That aside, I must say that this has been a great step we've taken in our lives. We had been looking to get out of California for years and had been mainly focusing on the South, Georgia, Tennessee, North or South Carolina. Maybe even Virginia. I was very close in the running for a great position in Pennsylvania, which I obviously didn't get, but we never really thought about Indiana. We still ask ourselves if we can believe we live here.
I had some concerns about things like the weather and how would I deal with snow. Serious snow, that is, but I must say that it really has been pretty wonderful. Indiana is a much more family friendly place. The employment seems to be really booming as all of my adult kids, and even my 17 year old, have secured jobs pretty quickly. The cost of living is really great too. Gas is at least 20-40 cents a gallon less, food and other things are generally less expensive and housing...well, it's just ridiculous how much more you get for your house dollar. The home we have, with the 1/4 acre lot and huge swimming pool would cost at least twice as much as we paid and if it were in So Cal. It would be the same floor-plan as every 5th house in the subdivision and they would ALL have that same "Southwestern" cookie cutter stucco and tile roof.
I have trees!I like to tell folks that here, you cut down trees to build a house, while in California, they chop the top off a hill, backfill the lot with silt and granite chunks that pass through a 6 inch screen and then plant trees around the wood frame, chicken wire and stucco house to make it look like anywhere but California. Then, once the sod takes a little bit of root, you realize it's far too expensive to run your sprinklers everyday to keep the grass alive and Voila! your yard is as brown as the "Southwestern motif" that your HOA requires you to maintain.
Do you get the sense that I'm glad I left?
Under that blanket of 14 inches or so of snow, lies my swimming pool and my huge backyard. You know what will be there when Spring comes? Green grass!! Can't even get that in California.
The kids were a bit upset leaving all that they knew behind, but they've adapted quite nicely and already have a lot of friends and new activities. I feel like they're blossoming in ways they never would have if we had stayed out West. Christi loves it too. She's always wanted to live somewhere that has 4 actual seasons and she is enjoying the little things like the farm fresh veggies that we get that are actually grown right down the road. The fact that deer come into our yard at night to eat the few leaves left hanging on the huge oak in the front yard and having the kids be able to ride buses to school. She also likes that my commute is 15 minutes each way. This is the first time in over 20 years that I have lived closer than 50 miles to work.
We also want to thank those of you who encouraged us to go for the Indiana move. Lots of you who live here or have before, told us about what to expect here and gave us advice about preparing for winter and such and we appreciate all the information you shared.
We look forward to new challenges, new adventures and maybe even new blog posts.