What We’re Getting In Return
- First and foremost, we’re gaining a buttload of family. Here, it’s just the two of us and we spend all our time/money/vacation days going back and forth from here to MO. And let me tell you, 18 hours in the car with your husband, two cats, and one crazy dog is no spring picnic. I’m tired of wandering around the world and never getting any actual time off to relax.
- This leads us to #2, vacations. Since we won’t be spending all our time/money/vacation days on shuttling ourselves and our animals back and forth for family holidays, I may actually get a vacation some time soon. For most people, this isn’t a problem, but for me it’s getting ridiculous. I’m so burned out on life, that I really could use one. I mean, I’m going on my first vacation in 20 years this week, to Disney World with the entire family. We’re all staying in one room. I love them (and Disney!) but I could really use a week in Vegas by the pool with a cool drink and a good book.
- Which, really, I may find the pull of vacationing slacking off here in the near future. The pace of life in MO is so much more relaxed and friendly that it’s definitely a less stressful environment. My problem is going to be in relaxing myself enough to understand that no one in the entire world is in a hurry to get anywhere. That’s going to take a hell of a lot of work.
- No more public transit! I know I cited this as something we’re giving up, but if you’ve ever ridden on DCs WMATA metro system, you know it’s not really giving something up. The freely available parking in middle America is extremely attractive to someone like me who giving up control of what time she’s going to get somewhere. I feel like public transit here always makes me late, and I won’t really miss that aspect of it.
- Along with the family comes free babysitting. We don’t have any babies yet, but we’re not getting any younger either. In DC, child care costs are astronomical. Were to have a kid in daycare here, I would be spending over half my monthly paycheck just on childcare costs. Not to mention all the other things kids need. In MO? Child care costs are way down AND we have a Grandma and Grandpa practically begging us to let them babysit the spawn we don’t yet have.
- Child care costs aren’t the only thing that’s smaller in MO. The general cost of living is way down from here as well. Here, you can purchase a (small) one bedroom condo for $300,000. Hell, just our rent costs are over half my paycheck a month. In MO, these prices would practically get you a McMansion. Hey, jobs may pay you less there than they do here but in the grand scheme of things a smaller percentage of your paycheck is getting eaten by those costs.
- Small town living appeals to me. I like the idea that everyone knows everyone else, they’re all polite and wave as you pass and people say thank you and please and hold the door for others. It’s one of the things I miss most about southern living. The quality of life is different, maybe not better, but definitely different.
There are some things that we’re gaining that I’d rather not. Unfortunately, it’s a package deal with no substitutions.
- Wildlife in your house. When I lived in Texas, I spent a lot of time checking my entire house (including tub/toilet/sink/shoes) for bugs and other creepy crawlies. Now, if you know me you know I’m not particularly outdoorsy. I’m not a fan of bugs or sweat or things that go bump in the night. I’m not looking forward to finding evil spiders in the tub or scorpions in the sink. Here’s hoping that the house stays pest free.
- Tornadoes. Nothing in this entire world scares me as much as the threat of tornadoes. Yes, the ancient farm house has a basement which I suppose could double as a tornado shelter. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen one except on TV. All I know is that I could be asleep one minute and in the next field over the next. Uncool.
- Last but not least, ice storms and flooding. Thankfully (unlike Figment’s parents) the place we’ll be staying is on a bit of a hill so flooding is less likely. Ice storms don’t care how big the hill is there, and this part of MO is known for them. Our place doesn’t have a fireplace, although our neighbors (brother and sister-in-law) have one and so do Figment’s parents. But I drive a Honda Civic. I don’t think that sucker’s gonna make it up and down the hills in a freak freeze. Like I said, its definitely going to be an adventure.