Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chapter One: Displaced by Fate, The Move


Chapter One: Displaced by Fate: The Move

Most People don't choose to move to a small town with a Toxic Legacy, they find their way through random events and innocent blunders often naive to the plight. We were such a family. My grandmother used to say that the road to Hell is pathed with good intentions and difficult decisions.Insight gained through the rear view mirror is an unexpected gift, often given too late to be fully appreciated.

After living and loving Seattle for many years , when my son was about 8 we decided that it was time to move within the Northwest. Seattle had changed drastically, morphing itself into a Big City, as West Coast transplants arrived in their Dot Com Caravans with bloated checkbook. The Housing Market became steroidal in it's appreciation and rents climbed to California Range, and astronomical Home Prices sent people scurrying. And we became part of the Scurried.

Suddenly Seattle did not feel Homey, it felt strangled with New Money and Dot Com Glitz. It left us scrambling trying to find rental homes that would accomodate our family. And we as nurses were trying to homeschool our son in place that was losing it's midsize town charms.When we first came to Seattle in the late Eighties, we loved that it felt like an Oasis, it was a town that had no illusions about it's size or wealth. We loved the Puget Sound, and that people that lived around the Sound appreciated it.But the cost of living increased inflated so rapidly in the 1990s' due to the surge of New Wealth, it left struggling Nurses like us as financial wallflowers.

The other aspect that happened was that Many of the Newcomers changed the aura of the City, there were now people that measured other people by Chrome and Designer Handbags. And as a homeschooling mom, it was infested in book clubs, play groups and swim classes as Trophy Moms descended. So my husband and I started looking to move to a smaller Environment, a smaller town in the Northwest. We joked that were volvo station wagon people stuck in a Lexusland pileup. So in 1998 there were Road Trips to Many small coastal towns in Oregon and Washington. The relocation research began, and there were notebooks and charts collecting the data for The Move. Desireability was measured in libraries,bookstores, coffee shops, traffic,cozy neighborhoods, trees and parks, and affordable rents.

As a family we were about trips to the beach, Pike Street market, piles of library books, swimming daily, walks to the market, and our pets. Our Family Life was never about was about Time Spent. But as a homeschooling mom , the other reality that hit by 98 was that we were spending too much time on I5. And I5 had become jammed and choked with people that were less than patient. My son in the backseat was learning to spell and give the finger, and that mommy could cuss in five languages. I even tallied the hours in the car, and realized that we were spending physically more time in the car per week , than hours spent at the actual homeschooling activities.

After a year of charting the Pros and Cons of the inspected road trip towns, we chose to move to a small town just below the Canadian Border. The Uhaul was rented and the Adventure in Moving began even though there had been small Warning Signs clouding our excitement. I ruled it out as Moving Jitters more than substantial evidence of a questionable decision.

Time would tell...and reveal the Truth....The Trouble.