Now what, indeed.
It's a good question. It's exactly the same question we've been asking ourselves since late Friday night. We wanted to sell our house. It's seems like that's going to work out. And then, after August 28th, we will be...
No. Not homeless. (Good thing since I think it'd be pretty tricky to raise two kids in our little car.) But the truth is, we're not exactly sure where we'll be. One thing we know we do have and that's a place to stay at the Family Farm. My grandma is now living with my parents, so her house is vacant. We can live there, a stone's throw away from where we'll be building our house. However, the Family Farm is 75 minutes away from Salem, which is, by the way, where we've been living for 14 years.
Some of you maybe didn't even know I lived in Salem because I haven't often divulged that little detail (although you could have figured it out from this post). But now we're not going to be in Salem, so let's just skip past the land of vague references and get specific here. And while I'm on the topic of Salem, can I just say I love this town? I didn't used to, but I do now. Leaving Salem is going to be very, very hard. Not just because so many of my friends live here. Not just because I've enjoyed living in a town that always shows up on US maps, but just because it's a great place to raise a family. Marvelous. I'm getting ahead of myself though.
Anyway, the reason why I mention Salem at all is because Jason and I are actually still going to be working there all next school year. He's not giving up his job; I'm not giving up mine (until the following school year). I can easily commute from Washington the two days a week that I work, but Jason can't commute 5 days a week. Technically, I suppose he could. But seriously? Yuck. It would be awful.
There--between the lines of where we work, where we're building, where we'd more than occasionally like to be together as a family--lies the conundrum.
One option is for Jason to live in Salem, and the girls and I would live at the farm. This sounds like a long, torturous path to Grumpy Misery. I know families do it...live apart from each other for long stretches of time. But since we don't have to do this then the easy choice is not to.
Another option is to just keep living in Salem, in an apartment, until our house is complete. While this is certainly much more doable, it just doesn't sound like that much fun once the novelty of small living wears off. I know. There are sacrifices to be made on the path of building our house, but I've done the whole "no backyard" bit, and going back to that place also might lead me to the place of Grumpy Misery. Are you seeing a pattern here? It's true. I'm not really as strong as I pretend to be.
Many more options exist, but I think what we're going to do is rent an apartment in Salem, where the girls and I will live part of the time, where Jason will live during the week, and then we'll spend weekends together at the farm. The way we've worked it out is that Jason will only be away from the girls 2 nights a week; I'll be away from the girls 1 night a week (when they stay at the farm while I drive back to Salem to teach); and we're only making 2 round-trip drives between Washington and Oregon. Really, it's all more information than you were interested in reading about isn't it, but that's okay. I had to share it because it took us a long time to figure out that arrangement (and yes, there were charts and graphs and mapping involved). It's all part of my process of Transitioning.
Of course, this whole plan could fall apart, but it's what we have right now. And it's keeping me from being too sad about moving, because really we aren't going to be totally moving away for another year. By that time, what with all this dual-living, and commuting, and apartment living, and house construction, and living in a space where the walls will be white and bare? I think we'll be ready to find a place that we can call home.