Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to square one

I wrote a couple of days ago that we had decided to move. As Gene Wilder (in the original "Willie Wonka") would say "scratch that... reverse it."

Um... yeah, well... see, we've moved and returned a dozen times in our heads over the past week. But I think this time, it's pretty much decided. We're going to stay, for now. The Rocket Scientist and I went with the boys to Rocket City on Saturday (it's about a two-hour drive from Paradise). My wife and I took another trip today by ourselves, to look around neighborhoods, check out houses for sale, compare to rentals, etc.

There's one neighborhood we adore, filled block after block with 80-100 year old crafstman bungalows, like the one we used to own. We would love to live there. Problem is, it's a terrible time to buy a house right now, especially in that market. The asking price on houses in that neighborhood is more than twice the price we sold our old house for (comparable to the ones in that neighborhood). Let's say they're over-priced (of course they are!), even taking loaction into account. But by how much? When will the market come crashing down? Most importantly, how could we risk purchasing a home now, when we can't be sure we'd even keep it beyond a year?

Ah... there's the rub. I've got little here and nothing there, nothing yet at least. The job would be different for my wife, possibly more interesting, most likely a bit more secure, than her current position. But the question keeps coming back to this: do the potential benefits outweigh the accompanying difficulties? Our real goal is to find a locale where we can both meaningfully pursue our chosen careers, someplace we could reasonably expect to stay for at least 3-5 years. That's not here in Paradise, but it doesn't seem to be Rocket City either.

So, we're back to square one. In sailing, there's an expression: when in doubt, let it out. Perhaps the one we've adopted in life is: when in doubt, hang about. No, we're not entirely cautious by nature, nor would we wish to be. But here, for now, we're limber, we're free. Any and all obligations have been fulfilled. We could make any decision at any time, to pack up and leave, then we're off. If we go to Rocket City, we're owned for the next 12 months, or we'd need to repay all the relocation benefits, which last I checked are a hefty sum. If we bought a house, we'd be locked into that. If we rented, we'd have a lease.

Here, we've remained past the 12 months requisite for the past relocation, and we've lived in our house past the 12-month lease (we're month to month now). If I get an offer somewhere, and my wife can find meaningful work in the vicinity, we could leave in a month.

In the end, Rocket Central would be a good place for my wife to work... but the timing is just not right, the circumstances are not quite embracing. And you know, Paradise ain't half bad a place to be stuck for a time. We're determined not to regret this decision. It's been a hard one to make. But we made it together. And for that, I am truly thankful.


Prof. Me said...

Wow, wow, wow! I did not see this coming at all.

Good for you, though. I'll bet that this was not an easy decision to make at all, and it shows how strong your relationship with the Rocket Scientist really is. You seem to really be in tune with each other's dreams as well as committed to a common vision of your future. That is truly excellent.

Can't wait to read what the next turn for the Articulate Family will be!

BrightStar said...

I admire that you two are continually re-evaluating your options and your choices. I have found that it's tempting to make a choice and stick to it, even if it's not the best choice, and it's a lot harder to rethink choices -- either emotionally harder (initially, but not in the long run) or even financially or practically harder sometimes, depending how far along you are in the process.

You two sound like you communicate very well with each other.

Best wishes for you and your family.

trillwing said...

I didn't realize Rocket City was so close to Paradise. Yeah, in those environs, you're going to need a huuuuuge chunk o' change. My grandmother lives in a 1940s bungalow in what I'm guessing is the region you're referring to, and on half a lot, and it appraised for something like $800,000.

Congratulations, however, on making a decision. Those are hard to come by these days for those of us in transition.