Mom, I want to MOVE!!

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 27th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/qnbfse3k/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Rural Living

Living in a rural area can be hard for only children. Without siblings or neighbors, there are only parents (homework & video games) to fill the hours. This can lead to frustration and loneliness. Some kids in rural areas are still the life of the party. Other times, it just isn't enough.

The Simple Life

When my husband and I were house hunting a few years ago, we had a pretty tight budget and my husband wanted a place where he could weld without creating a fire hazard. The property we found was in the city's outlots; a doubly foreclosed property that has been pretty well overrun with nature -- there were more mice, spiders, and pests than there were people that first year and a half.

But it was our HOME. A large shop in front of the house provided the space my husband needed. We put up a tire swing and the next year, acquired a swing set. I advertised my services as a summer care provider. Caring for other people's children the next three summers helped our budget stretch a little further and gave my boy other friends to play with. For those years, it seemed to be working well. But it wasn't enough.

Summer 2013

As summer approached in 2013, I made out the schedule of camps and activities. I put down the deposits and budgeted remainders. I made lists of things to do and places to go. But my son is getting older, and his friends have more of an impact on his life than ever before. They all lived in town. "Mom, I want to MOVE!" He told me again and again.

I wanted to move, too. He'd outgrown the swing set. Summers can be miserably hot. Day camps start so early in the morning, but are done by lunchtime. And living out where we did, I spent more time in the car transporting him then I did on my own devices. My husband works long hours to provide well for us, but I often felt like a single parent on the prairie. Rural neighbors keep to themselves -- we could go days without seeing one -- except for cars driving past. To top it off, the city had decided to pave our road. My son didn't feel safe so near strangers in the construction zone. I didn't blame him.

We sat down with our husband and father. We made some repairs. We listed the house with an agent. We showed it often. We waited.

Fall 2013 to January 2014

When school started again, we still hadn't sold the house. But knowing it could happen anytime, I packed my son's bike into my car and dropped it off at school. After school every day, he would bike home with a friend, and I would wait there so they could play. His friends' parents were very generous to let me stay. At that point I was not a very good friend. I was moody and irritable all the time. Why wouldn't the house sell? Why couldn't I do this one thing for my son? For me, too?

Fall turned into winter, and depression settled over me like a fat grey cloud. I tried to shake it off, throwing myself into marketing for my books. But feelings of failure may have caused me to literally stink. Any success I felt was tainted by failure. Any success was marred by others who were far surpassing me.

The road paving project that was promised to be completed by October was nowhere near completed. My water line got cut at least three times. I lost power multiple times a week. The road went from rough to all but impassable. Realtors could not get past the construction to our home. We pulled the house off the market for three weeks to allow the crew to finish. Fall turned to winter. Winter brought holidays I did not feel like celebrating.

It wasn't all bad. A friend from school moved out to our road. Not close enough they would be true neighbors -- especially not with the construction. But perhaps when the road was finished. We had one play-over in the fall. The invitation was not returned. Who knows why? I stopped looking at houses -- at least I tried. I tried to accept the fact that we weren't going to be able to move. My son was depressed, too -- sleeping later and later -- I hoped maybe baseball would lift his spirits. So I made the move to home school him so academics wouldn't suffer and signed him up for baseball. We moved all our "stuff" out of the trailer and back into our house -- just inside the hallway. We had a ridiculous number of snowstorms and snow days. We gave the realtor back her sign -- covered in construction debris though it was. Six months had gone by, and no takers.

Life Happens While Making Other Plans

So I'd cried my eyes out. I was grieving the loss of my new home and new opportunities. I was struggling to accept that which I could not change. My son and I were in pajamas at the computer at 10:30 on a Monday morning when the doorbell rang. Public school children had a snow day -- could it be one of them had abandoned their neighborhood to come play?

Even better -- as we would learn -- two guys.
"Didn't you have a For Sale sign in front of your house?"
"Yes..."
"Did you sell it?"
"No..."
"Do you still want to?"
"Who wants to know?"
"Can we take a look?"
"I'm not really decent."
"We don't want to buy you, ma'am. We're interested in the house."

Can you believe I still let them in?

I put on a coat to walk the property with them -- and also to make some pretense at decency. One of the men was an agent. The other was his client. Both were dressed for the weather, not for business. But what could I say to that in my present state?

Looking back, it happened so fast. Maybe 45 days between their first look and our signing on the dotted line. But how long those days seemed while I was living in them -- frankly expecting another disappointment and trying to plan duplicate scenarios of success and failure with a budget that really only allowed for one option.

