Wednesday, June 5, 2013

House vs Home...or Big Changes are Coming (TL;DR)

Old pic of my family

 My life has been changed in the past few days. We were informed that my husband's branch of the company he works for had been sold. This means we will need to either take what the new owners are offering, which doesn't appear to be that attractive, or move to another region to stay with his current company. So, it looks like we will be moving to Colorado.

 You are probably asking yourself why we'd choose to move if the new company is willing to keep him. First, his company still offers the traditional pension. The years of service you put in plus reaching a certain retirement age guarantees you your pay plus medical until you die. No need to put your own money into it. It a reward for loyalty and a job well done. Most places now offer 401Ks or some other retirement plan the employee pays into and and losing money is possible. Right now, my husband makes far more than the average LPN/PVN does per hour and we get full medical/dental for the family for free. Add to that paid sick, vacation and various other paid days off and it becomes hard to walk away. He has worked for the company for 15 years now too.

Daughter's friend and her father at my house

 Now for the reason why I am not exactly thrilled with the idea of moving; my home. Notice I didn't say " my house". That is because this is more than just a house to me. It really is my home and I love my home. It will be 100 years old next year and the age on it is part of the reason why I love it so. The charm and character of the place is endearing and it's my very first "home".

 Yes it is the first house I have ever purchased but it's more than that, it really is the first place I have ever lived I felt was home. From the moment I walked into it, I fell in love with it and had to own it. We had run our poor realtor ragged trying to find us a home. She was shocked when we said we wanted an older home. Most people here don't, but we do march to a different beat than most people. Our needs were simple; 3 bedrooms with an attic we could finish into a 4th, a yard and cosmetic fixer. We looked at just about every house for sale in the area. In fact, we looked at the house that was for sale 2 doors down from this one. It was while walking out of that house that we spotted this one for sale and asked to see it. It was like coming home.

Oldest's high school graduation

 This house is so much a home, that we have taken in (and raised) three kids that weren't ours. We have always had an open door policy with friends and family and all are welcome. Now I am leaving the boys we raised and worry about them. Who will they turn to when they need help? Where will they go when they just need a place to relax for a night. Sometimes we all just have to get away and having a home to go to for a break from life is always nice. A home is that safe place to land. Where will their homes be now?

 I spent my childhood in rentals, mostly apartments but punctuated with duplexes and the occasional roommate situation in houses. We never owned a house and we moved so often I attended a new school almost every year until I reached the 6th grade. Once I attended 2 new schools in one year. Mostly because my mother did not like the school I was in and lied about our address to get me put in the other school. It was a good choice because I was miserable in the first school.

Youngest son's 2nd birthday

 My childhood was divided, for a time, between my family's place on Camano Island (WA) and wherever we happened to be living in California (mostly San Diego but a stint in Barstow). I was born on Whidbey Island (WA) and being able to spend my free time in WA was a blessing. Being able to be in a small town and have that Mayberry experience was a wonderful way to grow up. I wanted something similar for my children but in San Diego, they were growing up as apartment dwellers. Houses were far too expensive to buy for the average family. We decided to move to Ohio.

 My children have had that "Mayberry" life for the past 11 years. My younger kids do not know any other way to live and now, I am looking at the stark reality that I will be forced to sell my home and rent again. I will be forced to live in something that is serviceable, providing shelter but not really our home. It is very possible we may be forced back into a more citified existence. Add to that the fact I will be leaving my two oldest girls in Ohio, I feel like I am breaking up my family.

Younger daughter's Senior Prom

This house has seen so many firsts, aside from being my first house. We've had first dates, first dances, first kisses, first proms, first teeth, first lost teeth, first steps, first laughs, first smiles, first tears, first casts, first...everything. It's hard to walk away from this house and all it's memories. Sure we can make new ones but it isn't easy to find a house that actually feels like home. I know there are people that will agree with me.

I guess what I am trying to say in this TL;DR post is that I am finding the whole idea of moving extremely difficult. I am trying to be positive but my heart is breaking and it's hard to see the bright side. Don't worry, I have faith everything will turn out the way it's meant to though there might be a time when my husband may have to live in Colorado while I live here in Ohio. It's going to be a rough transition but we will all make it through unscathed.

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