said...

Congrats to you! I know that it is hard deciding to move, but what an adventure it brings as well.

And I am originally from a small town. I understand that stuff closes at 4 PM, but I oh so do not get it! Just weird if you ask me!

Can't wait for the next part of the story.

OHmommy said...

I agree. Each place has a special meaning. I have lived in 4 homes since I got married and each place is full of memories.

Your view is amazing. I could live with THAT view and shop online and bypass the snobby moms at mommy and me gym. For sure.

Becoming Me said...

So beautiful. I grew up in a small town and understand the pros and cons...you summed them up so well. Moving...ahhhh, it's not easy, but good does come from the heartache.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

lovely - just love this!
I grew up in no where IA and totally can relate - I am today a City gall - through and through!!
Give me culture all day long!

Best wishes

beth said...

Love the pictures!

I have a very hard time thinking of leaving the house we brought our girls home to as well.

LiteralDan said...

I sympathize with your crisis-- we moved a very long way last year and it was bittersweet, even though we hadn't gotten settled into a house out in Maine. We haven't gotten settled out here in Illinois yet, either, but we are definitely looking for a place where we can make the kind of memories you have here.

Good luck in this life change, and I hope it turns out for the best-- there's good in all ways of life!

Elaine A. said...

I am a city girl myself so I can understand your need to move on. I am sure you will miss your current place for many reasons but new memories are certainly on the horizon.

painted maypole said...

wow. now I am wondering where you will end up.

moving is hard. We moved away from a hellacious town and a house I never really liked (I didn't hate it, but i didn't really like it, either) and it was hard... largely due to the fact that MQ was born there (well, not IN the house, but, you know...)

CC said...

I was totally like, "What is she thinking?!" until the word snake. That's it. I'd be out in a second.

The NorthWest is something wonderful, BTW!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It sounds like a wonderful place to visit, but I'm a city girl and I definitely need all those things you've found missing. I may not use them all the time, but I want to know they're around.

I can't wait to hear where you're headed!

Mamarazzi said...

you really drew me in with your words...so cool when that happens.

love all of the pics...looks like paradise to me!

i am late getting out to see all of the Photo Friday Stories...better late than never i would have hated to miss this!

Have a great weekend,
Mamarazzi

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Moving is bittersweet.

RJTrue said...

This makes me sad. Which is odd considering it's not like I live right by you at all!!

I can't wait to hear where you end up and you know I'm excited and supportive.

Casey said...

We always fantasize about picking up and moving to a small town but we have family nearby and would never actually do it.

Your pictures are beautiful and I would love the serenity of small town living but I think I would grow tired of it as well. Good luck with your plans to move back to civilization!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Wouldn't it be great to have THAT - what you have - JUST OUTSIDE a larger town. There are a lot of development/communities like that. I wish you luck.
God has a plan for our lives. He puts us exactly where we need to be exactly when we need to be there for exactly the right reason.



KEEP BELIEVING

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Oh, you're leaving Smalltownville?! I love living there myself. Sure, it lacks bling and zest, but that's what weekend trips to the city are for.

I'm sure you'll make your new place home quickly though.

Tara R. said...

I remember our first real place of our own. It was out in the country, a couple dozen acres surrounding, and not much else. Sounds like we could have lived in the same small town. As we grew, our town and home did too. You'll always have grand memories of the first home you all three shared, but you have so many more memories to create wherever you are.

Tracey said...

Oh! Oh! Can I suggest the Chicago area?!? I know you miss it!!! Come on, and we can have playdates. Of course, I'm not always as witty in person as I am online (No, REALLY! It's true.) so maybe you shouldn't come here and have your lofty vision of me shattered? Hmmmm....

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

The pictures are beautiful, and I live in a small town myself and LOVE it.
However....you sold me on moving at snakes. I was almost there with the mice, but snakes? Oh.hell.no.
Good luck with the relocation!

Allison Says said...

What a beautiful post.

I don't live in a small town, but went to college in one. So, while I can't completely understand your entire post, I do know what you mean. Living in a city again, I miss a lot of the small-town stuff...but not enough to want to move out of the city.

I wish you all the luck in the world if you do move. :)

(Beautiful pictures, by the way. It looks like you have quite a wonderful place to live!)

tommie said...

I totally can relate to everything you have written here. I think the suburbs of L are calling out to you.....close enough to the city, but the creature comforts of a small town.

Amy said...

You have such an amazing way of putting your thoughts into words - you have a gift. I wish you the best.

April said...

Whatever happens, you better not stop blogging! I think it'll help with the transition as well.

Veggie Mom said...

Watch what you wish for--we live in a "high traffic" area, and have a big mall, Panera, Outback and much, much more. But we also have terrible pollution, a rising crime rate and the 2nd-worst traffic in the country. Sometimes I yearn for a neighborhood like yours! BTW, I'm hosting a Recipe Week on my blog, starting tomorrow. Please stop by and see what's cookin'!

heather said...

I FOR SURE couldn't handle snakes and mice in the house. Even if they were safely contained in aquariums and called "pets" No, no, no. So, as pleasant as it might be living near llamas? I wish you the best it finding a new place with new adventures. :)

Marmarbug said...

Moving can be tough but sometimes? It is necessary. I hope it all works out for you guys!

Swishy said...

Ohhhhh, leaving is hard ... but good luck with the transfer.

Nap Warden said...

Wow, I can't wait to hear where you go!

Stacie said...

awe, there are ups and downs no matter where you live, I am sure.

I hope that the transfer puts you somewhere in the middle of the perfect life you want to have!

I will be thinking about you and hoping things work out!

abby p said...

If you move that just means I can come and visit, right?

I swear, I love the way you write. What were you? An English teacher or something?

Lisa said...

that brought me to tears. We've moved several times...and I think with every move you leave a little bit of yourself & take a little bit of the place with you. Here's hoping that your new somewhere is full of happiness & kid friendly places!

MamaGeek said...

Oh I felt this right in my left aorta. So beautiful. It will ALL work out. I promise.

JediMama said...

OMG! O.M.G. Puh-leeeeeeez tell me you're coming back to Michigan! Just throw me a frigging bone here. Sure, the economy here stinks. So what if it's so tight here that we're all reusing as much as we can -- paper towels are good for 5-6 uses, right? On the bright side, houses are finally affordable here! C'mon. COME ON!!!! Okay, even if you moved to Toledo, you'd still only be an hour away.

Kimmylyn said...

I would take what you have..minus the mice of course over the hussle and bussle of Long Island..

Keep us updated..

and i loved the photos..

Hyphen Mama said...

I grew up in a veeeery small town (pop 1200-- no mall, but we did have a 7-11). I've been in the city and suburbs for 11 years and have been really aching to get out of the rat race and back to small town living... especially with my kids. The crime here scares me. But you make a great point. Small towns don't have different options for schools, culture, SHOPPING. I've resigned myself to the fact that I won't be small-town living until my kids are out of the house and nicely planted in a good college.

tulipmom said...

That last photo is beautiful. Even though we were only moving 10 minutes away when we moved into our current house, I'll never forget saying goodbye to our townhouse, the place where I brought my first baby home from the hospital, the place where I really became a Mom.

How wonderful that you found such a beautiful location to spend this first chapter of your life as a new family. I'm sure you will find another spot that is "just right" for your family to spend the next chapter (chapters?).

MommyTime said...

I know wherever you end up, you will make it a happy place and a good move. But still I wish you all the best for good changes and the excitement of the new trumping the bittersweet of leaving the old.

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