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Sarah Sometimes

I'm hooked already...

Lumpyheadsmom

I'm struggling with this myself right now; it's nice to hear someone else's thoughts on it.

Jul

Raising kids close to family is the sweetest thing... whenever I feel melancholy about the prospect of only seeing 1/10,000th of this action-packed blue orb before I die, I just head over to Grandma's house and watch J.Q. squeal in delight and, once scooped up, tuck his little head into the crook of her neck. In one of the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" books (some of the most life-affirming and profound beach reading ever), the African heroine remarks how sad it must be for Americans who don't have "their people". That more or less sums up what I'd like to accomplish by living in close proximity to my kin (as infuriating as they may be sometimes)... I want J.Q. to have "people".

DoctorMama

It's because I said you should get out of Iowa, isn't it? I have uncanny influence that way. It's all about me.

I sure wish you were looking in my neck of the woods. If you do head over here, you're welcome to crash at our place anytime. Cape Ann is gorgeous, though, I have to admit. And you'll be able to fly to Michigan instead of drive, which has its pluses.

s@bd

Completely understand.

I love being near my parents in (one of) the town(s) in which I grew up.

LOVE it.

Bihari

Oh, this is all so nice to hear!

And yes, DoctorMama, I lay this move squarely on your doorstep. Glad to see you stepping up and taking responsibility.

Brando

Geez, who's going to be the one to turn the lights out here?

I am sad to hear you're thinking of leaving, but at the same time, I understand. I've been in the same situation myself. I hope you guys do whatever makes you the happiest.

traca de broon

Leaving Iowa, my favorite topic. Not because I dislike Iowa, but because something that seemed so obvious upon our arrival—that we certainly would be leaving Iowa as soon as my husband graduated—actually managed not only to become a question but to become the central question from which all other mid-30s life questions grew.

If we go, will I be better able to advance my career? Do I even care about my career? Is a career more important than an easy pace of life? Do I have the self-discipline to live an easy life, or do I need more structure? Should I take advantage of my life’s flexibility and have children? Do I even want children? And the biggest question: If I’m not satisfied here, just where is it I want to be?

Thing is, I have no idea. But if I did have a hometown, which I don’t, and if I did have children and it was possible for them to grow up in a place where I felt truly at home and had local family, I would absolutely get there. Both of my parents left their native countries to make a home elsewhere, which somewhat separated my sister and me from both sides of the family. I think growing up around extended family would be a real comfort. If nothing else, it improves the odds that you’ll find a family member that makes sense to you.

MJ

But the blog title is so good. Do you really want to give it up? (kidding.)

I'll add my anonymous vote to moving East. We live close to my husband's brothers and 1.5 hour drive from my family and it's a great thing for our children. In fact, they want to move to my hometown.

Good luck with the job search.

anonymous

yes, Cape Ann is an amazing - and expensive - place to raise kids - but it can be done - the commuter rail has been extended up to Newburyport in recent years, and the DMV has had some serious customer service training - so you are NOT guaranteed to have a horrible experience EVERY time you go in!! Growing up around "your people" gives kids a set of roots in a world that is changing so fast...and even though our families have their share of craziness, it was good for my son to know aunts, uncles, grands, cousins, and people who knew his parents when THEY were growing up. Go for it!

Beth

I think about this very thing -- living close to family -- all the time, since my son's dad is from Missouri and moved away (to California, ultimately) as soon as he could, and stayed away, and I stayed within an hour or two of my family. My son's dad regards it as normal to want to move thousands of miles away from family, as if it's some area in which I am lacking. But really, people didn't always move away from family; some families continued for generations in the same town, or at least the same county. A friend of mine has Sunday dinner every week with her extended family, and they couldn't imagine it any other way. I must admit, I envy them.

There was a time when I toyed with the idea of moving to San Francisco, about seven or eight hours' drive from my folks, but I didn't do it, and when my son was born, I knew I'd have to stay for his sake (and mine, as it turned out). I wound up moving 100 miles away for financial reasons, and I really regret even that. It's just so nice to see my son with his grandparents and aunties and uncle. Honestly, at this point, if I could swing it, I'd buy a house on their street. As it is, though, I make the drive there and back about once a month -- sometimes more -- and every time, I wish I hadn't moved away.

Obviously, YMMV, as you have a husband (built-in company); just my two cents.

SER

A similar urge has hit us recently. The question is: where do we move? LA? Austin? How can we give up our great quality of life here? I mean, we've got a great house, nice neighbors, good jobs with benefits and flexibility, etc. Most importantly, will we ever be able to afford doggie day care in a big city?

What I would like to do is be somewhere that has nonstop flights. That would be a luxury worth quite a lot of money to me - no more delays in O'Hare (imagine!). And I do find myself wanting to be back in an urban area; maybe growing up in a big city permanently programmed that urge in me.

But whenever I go out of town, I find it such a relief to come back here. So who the hell knows?

diane

I read frequently but rarely comment.

Having no extended family growing up, and hell would freeze over before either of us would move to the town hubby grew up in, I am wondering how you balance the desire to be with your own kin, so to speak, with the need for access to the kin of TTD.

Having never been in the situation, I would think it would be fraught with difficulty so I am interested in your response.

Forgive me if my question seems impertinent- I am genuinely interested.

Midwestern Deadbeat

Wherever y'all go, take us with you.

Meramoo

Ah, yes, but the DMV now has wait times posted online (click on the branch), so it's not quite so bad.
http://www.mass.gov/rmv/branches/index.htm

Zillow.com is also fun for looking at house prices - it's got a pretty good selection around Boston, although I've primarily looked around the 128 area.

You guys might be able to get some incentives as part of a signing package - there's a shortage of healthcare workers here because of the cost of living, they keep talking about it in the news...

I understand the need for roots, it's why I stick around, even though we won't be able to buy a house for years and years.

juliloquy

I'm in West Philly (an hour away from my in-laws), but my parents live in S. Minnesota. Do you want to house-swap?

Our plan has been to spend a few years here, then try to live closer to my family.

Best wishes in your big decisions!

PS: I love it that Marge Simpson's sisters work at the DMV.

savtadotty

Why change the title? After all, it does have "drift" in it.

colettesartor

I struggle with this issue constantly. When I moved away from the northeast to LA in my mid-twenties, I thought there could never be enough distance between me and my parents--much as I love them. We get along better on opposite coasts, respect each other more, stay out of each other's business better (we are a VERY emeshed Italian family). But now that I'm older and somewhat wiser, and now that I have a child, and now that my parents are senior citizens (almost) and find it far more difficult to travel, I wonder, periodically, whether we should move back east. Of course, there's the problem of my husband's entire family living in Southern Cal and my twin sister living three minutes from me in Beverlywood and the property taxes near my parents' house being ridiculously prohibitive and...well, the list is HUGE about why we should stay here for now. Still, I miss my parents in a way I never have before. Reading this post reminded me of how nice it would be to simply say, enough, screw the negatives and let's just move. So, my dear Bihari, if that's what you wind up doing, I will watch and listen and see how it goes for you. Whatever you do, I know you will make the right decision, since you are just that kind of person.

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