Looking For a Secular Florida Umbrella School?

Monday, February 09, 2004

Re: Poll posts

Here are some miscellaneous replies/thoughts. Thank you for your comments. This is a real, difficult decision that we will have to make, on our own, but the input of people with similar values is important to us, since we are surrounded by family and friends who just don't get us.

Waffling is a word we use all the time around here. Options are great, but too many options can cripple decision making, that's what's happened here. From our original decision to relocate to Australia, to staying in the US, to WHERE in the US, to staying in South Florida, to WHERE in South Florida. We're not cookie-cutter-walled-subdivision-type people. My MIL, who never interferes, practically begged us not to take the girls away from her. We've even waffled on whether or not she has the right to impose on our future like that, but ultimately, she's been good to us and we can't bear to do that to her. She's also advised us, wise real estate investor that she is, to always buy the best address you can afford, even if you have to live in the basement. That would be A, although she'd like to see us in a real house.

Decluttering, ha! I could teach the Flylady a thing or two. We're not terribly materialistic, most of our belongings have been in storage over two years and there's little we miss, but I do miss a few items that we just don't have room for, like my great grandmother's china.

G needs to reduce his stress level. He's a candidate for a heart attack. We want him to be more of a participating member of our family vs. the cash cow.

Money in the bank would be nice (me being a pessimist about the economy) and would enable us to travel more, but I suppose we've managed plenty of traveling so far with no money in the bank. G's resourceful enough to keep the lights on, no matter what he ends up doing. And who need lights anyway, right?

As to expansion/renovation plans, well, G is a builder, so that means our construction factors should be multiplied by four! You know that old saw, "The cobbler's children have no shoes." Come to think of it, my little barefoot crackers don't have a decent pair of shoes either.

Let's see, other considerations: Culture -- at least an hour away from both. Security -- A, definitely, just for its inaccessibility; Demographics -- A: blandly homogeneous; B: diverse.

I'm naturally a hermit and G's very extroverted, but he prefers to personally distance himself from the prole masses. Living in town would be an exercise in limiting involvement with neighbors, and the B property is conducive to that, but we'd probably be singled out as snobs.

We've even considered years down the road: A big, empty house when the kids are gone, or a smaller, more manageable place? Where would the children, even grandchildren, rather come back to visit? A.

A hardships, aside from extra work involved in any regular venture, include salty well water, crummy plumbing, loads of interior-dwelling bugs and critters (carpenter ants made a nest in my printer last year and the other day inside a roll of tinfoil, but mostly the lizards take care of the insect problems), the ever present, powdery sand, occasional red tide and subsequent fish kills, you get the picture... BUT, for all its drawbacks, heading across the bay on a glorious day can make doing the most mundane tasks feel like a vacation.

Our biggest concern is obviously the children. Are we building strong character or animosity by living such a pared down, rough existence? As they get older and more independent, wanting to spend more time with various in-town activities, how will we manage that from offshore?

It all boils down to quality vs. quantity.

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