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Moving, Homeschooling, and More

Those closest to us know we’ve wanted to leave our home state of California for a long time. The high taxes & cost of living, stringent regulations on everything from how to educate our own children to what sort of grocery bags to use, and other factors made us long for something more – more freedom, more self-determined destiny and less government involvement. We planned, we tried to save, and were getting nowhere (remember that high cost of living?), until our lives and Dave’s work situation changed dramatically.

We went from, “In a couple of months, the boys and I would hit the road and get a place secured in Texas,” to, “Oh my gosh, we have to go ASAP.” We also went from expecting to not see Dave (my best friend and father of our twins) for as long as a month or two to, “Holy smokes, you better find a job out here quick,” because of that work thing. So, while we sent out his resumes, we packed the old house, got rid of much, and packed our most dear items with movers (who will be here soon…we’re still camping out on air mattresses).

One of the bonuses to what I do, in both publishing this most awesome magazine and teaching music,  is that I can do them from anywhere. I have a small roster of online students, and plan to rebuild much of the in-studio roster, and let’s face it, Texas is much more homeschool-friendly and Learning Tangent should grow more quickly here.

Something we noticed while sending out Dave’s resume was that his particular skill-set of pool cleaning, repairs and maintenance is in a far higher demand here in Texas. He’s had several job offers, and decided on one where there seemed to be the most growth potential within a smaller company. His new boss is thrilled, and looks forward to having him on staff, and Dave looks forward to doing the work he loves without the headache of dealing with billing. A true win-win situation.

But what about the kids?

The boys, for their part, have handled it as well as you can expect 13-year old boys to handle a cross-country move. There have been tears, melt-downs, and more; but there have also been bright spots. We’ve become closer, and more willing to give of ourselves, and more willing to cut each other a little slack when we break down. The neighborhood into which we moved has kids – lots of them – and within five minutes of deciding to rent the place, they were making friends – something that never happened in our old neighborhood. The neighborhood where we used to live was nice, but cars drove by on a 25-mile per hour road at freeway speeds, so no one played out front. Ever. We had to work hard to find the small handful of friends we had, so leaving them was the hardest part of moving.

Their D&D meetup group, which they love, is continuing via Skype, so they still get to see those friends, and we will be working on setting up one of the big-screens with their meetup so seeing everything is that much better. As much as technology is sometimes a thorn in our sides, it’s been a blessing in this case, because the cell phones we bought for them a couple of months ago are currently being used to keep in touch with all of their friends.

One of the things for which we’re grateful, is that we homeschool. The boys do not have to adjust to an entirely new school, with hundreds of new faces. We’ve begun to get back to our school routine, as much as possible, as we discovered that some of our school books were unintentionally sent with movers. Oops! So we’re improvising. We’re looking at local fun things to visit, and hoping the rain will stop soon so we can do more than stare at the rivers flowing through the streets around town. As with any move, money is tight so doing the fun things that cost a little will have to wait, but so far, they’re adjusting well.

Lessons Learned

I hope I never have to move across country again, but if I did, there are a few things I’d do differently. First – insist that we get rid of more. Stuff is replaceable and often costs more to take with you than it would to replace. I knew this, but ran into a lot of resistance from my family. We’ve all learned that lesson, and it’s a hard one! We also learned that, no matter how much you want to get to where you’re going, leaving what you’ve always known is hard, and tends to send you into a mourning process regardless of the level of preparation. A couple of days ago, as I was wandering through Walmart picking up yet more things that we actually needed, I started crying. I couldn’t help it, and I don’t even really know what brought it on, I just know that I was overwhelmed with the enormity of the task at hand.

Through it all, we’ve been reminded that family is awesome, and having each other is the most important thing.

Now – writing this on a computer that’s sitting on the floor kind of stinks. We’re looking for a couple of computer desks on the cheap, so if you’re selling one and in the Fort Worth area near-ish to the 20 and 35W, hit me up. We could also use a kitchen table with a few chairs. Our favorite furniture (blue leather couch) and the furniture we made (ottoman, table), and grandparents’ bookcases, will be here with the movers. The rest is just little stuff.

Fort Worth and Texas have opened their arms to us, and while we still feel a bit out of sorts until our things get here, we’re very happy to be making our home in this amazing part of the country. Everything is so beautiful! The next few months will be interesting, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.