I had to cancel the Fina's and Alex's eye dr apt this morning. We got a late start getting up, which wasn't too bad. But Fina broke into tears, fell on her sisters bed sobbing and refused to get dressed. She said she hated eye doctors and they scare her. She did this 3 weeks ago when she and Meg started gymnastics. We got to the gym, she then said she did not want to do it, ran into a corner and huddled there and sobbed.
Before the hurricane, she was always the strong one. Always willing to try something new. Never scare of anything. Never shy. Anywhere we went, within 5 minutes Fina had made a friend.
Since the hurricane, she has been so frightened. Any little change and she breaks. Anything new or out of the ordinary and she refuses to do it. She won't talk to new kids she meets when we go out. She's just not herself. I know she needs time to heal, but it breaks my heart to see her like this. I miss the old Fina.
We've been thinking about moving back to Louisiana. New England is not what we thought it would be. We said we would give it 6 months -- it's been five. We hate it. It's cold. The people are friendly, but they do not open up to friendship. And it's so expensive. Food is more. Fees for doing things are more. Rent is more. Utilities are more. Just generally living up here costs more. We just hate it.
But maybe it would be just too crazy to move back. Adam has a good job. The homeschool group is friendly. If we just give it time, we would get used to it up here. But is that what we want?
Maybe I'll start looking for jobs down south for Adam. See if the job situation has changed. That will really determine whether or not we move back.
The job situation looks better than it did when we left. Maybe we were meant to be up here for a while, even if it was to teach us that New England sucks! The main thing stopping us - we don't have the money to move back. We have figured it will cost between $3000 and $4000 to move back. More than it took to move up here. Get this:
One thing I had not expected was u-haul rental prices. I thought the price was based on how many miles you're going, but that is only part of it. The other part is pick up and drop off location. It was $900 to rent a large uhaul to come up here. It is $4,000 to rent one to go back. I thought there was something wrong with there calculator at first, so I tried it on another computer, but I guess they have an excess of trucks in Slidell and not enough here. We did some creative fiddling with the towns, and if we pick up the truck in Nashua (about an hour drive north of here) and drop it off in Alexandria, it brings the price down to $1800. Still more than we were planning on, but not anywhere near $4,000!!
The way the rent is set up here will actually help. When you move into a place, you pay first month's rent (of course), last month's and a deposit equal to a month. So the month before we move, we won't have to pay rent, and then Adam gets paid 9 days before rent is due for the next month. So we'll have 2 month's rent to use. The rest we're getting from being very frugal and selling off some unwanted books, gaming stuff and homeschool curriculum. They are books we should have sold off years ago, but getting rid of them now helps us finance our trip back. So maybe it was good that we held onto them.
I've spent the weekend weeding out our books. A good many of them are going on eBay or half.com (mostly homeschool books). We move too damn much to have a large book collection. So of the ones I have say over, if I haven't used or read it in two year, it goes.
At one point in time, I used to collect books just to collect books. I did enjoy reading them, but I think I wanted to possess them more to say "look at my books" than for the love of books. That's not a very good reason to have books We had a book collection numbering in the thousands. I think at this point, we probably have a few hundred. When you pack those into boxes, and try to get your friends to move them, that's still a lot of books.
Well, hopefully after a couple of weeks and this weekend's work, we should have about 6 to 12 boxes less of books. My criteria is have we used it at all, have we used it in the last 2 years, will we use it in the next year and can we not get it at any library.
We have tried to live by the philosophy that we own our belongings, not that they own us. When I dread moving again simply because I don't want to repack and move al of our stuff, especially our books, and not because of the relocating, then I think we have too much stuff.
We all had a great time last night trick-o-treating with friends the girls made in gymnastics. One of the mom's went all out, making a haunted house out of their garage, and had a really fun party. We went around with 6 eight to ten year old girls, who hit about 50 houses or so getting candy then went back to their friend's house to sort their goodies.
The Baby didn't really get into it. The lack of sidewalks and paved walkways up to the houses here made it hard to get the stroller to the door. He was content with the 3 pieces of candy he managed to get.
The weather turned out beautiful too. After several weeks of the high temp being 50 and wind and rain to boot, yesterday was sunny and in the 60's. Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful Halloween.
Okay, so I was cheesey and wore garb. Not much fits a pregnant woman and I was not going as a pumkin again!
No we're not gypsies. although it sometimes feels like it. But we've all made the decision over the last couple of weeks to go back home. Our house down south is not selling, and the market has cooled off to the point of frigid.
But that's not the main reason. Despite that we have some good friends up here, we don't like New England. None of us. It may be a huge mistake, but we all really just want to go home.
The kids really want to go back. So desperately, they're looking through their stuff to see what they could sell on eBay to help with the moving expenses. I told them that they did not have to do that. Then they started telling me all the ways I can save on groceries, like "We don't really need waffles, I'll just eat cherrios for breakfast."
Fina was hesitant to want to go back at first, and I didn't know why. She's been depressed since we moved. I tried to get it out of her, and finally we really talked about it. She said that the reasons we left are still there -- disrepair of things broken in the storm, increase in crime, no job for Adam, and allergy problems (all of this was in her own words though). We talked about it, and I pointed out that the city we live in is an abandoned factory town that is so depressed it looks like what you imagine the bad parts of Pittsburg look like. The crime rate up here is outrageous (even compared with post-Katrina Slidell), and it's mostly rape -- I've never seen so high of a rape rate as here. The jobs are beginning to open up down there, plus Adam does not have that desperate feel about him due to being unemployed and he has current really good experience. And our allergies, despite what we thought, are worse or the same up here, probably because of the pollution from there being so many people. After we had out talk, she's been so happy at the thought of going back.
Meg is the only one who could stay or leave without caring. She's made a couple of friends up here, so she's happy. But she does miss everyone from down there too.
I flip flop on being excited to being terrified. But I was pretty terrified about coming up here. We had said originally that we would give it six months, and it's been six months - or almost. And we just don't like it.
Right now we're setting a date for early December. We're trying to beat the heavy snow and bad part of winter.
It's been hectic as hell here trying to again weed out stuff we don't really want or need, selling off any of it that is worth anything, applying for jobs for Adam, looking for free moving supplies, still trying to get our homeschooling done, and doing all of this with a very active 2 year old running around and destroying everything. There has been no time left for much of anything.
Things have been in utter chaos since Katrina, and they still don't seem to be slowing down. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. Moving back won't be nearly as hard as moving up here. We have a much huger support system down there. So once we move back and Adam gets a job (which is looking good), then things will finally slow down.
Then I have to try not to be the fool I normally am and extend myself out in too many directions, taking on too much responsibility. As long as I don't do that, things will be nice. And hopefully that will last a few years.
Until then, I drag on each day hoping that things will get better.
The job situation looks better each day. An old friend at UNO has an offer for him (no gauruntee, but a good possibility), and it looks like a possibility for jobs at Tulane and SLU. Plus he has contrat agencies calling every other day with offers. We just now have to get down there for him to interview.
The thought hit me the other day that Adam has just as many real opportunities down there now as we did up here when we made the decision to move to New England. It was a little reassuring. We made the decision to move up here based on several possibilities for jobs, and now he has that number of possibilities down there. Things will work out for us. I feel that now.
I miss my home.