Friday, July 31, 2009

Local

I attempted that zucchini recipe I posted last night and it was a flop. It looked good but the flavor was bland. Also, I would forgo boiling the zucchini and cook it longer in the oven. It was just too soggy. On a whim I also made a simple soup I saw in Better Homes and Gardens (http://www.bhg.com/recipe/poultry/fresh-corn-and-chicken-chowder/). It was so tasty that after dinner Michael Jr. ate the remains straight out of the pot. He also cleared the table and washed up the dishes. Very good stuff. Michael spent the evening visiting families with the missionaries and I played Jenga with the kids. No game is fun for the whole family when Josh is involved but Jenga is especially tough. Every turn is Josh’s turn and the object is always to knock that tower DOWN!

We’re looking at 107 °F tomorrow but it looks like the western side of the state is finally cooling down. It’s totally unsettling to think of that side of the state being hotter than we’ve got it. That’s where I go to beat the heat in the summer. I never pack enough sweaters. I wear slippers. I wonder why my parent’s neighbor has a pool. It rains. This has been completely unnatural. I’m just glad this wasn’t a week I’d planned to bring the kids over. I would’ve been hard pressed to keep them out of the koi pond.

This weather has been enough to make me consider leaving. If the coastal weather makes me so happy, giddy in fact, why am I here? I guess that sounds awful. What I mean is, why are we here. Okay, it’s not like I don’t know. It’s the age old dilemma. You go where the money is.

It’s funny; I’ve known plenty of people who live within an hour (and often much less) of their immediate family and wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. The thought of relocating for a job doesn’t enter their minds (although in this economy maybe it’s begun to). They get their technical training (or don’t), get their degrees (or don’t), but one way or the other, staying local is a given in the equation.

I think there’s also the fact that when we began going further from home for our education, the likelihood of meeting and marrying people from somewhere else entirely was heightened. Who’s local is more important? Also, the more specialized one’s education, the more control of location flies out the window. I can think of a few exceptions but generally speaking it seems to be the case. I know an awful lot of people who’ve spent years getting a fancy degree (or degrees as the case often is) only to find themselves, by necessity, very far from family and old friends. We make new friends , create new lives, and visit our old lives when we can.

The question is probably something like, “How much would you be willing to sacrifice to live in a particular place (or region, or city, or prefecture, whatever)?” In my example, the sacrifices would be as follows:

*a job outside of specialized field of knowledge (and therefore . . . )
*lower pay
*higher cost of living

In our case, Michael would also add:

*still not near his family

If we were to use a relocation to his dream area (the California coast) as the example it would be a little different but ultimately the cost of living is so very high we’d never pull it off.

But who really cares? We’re not going anywhere. Now’s the time to tell myself over and over, “I like the desert, I like the desert,” because as much as I might dream about something else, I imagine we’re here for the duration.
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