Little House in the City
(It’s been difficult to write because of working on the house and migraines, but we are still here, and I am hoping that my migraines will be getting less.)
A little over a year ago, our house hunt began for a new house and subsequently a whole new life. The process of coming to the decision to move was a long one that actually started about three years ago, shortly after my husband changed companies and I had lost another baby.
My husband worked in the oilfield as a geologist, which meant he was often gone for long periods of time. When I lost my first baby, he was stuck in Canada for the whole ordeal. He couldn’t come home until a few weeks after it happened. While I had some support, what I really wanted was my partner in life to hold me and tell me it would be okay. When I lost the second one, we were having issues with neighbors that eventually escalated by the end of that summer to a scary experience (that I don’t feel like sharing) before they were removed from the neighborhood, much to the rejoicing of the ENTIRE neighborhood. My husband had a few days off from work when the miscarriage happened. However, I felt lost when he went back to work. There was talk of office positions with his company if we lived closer to the actual office. We did some searching but didn’t know enough about the area to pull the trigger on a house hunt, so we tabled the discussion. I busied myself with my kids, my eventual pregnancy, godchildren, and other things. I started gaining confidence again that I could make the oilfield wife thing work. Then we had Crankles. She didn’t sleep. I ended up having postpartum depression. I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. I couldn’t do it anymore. I bawled every time my husband left. Then he ended up on a rig that lasted about two months. By that point, I was just done. The subject of moving came up again because we wanted to be a family again. While Crankles liked her daddy, she didn’t have a strong bond with him. The kids missed having him home, and I wanted my husband back!
One night, we were talking over Facebook when he said that if we moved closer to his company’s office, he could eventually get in the office. He kept being passed over for the office because we were in another state and about 400 miles away. We decided to just go for it. We didn’t know a lot about the area. What I knew was from visiting one of my best friends from college during breaks. However, I lost contact with her when my oldest daughter was younger. She wasn’t on social media, and I didn’t know how to get in contact with her. As luck would have it, one of our mutual friends, who lived somewhat near to her, WAS in contact with her. I got her number, reconnected, and got information on where to look and a great realtor.
We spent the latter part of spring loading the kids in the car on weekends that my husband was available, driving five hours, and looking at several houses. By the end of May, we settled on one. Granted, it wasn’t the one I really wanted. THAT house was almost finished and had beautiful bathrooms. (I am vain in wanting pretty bathrooms with spa-like features. I don’t know why. It is not like I get to pee alone anyways.) However, the house we chose was a few minutes from my friend and near an awesome park that had tons of playgrounds and trails for hiking, biking, and walking. It was also pretty cheap because it needed some love. We could move into the house and fix it up as we had time and money. It sounds like happily ever after right? Roll credits. Bring out the rainbows, chirping birds, happy faced suns, and Julie Andrews singing in a field. Well…since this is real life, things didn’t quite go as planned.
About the time we found out that we actually got the house, my husband got a notification from work saying that they were laying people off. Those that still had jobs were forced to take a pay cut. Because he worked 12 hours a day for however many days he was on the job site, his daily rate was figured with what he got for overtime as well. It was supposed to be a 25% pay cut. It ended up being close to 40% instead. Oh, and those office jobs…well some of those in the office were now going back into the field. There would be no more openings there. Basically, we were now going to be moving to a new area where we knew hardly anyone, and we would never see my husband because he would have to work almost constant to put food on the table. It really is no wonder I ended up in the hospital almost a week later. I think my body just kinda said, “I give up.”
We decided to go ahead with the move anyways. As much as I loved my friends where we were, my husband and I had been saying for years that we really didn’t fit in to that area. Moving to the new house would put us in a metro area, and right between our sets of parents, about three hours in either direction. With my mom having breast cancer and other health issues over the last several years, I liked the idea of being closer to her. We would still be within a decent driving distance from my husband’s dad who was having health issues as well.
Financially, it seemed like a good idea as well. Things are just cheaper here. The utilities are cheaper, groceries are cheaper, and even the taxes are cheaper. It would allow us to be able to live on my husband’s pay cut. Because of my stint in the hospital last summer and problems post-hospital stay, we were unable to do what we wanted to get our old house on the market to sell. I also had no idea who to use as a listing agent. Luckily for us, that never became an actual issue. A friend of mine knew a family that was looking to rent, and I had met them already. The house seemed like a perfect fit for them. They may even eventually buy the house. The whole thing just felt right. At the end of August, we said goodbye to our home in Pennsylvania and hello to our new life in Ohio.
We have now been here for a little over eight months. We moved on Crankles’ first birthday. It hasn’t been easy, but we finally feel settled here. It is starting to look and feel like our home. We are now loving our little house in the city!