|Beautiful, isn't it? source|
During the summer of 2012, after a sad and difficult series of events, we finally came to terms with the fact that we had to leave Asheville. To go where? Well, I cast my vote for TX. But that's not where we ended up. Instead, we ended up in Montgomery County, Maryland. It was a hard move for me. It's the north, as far as I'm concerned (I don't want to hear any nonsense about the Mason-Dixon line--this is the NORTH), and I'm a southern girl. Plus, we're near my in-laws, not near my parents. Nothing against my in-laws here, it was just not the direction I wanted to head.
We sold our house in Asheville just about exactly one year ago. I arrived in Maryland with our two kids, and our family commenced living with my in-laws for five months. Oh. my.
But, BUT, it hasn't been a terrible thing. In some ways, where we live now is a wonderful place for our family and its needs. We did finally find a house of our own. So, in honor of TToT, I am going to find ten things I can be thankful about in our move to Montgomery County, MD. Welcome to my culture shock.
1. All I have to do is rake the leaves to the curb and a truck comes by and mulches those suckers right up! What? WHAT?!?! I've never heard of such service! I try to remember service like this when I see our tax bill (which I never do because I don't pay the bills, so I just try to remember this when I imagine how high our tax bill is).
2. My four-year-old daughter qualifies for half-day pre-K free because of her special needs. A bus for just the students in her class comes to our house every school day to pick her up and drop her off. There is a driver and an aide and a five-point harness for each student. Again, those taxes. But, yay!
3. Listservs are big around here. It seems most neighborhoods have them, including our own. Many people in our neighborhood are living so comfortably they would rather give things away than have to cart them away themselves. We have scored a soaker hose, about 20 ceramic pots, a pile of classic children's books, a plush black cat (who played Edwin to Maggie's Olivia) among other bits and pieces. We pass up the large furniture items like couches and desks. Seriously, it's a scavenger's dream around here.
4. Proximity to a Costco. Because doesn't everyone need a piece of beef this large?
5. And while we're on the grocery shopping topic, there's Trader Joe's and its chocolate, to which we are all addicted.
6. It's no secret that I'd prefer to live near my parents than Brian's; they're my parents, after all. But we do get free babysitting. We try not to take advantage of it very often, but free babysitting is a priceless treasure.
7. There are a lot of parks and libraries around here. And they're nice ones, too.
8. Public transit. People love to hate on the DC Metro, but for someone who's never lived in an area with reliable and frequent public transit, it's sooooo cool. And for my kids, riding the Metro is an adventure itself.
And the two biggies:
9. Brian has a job he enjoys at which he also excels. He admires his colleagues and receives positive feedback from his bosses. He is able to continue working with the neediest of needy students as he feels called to do and is able to see that the work he does with them is making a difference.
10. And, while this is unusual for such as expensive place to live as this, we can afford for me to stay home. I am a more patient mother, more cheerful spouse, and a happier person overall when I have less on my plate (or, rather, when I am the one deciding what exactly is on my plate). Leaving the house and interacting with people takes it out of me. A slower pace and less human interaction allows me to put more energy into building my parenting skills and taking care of all that stuff that has to get done when you're a homeowner. And blogging, of course.
So, not a bad situation at all.