Today

We moved most things out of the old house the day before another snowstorm hit. Inside of a week (and weekend), we'd moved the contents of a four bedroom farmhouse AND a four car detached shop into a much smaller three bedroom with a garage and small storage shed.

"I didn't want anything to jeopardize the sale." I told the agent, while showing pictures of the empty space. Without the pictures, the buyer's agent could not believe it. I couldn't believe it either, and it only happened because I had loads of help from friends and family. But it was done.

Had we bought a new house instead of renting, all proceeds from the sale would have gone into the down payment and closing costs of the new home. Since we are renting, we were able to pay down bills, replace furniture, AND establish an emergency fund. I still have things I want, but can afford to wait. All in good time, you know.

I'm in the neighborhood across the street from my son's friends' neighborhood. They've been over a few times to play already, but it's still drop-off and pick-up by parents, rather than trusting the boys to bring themselves by foot or bike. But they are getting older. Even better, a boy down the street that we only sort of knew has been playing with my son. Saturday, my son spent the night at his house. Every day this past week, they have ventured back and forth between his basketball goal and my son's trampoline, my son's Wii and his Xbox 360. The new friend's mom tells me that her friend with a son of similar age to our boys is buying the house I passed over -- the one whose front door faces mine. There will be the potential for three amigos.While content with the current situation, the thought of another boy makes me very excited for my son. The old chorus of "I want to MOVE" has been replaced by "Mom -- I want to stay here for a long time."

Me, too, kid. Me, too.

Deciding to Move

The decision that worked out well for us would not work out for everybody. Everyone has different reasons to move, stay, buy, sell, rent -- I can only speak to my own experiences.

But tell me yours in the COMMENT section below. I'd love to hear from you.

Except for the picture of three kids with the friend adage, courtesy of demotivation.us, I was the photographer of the images contained in this article.

I've written other articles related to this one. You may enjoy:
Paint to Sell
Tale of Two Houses
Hating the Waiting Game?
Let It Snow

Tags

Friends, Kids, Loneliness, Lonely, Lonely Child, Moving, Play, Relocation

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Good evening, Phyl, I knew you would get a moving article done - good job. I like the other interest with your son and his friends. Nice article all around. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks. There are more in the works -- trying out a niche (separate from baseball) -- maybe. ;)

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author avatar Connie McKinney
15th Apr 2014 (#)

So glad the house finally sold, and everything worked out in the end. I love happy endings.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Me, too, Connie. Me, too. ;)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Happy for you Phyl. I have not moved for twenty five years after buying an apartment - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Apr 2014 (#)

With luck, we won't move again until our son graduates high school. At the same time, I'm trying to declutter the "stuff" from my life. We moved so much I should have just let go of. More on that in future articles. It is a big life lesson, no?
Thanks, Siva.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
15th Apr 2014 (#)

I am looking for something in the countryside, well written my friend!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks, Fern! Yes, a lot of people said we were crazy to move into the city. And it all depends on priorities and life. It also helps (a lot) that this city is still in a very rural area, and it is a house in a neighborhood, not an apartment with loud neighbors, shootings, and violence. It is a good fit for my family.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
15th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks for sharing your story Phyl. I'm glad you and your family are in the right place for you. We rent too. It's cheaper than owning a house and the landlord is good and does all the repairs.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Apr 2014 (#)

A great landlord has great value. We've been very lucky. I do know other people who have had terrible landlords, and I feel so bad for them. There is no reason not to care for each other and work to take care of each other -- I can't understand bad landlords any more than I can understand people who trash their living space.
Thanks for your comment -- I'm glad you have a good landlord.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
15th Apr 2014 (#)

dont know how I missed this one...so sorry ...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Apr 2014 (#)

No worries! I am looking forward to your next!

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author avatar Carol
20th Apr 2014 (#)

Well done Phyl your patience and perseverance in the face of such difficulties paid off. A great article!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
21st Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you Carol!

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author avatar Kingwell
25th Apr 2014 (#)

Well done my friend. I'm happy for you.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Apr 2014 (#)

Aww! Thanks, Kingwell. I'm happy to be here, too!

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
20th May 2014 (#)

Well kids moved but the parents didn't but unfortunately who does when there are memories within. Your life you take care of your dirty laundry until the colour runs dry, I will come and buy it when its time and lets see what you think about it.
Are you sure you didn't someone else's house and their memories of life???

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author avatar dis-cover
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Nice article!!! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Wish you all the best.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Many thanks, dis-cover! We've been in the new house 3 months now and despite the change, things are great.

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