Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On Barnesville Again

My blog on moving may (or may not!) have romanticized Barnesville, but there's another side to the story.

The side that usually strikes late at night, when I crawl into bed, curl up in the fetal position and think "Why oh why are we doing this?"

Yes, in reality the "little white cottage" is a circa-1960 ranch house that needs, as the head of the school put it, to be seen for its "potential." Meanwhile, the kitchen floor is cracked and coming up, the bathroom walls are coated in some sort of vinyl-covered formica and the house could basically make you throw up. Plus it's small. Not to mention that the kitchen, though large, is closed off and claustrophobic, with knotty pine on the walls and ... well, let's not go on.

Barnesville itself doesn't look as if its changed much since the 1970s. A lot of it is quaint and charming and a lot of it looks beyond worn out.

I don't like cold, and we are moving to Ohio, where I am sure the winters will be long and dreary. The whole area, I understand, is depressed, and jobs are hardly a-plentiful. The coal companies own most of the coal under people's yards and can come take it, sinking your lawn a few feet in the process. Zoning, I understand, is fairly nonexistent, so you have to be careful that you don't buy a house across the street from a port-a-potty business.

It is going to be different.

So, in my bleaker moments, I ask myself, why are we taking a pay cut to move to a tiny town in rural Ohio to a smaller house in disrepair to ... what? Be part of a Quaker boarding school? Why are we leaving our friends, our jobs, our nice home, our affluent area, our money, our conveniences, our lives? We're told there's no Thai food, nothing pretty to buy out there, and then I wonder what are we to do about Sophie's senior year in high school? ... And I curl even deeper into the fetal position. And how are we going to find a renter, pack, move? Is this going to eat up our savings? Surely Roger could find a job he likes in this area.

As I said to Roger, it feels like dying. The only question is are we going to heaven or to hell?

But beneath all that surface noise it simply feels that this is the right thing to do. I can't explain why. It's not quite a leading as much as just a sense that right now, in this moment, this is what we should be doing. And that if we're wrong, all this of this will come skittering to a halt (though I don't think it will). While at this point it seems incomprehensible, I think that by September we will be moved into Barnesville.

So if Don Quixote could turn windmills into jousting knights, I can turn my new house into a cottage. Or so I hope!

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