valancystirling: (Default)
I've been thinking about how I've had a bad habit of looking either backward or way forward, and not so much in my present. I mean, I spent a lot of years looking over my shoulder regretfully or analytically, and then I sort of stopped doing that as much and have spent the last several years looking ahead to whatever it is I'm waiting for to make me happy or content or whatever. I think some of that is okay, it's always good to think about your ideal life and do what you can to make it happen, but as a constant lifestyle? I've been in limbo far too long, and to some extent it's just because I don't really know how to live in the now. Yes, I can make the best of circumstances, but I haven't put down roots, and I never live just to live for today. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not getting as much out of life as I might if I started paying more attention to right now.

I also see all the progress I make, and everything I've built in the last few years as somewhat of a waste because it will all disappear when we move and we'll start from scratch with no record and no evidence of anything. But I think that's not the right way to look at it. Certainly I've learned a ton in the last few years, and it will be much easier to recreate it someplace than it would be to start all over from nothing.

I told Jake last week that when I think about packing stuff for the kids on these contract jobs, I don't worry much because our kids think of US as home. I was thinking, what can I take with us that will simulate/create HOME for the kids. And I thought about parents who talk about laying their baby down with the mom's shirt because it smells like mom and is comforting. We have never had to do anything like that because we are always there with them. My kids don't seem to have any real attachments to anything, no blankie or favorite toy or doll or anything. They just don't seem to need it. They are happy with whatever they have at the moment, and they have us. It always comes down to that: they have us.

But what about for me? What is home to me? Yes, it's my family. And I wonder how far that would carry me. I am definitely a person who enjoys comforts and familiar things around me. So what symbolizes home to me?

Certainly a lot of my kitchen stuff is important to my sense of well-being.

We don't have anything on our walls and I'm not much for knickknacks or decorating in general. Our house is just stuff we use mostly.

So I don't know. I'm kind of thinking I could create home for myself with a carload of stuff from Target if it came right down to it. Stuff for cooking, some rugs, a dinner table, a comfortable place to sit, blankets and pillows. All this makes me sound kind of low-maintenance, but I'm sure that's not totally accurate. Or maybe I just have the wrong idea about myself and I need less than I imagine I do.

I'm thinking in terms of, if I left here with the clothes on my back, what would I feel compelled to buy first? Knitting stuff, cooking/dining stuff, toiletries, clothes, food.

So maybe this is not so difficult after all.
valancystirling: (Default)
Now, to figure out if Rochester, MN meets those criteria. I absolutely do not want to live an hour away from the city, if the city is where everything good is. Right now we live an hour away from Ithaca, which is where everything good is. We go there all the time, use a lot of gas and time, and still can never really take full advantage of all Ithaca has to offer because we are outsiders and can't fully join in the community. I don't want that where we move. I want to be in the right place, not have it dangling in front of my face taunting me being an hour away.

So. To be methodical about this. My list, with questions to answer.

-Homeschooling community (not just religious)
A few religious-based groups
Montesori school
No Waldorf school


-No long commutes/heavy traffic

-Crunchy area, lots of organic and healthy focus
http://www.myhealthybeginning.com/

-Organic farms nearby, and farmers markets
http://www.featherstonefarm.com/
http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/M2615

-Not too extreme weather; distinct seasons

-Acreage not too expensive (only maybe up to 5 acres)

-Lots of nice parks/outdoor recreation
Rochester's parks are an important aspect to the quality of life area residents and visitors enjoy. Rochester Park and Recreation Department provides the community with numerous recreational opportunities, with over 3500 acres of park land, more than 60 miles of trails, 56 playgrounds, 46 baseball diamonds, 42 tennis courts, 28 soccer fields, and much more. Visit their website for a complete list of recreational activities and sports leagues or call the Park and Recreation Department at (507) 281-6160. http://www.rochestermn.com/city/recreation/programs/story-187.html

Douglas State Trail
This flat, traffic-free trail passes through a mix of forest and rolling fields between Rochester and Pine Island. The trail is paved with a separate path for horseback riding. The landscape makes for a relaxing and scenic cruise, be sure to keep lookout for the plentiful wildlife that populates the area.

Rochester has over 60 miles of recreational trails. The trails are available for pedestrian, bike, in line skate, wheelchair, and stroller use

-food coops and health food stores
The Good Foods Store, Rochester's local food cooperative.
http://news.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=51&a=388175
http://www.localharvest.org/search.jsp?map=1&lat=44.060636&lon=-92.439257&scale=9&zip=55906

-closer proximity to a city for cultural exposure for us and the kids
http://www.smm.org/ Science Museum of MN
http://www.mmaa.org/home.html MN Museum of American Art
http://www.rochestermn.com/regional/destinations/cat-164.html

-easy access to homebirth midwives, and enough to be able to CHOOSE, not too much legal issue
OMG SPINNING BABIES IS IN MN!
http://www.spinningbabies.com/minnesota-birth
Sent email to someone at http://www.minnesotabirthnetwork.com/index.html#aboutus
Got reply--very medical town, hard to get natural birth in hospital, referred me to another midwife for more info; emailed her, waiting for reply

-clean fresh air and beautiful surroundings

-a wonderful job that Jake loves, with people he respects and who respect him

-other companies he could work for locally in the future if necessary (companies using SAP)
A little concerned about the prominence of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Most jobs/industry there seems medically-oriented, and I'm afraid the whole area might be too medical for us.

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valancystirling

December 2010

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