Staying Put in Canada

I’ve mentioned before that there was a possibility we’d be heading overseas to live for a while. Rob was pursuing a position on a project that would have taken us to the UK and then Saudi Arabia. It would have been a 4 or 5 year gig that would have allowed us to move on to the retirement/second career thing in the mountains a bit sooner than later.

But the job is off. I am not at liberty to go into details, but it had nothing to do with Rob’s suitability. He is, despite his ambivalence, a sought after commodity in his line of work. This was an employment case of “it’s not you, it’s us”. Literally.

So now that we know for sure we are staying put, things that have been on hold or plans that we discussed in only the vaguest of terms are suddenly wide open dreamscapes.

One of the most pressing issues is our home. Rob has been steadily renovating the house we live in for … ever. Or least as long as he’s lived here and that’s a decade plus of years.

And the house is not done. Not even close.

One might wonder that this has been a non-issue for me since moving here going on three years ago now. And it’s not that I am oblivious to my surroundings, though I come quite close to that sort of space blindness, it’s just that I am not a Better Homes and Gardens type. I have a serviceable kitchen, a comfy bed and a place to write. What else does a person need?

Rob thinks we need an addition. One that will attach a garage to the house, add a new master bedroom with en suite and provide us with a large kitchen area. This is not a small project that upends the house a room or so at a time. This is gutting the back yard, tearing out half of the back-end of the house and ripping up a deck that consumed the summer of 2008 and the cement sidewalks that consumed last summer.

On the plus side, an attached garage. I never had one until the last house I bought with Will. I’d lived in Des Moines for 15 years, parking vehicles on the street or driveway and dealing with the weather. The whole first year of Dee’s life was coping with baby carriers and rain or snow or bitter cold or blistering heat or whatever other plagues of Egypt came our way in terms of weather. I loved the attached garage. Somedays, especially after Will was nearly blind and precariously balanced, not having to load the two of them up after somehow getting them outside was the only thing I had to be thankful for all day.

A new master bedroom would give us three bedrooms upstairs and mean that Dee could have our old room, which is twice the size of her current room. We could ditch the playroom downstairs and contain all things child in her larger bedroom space. And she would have a walk-in closet. She would be in heaven although she would have serious en suite envy. She totally believes that she should have a bathroom of her own – attached to her room. Where does she get such ideas?

Aside from hearth and home, there is also employment to consider. Staying means looking for part-time work. I put working on hold for a variety of reasons, but one of them was not being sure we’d be around long enough for me to find and settle into a place before we’d pack up and be gone. Since I didn’t need a paycheck for our survival, it seemed unfair for me to take a job knowing I wasn’t going to be in it long.

My mother’s first words upon hearing we were staying was “Well, now you’ll be able to get a job.”

I start my yoga teacher training this weekend. My current instructor indicated that she would be agreeable to my teaching at her studio, once I am trained and that would be this summer, so yoga is a real possibility as part-time work. It is not a living by any means, but it’s somewhere to start. I want to someday have a studio, somewhere. Be a business owner. I think that is my upbringing. I love to write and blog, but they don’t feed my need for tangible employment. Probably seems silly to some, but I like the idea of going into work. Actually leaving the house kind of work.

We’ve talked about trading in the tent trailer for a holiday trailer, and using it for vacations. Rob wanted to travel the SouthWest U.S., but with the border as it is, I am less keen. And though Americans don’t seem to have any sense of impending doom, the news we get looks more and more dicey. In fact, this coming summer it seems it has never been a better time to stay out of the States.

I am only a tiny bit disappointed about not moving overseas. It could have been fun and interesting in a way that most people’s lives never get to be. But it would have been work and Dee would not have been as happy about it as we would have been. Our mothers were distraught, and the older girls, though they’ve put on brave faces, would have felt abandoned to varying degrees. It is not great for Rob. He gets to continue on as a workhorse and he deserves more. Everyone takes for granted that he will be there to fix things, give advice, loan money and generally make sure the trains run. I doubt that anyone but me really worries about his needs, or wants for him, when it comes to that. Having been in that thankless position, I know how long it can make a day seem.

Although Rob doesn’t think much of the place, there are far worse little towns than The Fort to call home. It will not be home forever, I don’t think, but it is good enough for now.

Funny, I just read a blog piece about “good enough” and how that kind of settling is a bad thing. I didn’t really agree.

8 responses to “Staying Put in Canada

  1. HOw could settling be a bad thing? I’ve worked all my adult life to get to a point where I can comfortably settle. Isn’t that what we all want? In the long run? To find a place to settle?

    I guess I don’t want to settle for something I’m not happy with, but I do want to settle with something I am.

    Yes, I’m this far behind in your writing. Sometimes I jump to your posts first- when I have a good amount of free time to do so, and sometimes I save them until I have time to spend with them. Time isn’t coming cheap these days.

    I certainly have missed my daily dose of this blog!

  2. Sounds like you may have your own business sooner rather than later. When you’re ready, things will fall into place.

    Thank you for your encouraging comments on my future endeavor. It’s going to happen.

  3. “…I have a serviceable kitchen, a comfy bed and a place to write. What else does a person need?…”

    i’m with you, lady! heck with Martha Stewart and that ilk.

  4. Funny how things seem to always work out the way they need to. I’m glad you are staying in Canada. Canada needs you. For whatever reason, I don’t feel the “settling for good enough” applies in your case. You are settled and happy. That is what counts.

    • By “good enough” I mean not the fairy tale perfection or the rom-com happy ending but something that is cozy, contented and lovely – which is why I think “settling” gets a bad rap and even should be banned from the lexicon. To settle in is a good thing. It’s like nesting or snuggling, which are pretty good things, imo.

  5. I don’t know if I agree either. Home can be wherever and whatever we make it to some degree. I don’t like the place I live either, but I can’t change my circumstances right now, and I love the people I share this hell-hole with, so it’s not so bad after all.

    I’m sorry things fell through for Rob. Please tell him I said so. But in this tenuous time of economic turmoil, he’s working, and that’s something. It may not be idea but it beats the heck out of what I’ve got right now.

    I’m sure things will come along soon. It’s not possible to keep a good man down.

    • I like it here, but it doesn’t fit with our growing need for a more low-key lifestyle in terms of material/environment/values and such. I would never view it as a hell-hole. Living in the States right now would be because of the way we’ve changed.

      Things, I am afraid, are not going to improve economically any time soon and will likely get worse as this new year wears on. i worry about people I know down south, family and friends. I don’t think we will suffer the same fall-out in Canada as the world begins to correct the poor decisions of the last few decades.

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