mid-summer catch-up

Wow, long time no blog… It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and this post will be a brief one, mainly just a way to start bringing myself back into the habit of posting with at least some regularity. It’s been a busy summer, and a lot has happened, both in our favorite valley and in our own lives.

In the Methow Valley, of course, the big – and terrible – event of this summer was the major wildfire that burned hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of open space, displacing people, disrupting livelihoods, killing livestock and wild animals, destroying trees and grasslands. The fire burned in the lower, southern part of the valley. We had always planned to settle in the northern part (north of Twisp; ideally somewhere between Winthrop and Mazama) as it has appealed more to us for various reasons, but we are extremely saddened by the events nonetheless. There is not much we can do to help other than travel to the Methow as much as possible and shop at local businesses in the coming months in order to help support the region’s economic recovery. Given our extremely tight budget and limited time for out-of-town travel, our contribution will be modest to say the least, but we will try to do what we can.

Our family news are a bit hard to summarize here, as there is a lot that’s happened, much of it actually still in development. To start with the most recent news first, a few days ago we learned that our landlords have decided to sell the duplex where we are renting a unit, so we will have to move. They are putting the building up for sale next month and then – who knows what happens? Maybe it will sell quickly, and maybe we will have many more months in our cozy and convenient little space. It is actually very tempting to use this upcoming displacement as an “excuse” to act on our dream sooner rather than later, take the plunge, and just pick up and move to the Methow. I don’t have the time to go into all the pros and cons now, although I will address one of the “cons” in a moment. Suffice it to say that we’ve done very little concrete planning or detailed research, our savings are minuscule (not enough to even pay off all our credit card debt), and I haven’t broached the possibility of working remotely with my employer or lined up other solid income opportunities. Still, even though it seems like a really bad idea, a tiny voice in my head keeps whispering that that this may be just the stimulus we need to make us brave enough to actually go through with the move, that the longer we think about it, the more we will postpone it, and now, with circumstances forcing us to change our living situation, would be a perfect time to do just do it.

Another piece of family news – and a major setback to our plans – is that my father-in-law, who is currently visiting us from our home country, has made it clear that he is not willing to spend the majority of his time, or even half of his time, living with us. He is the one family member who we’d hoped could live on a more-or-less half-time basis with us (more if he wanted to), in order to help P. take care of his chronic health issues, keep us company, and help raise the children that we would like to have some day. We can’t quite figure out exactly why P.’s dad does not want to live with us half the year. Communicating with him about serious matters can be a challenge as he often has trouble verbalizing complex lines of reasoning and gets frustrated, which in turn causes us to get frustrated. He also cites a different reason for not wanting to live here each time you ask him, so it becomes impossible to figure out which one is the true one – or if they are all true. I will go into all this some day in more detail, and he might also change his mind if we continue the conversation to try to elicit his thinking, address his concerns, and clarify to him how both P. and I on the one hand, and he himself on the other hand (as well as the rest of the family), could benefit tremendously if he moved here at least on a half-time basis. Right now, however, we are saddened and hurt by his decision, particularly in the face of P.’s health problems (more on this some other time too), which he could do a great deal to help with. We’ve decided to stop trying to persuade him, at least for the time being. Time will tell how this pans out. What this means for us, though, is that we will have to seriously ponder whether the two of us have the capacity to move to a rural area on our own and survive without the support of family or friends nearby.

Off to bed now… Oh, and it’s good to be back in this space! Even if my non-existent readership didn’t miss me, I’ve missed coming here! 🙂

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