Oh boy. I don't even know where to start with this saga...how about "here we go again"...or better yet "back to the drawing board" or perhaps most appropriately "the best laid plans of mice and...moms"...blah blah blah. You see, it seems that despite my voluminous hours of research, and my impassioned appeals to my family's pioneering spirit, and even our extraordinarily satisfying and successful Summer sojourn out West, the Pacific Plan--beset from the beginning by objections and reluctance which I strived so diligently to overcome--finally hit a fatal snag that punctured its hopeful, delicate facade beyond repair. Is that sufficiently colorful...and cryptic...for you? Okay, okay, I'll elaborate. All along, we had hoped that one major aspect of the Relocation Agenda would take care of itself...meaning that Husband's company would allow him to keep his job and become home-based, with the "home" in question obviously transferring to California. Well, when he broached the subject with the "powers that be"...they were not agreeable at all to green-lighting the idea. (That's right, they pretty much said, "Um...nooooo.") So Husband took the next logical step, and researched other options in the San Francisco area. When he had completed his homework and was ready to report to me, the news was grim. In a nutshell, he didn't find many viable opportunities, and the ones he did unearth would involve a hellacious commute from Sonoma County.
Allllriiiiighty, then. Needless to say, this particular conversation did not commence in a terribly auspicious manner. With the goal of fostering a productive and meaningful discussion, I attempted to explain clearly and concisely what I was feeling at that point. I held out one hand as far as it would stretch to my left and instructed, "Imagine this is California." Then I repeated the action on the other side, "And this is staying here." He nodded somewhat quizzically and I continued, "You're telling me this one (waggling left hand) won't work. I'm saying this one (waving right hand) isn't acceptable either. So let's focus on finding an alternative that both of us can live with, somewhere around here." (Both hands moving together in the middle.)
With that understanding, we revisited (metaphorically, at least) a locale that had come under consideration in previous versions of this topic exploration: North Carolina. The more we delved into different aspects of our (slightly distant) neighbor to the south, the more desirable features we uncovered. Some of the most obvious pluses: the "Eastern Time Zone Advantage" (where most of our immediate family and close friends are situated as well); the "Road Trip Potential" (since returning to Maryland and trekking to Husband's parents' house would both be journeys by car, rather than lengthy, expensive airplane flights) and the very, very crucial "Continuation of Gainful Employment Clause". (As Husband would be joining the ranks of 4 other employees in his company that also work remotely...from North Carolina!)
Having broken ground on this Plan B, if you will, we decided to update the troops--I mean "children" so they could keep abreast of the new developments. They were...bemused....at first by the change. (I have to admit, though, their slight bafflement was nothing compared to what I underwent, being forced to abruptly ditch my extensive lists, charts, maps, notes--heck, an entire file folder stuffed with data--gathered over months of meticulous...Googling..) However, I gave myself a mental pep talk accompanied by a firm shake--as in "let's get on with this"--and jumped back into fact-gathering mode.
The first thing I tackled was Real Estate. ('cuz let's be real, it's F-U-N to look at houses...even virtual ones, am I right?) It turns out, I couldn't have chosen a better motivational tool if I'd yanked one out of a nearby hat. Cost of living in the area we're examining is significantly lower than where we reside now...and at least at this moment, the houses available for sale are bigger and newer than ours, with more land...for around the same price that we'd be asking when we sell. That did it--all we had to do was show the boys a couple of examples of homes, and they were whooping with delight at the prospect of moving. Mind you, these are the same individuals who had given me nothing but complaints about uprooting ourselves and landing in California, but throw in a nice house and some grass, and they're ready to go NOW. (Yeah, they're also beside themselves with glee at the prospect of actually helping select the new digs, since the excursion is short enough that we can make it several times if necessary, on long weekends...did someone say "Christmas Break"?) I'm not kidding, the level of excitement ricocheting off of all three of the male members of Team WestEnders was absolutely astonishing (not to mention being a complete, welcome turnaround).
I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't admit that letting go of my California dream is hard, and somewhat painful. It's still my ideal place, where I'd go in a heartbeat if it were entirely up to me and me alone. But of course it's not. So we're still going to embrace the adventure--uncharted territory, with novel experiences awaiting us--but our quest has simply altered its form...thereby allowing the whole family to endorse it with their stamp of approval...and even unbridled enthusiasm. Now if you'll excuse me, you're thoroughly caught up for the present...and I have many, many pages of research to revise for my demanding Advisory Committee--I mean "family"--so I'd better get to work (again)!