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to move or not to move that is the question?

2008 Views 26 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  BCR
I'd like to get some input from you folks. My wife and I are considering a move from our present location. We live in east central Ohio. This area is in economic and social decline. Some of the things in particular we hate is the very poor school system, the "I'm stupid and proud of it" attitude and just he fact that there are too many people.
First, let me give you some background. We are both 50 and the parents of two adopted children ages 3 and 1. Yea, I know we're old parents. I am a stay at home dad with two part time jobs and my wife is a teacher with three years till retirement. This possible move would of course be after her retirement. We have 100 acres, mostly wooded. I basically built this place from scratch. The
house is a much improved DW with large addition on a full basement. In addition
there is a large pole barn, greenhouse, orchard, large garden, pasture etc.
The point being is that this is alot to give up on the gamble that some other place might be better. I guess my question is this. Is there a stronger moral fiber
the deeper into the heartland you get? Our premise is that the fewer people and
the more rural the better quality the people. As far as possible destinations we
thought maybe the U.P. Wisconsin, Minnesota. We're old parents who like winter! Thoughts? Comments?
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If you like winters, look what $40,000 can buy in North Dakota.
Don't bother with IL - take your pick of 'plug in characters' right out of the Simpsons cartoon... Plus - they regulate everything but the air you breathe, and are trying to do that, same with taxes, fees and licenses.

I wish you luck though - if that place were in TN, I'd be asking for the price...

I thought of ourselves 25 years ago when we had young children. We lived in suburbia...houses close together, schools going down hill fast and not so nice neighbors. We just up and moved to the mountains of PA. We literally just opened a map on the kitchen table one night and dropped our finger on a town and moved !! Left our house to sell empty...husband left a good job..I was a stay at home Mom...and $1000 in our pockets. We thought we were rich and on an adventure. And that it has been !! Wouldn't have changed it for anything..well maybe a few things but always about the $$ factor. Never regretted doing it though. Wish we had done it when our girls were younger..they were 11 and 13 years old at the time. My thoughts about your situation do have a hundred acres. That is wonderful..WOW !! With your wife leaving to retire in a few years couldn't you home school your children and sort of just..dig in...and leave the world behind?? I know we all have to come out of our cocoon sometimes..but that might be a thought. OR...take the road to adventure. I have always said if you don't like where you are..change it !! If you never do it you will never know will you !! I certainly wouldn't worry about your age with young children..who's business is it anyways..The moral fiber in the rural country ?? I think people do know more about you in a small town. You would be surprised !! I find for the most part people are honest but you will always have the dishonest person no matter where you live. You just have to beware of them no matter where you live. We don't lock our doors or worry about things being stolen. But there have been houses robbed in our county. Just had 2 deputies shot and killed by a local person in the next county over when they were there to handle a warrant or some legal matter. Things do happen in the country too. But yes..for the most part I find people friendlier and more helpful when you need it. I hit a deer coming home from work one night at 1 AM. It never entered my mind to be worried when a strange man stopped to help me. Perhaps in the city I wouldn't have opened my car door for him. You just need to be careful and go with your feelings about people. I wish you luck in no matter what you deceide. I love adventure and would move again in a heart beat !! You have your family with you and that is the most important thing. You can be happy no matter where you are. Good Luck !
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I know what you mean! Every time we have intentionally shaken up our lives it has been a very positive experience. I joined the Navy at 29, & newly married.
Beleive it or not it was one of the best times of my life. Also, when we adopted these two kids, both newborns, it was by far the best thing we have ever done.
We both want to do the best thing for these kids.
BTW we really like the look of that place in ND! However, I bet there are some underlining problems yet to be discovered.
I read an article in National Geographic several years ago about some area in the far northern reaches of the country. I don't remember exactly where, but the quote I remember was..."40 below has a way of keeping the riff-raff out".

I don't know if that is true, but it made sense to me.

I have not been actively looking for property, but I have noticed that the Dakotas, particulary North Dakota has some really cheap land. There's probably a reason for that, so you might want to investigate. If the reason is jobs, then no worry for you.

One thing you might want to consider is access to health care. I am assuming that you don't want to move every few years and as you age, that will become more important.

It seems that one of your biggest concerns is the school system. That would probably be my priority unless I was prepared to homeschool. Lots of good information on the net about quality of schools, ratings, etc. Crime is another factor - state almanacs have lots of figures on this. There are also good books and magazines about good places to retire - quality of life, healthcare, etc. Do your research and you will find an area that will suit your needs.

What I would warn against is the green grass syndrome. The grass is always greener somewhere else. I know, I've experienced it. Seems that nearly every place has good and bad points. Most areas, even idyllic rural locations and towns have their fair share of hoodlums, crime, drugs, etc. A move will often just trade one set of problems for another. Good luck in your search.
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In a nutshell: "Bloom where you're planted"!

I know, I know.. the grass is always greener over the fence, but you know what... When my 'buyer' came along.. I completely freaked out.. and took my place off the market.

Morality isn't subject to geography! (Unless of course, you wanna move to Texas!!:):)LOL!! (just kidding.. no flames, please!)

Anyway.. move if you want.. but when the reality of starting over.. all that you have already accomplished, coupled with your age and time involved... it just isn't worth it. (At least not for the reason you mentioned? i.e. hunting for geographic 'morailty')

Good luck with your decision!
Unless I hated the climate or smog or congestion,I would stay put.The growth is the factor I see,can you live with it while isolated on 100 acres?As for schools,you can go private or homeschool.What is the major factor?If you hate the politics of the area,a move is in order.
Steve, About the ND property. Some clues here as to what might be wrong. First of all if Virginia says it needs fixing, it really NEEDS FIXING. Second the wells. A little odd they are hauling water instead of fixing the wells. Third the sump pump in the basement. (and probably not good for much) This property is in the Devils Lake area and they are having the worse flooding in years and years. It's really bad there and isn't going away. The lake probably isn't a "lake" as you know it. It most likely isn't deep enough for fish and freezes to the bottom in winter so don't count on fish. Ask! Your kids are likely to be either driven (by you) to school or travel a LONG way on the bus. More likely by you. With what you can get for your property there you can do a lot better if you are just looking for a homestead and not a farm or ranch. ALL property looks a LOT better in photos than when you see it in person. Even the photos we took ourselves to show how bad a place was didn't show up the real mess. Ask about water (drinking quality), and water (basement) and have all water checked before buying. Check into the schools as to distance and not just quality. Check to see if they are in danger of closing and consolidating. Check how far medical services are and how far you have to go for simple things like a nut or bolt. How far to get some milk? Are you prepared to live where you might not find a sitter if you want to go out somewhere? Have you ever been to the Dakotas? East river is having areas of real bad flooding - west river is into drought.
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Hi Steve,

One man's trash is another man's treasure -- or something like that. If you DO decide to move, send me an email. We're looking for a place just like yours in that area. BF grew up in that general vicinity and loved it.

Good luck! I hope you find what you want.
Chris in NW Ohio
Yes, these are the sorts of things I have considered- schools, distances,and
especially health care. Thanks for all the input. Somehow hearing it from others
makes a lot of difference. We have three years to decide so we will certainly do
our homework. We are both teachers so schooling would be no problem except
that our little girl is the most social creature I've ever seen. I'd hate to deprive her of friends, school functions etc. Health care is the biggie. Thanks again for all of the replies!
I would think long and hard at your age and with what you have put into your place. The attitude you mentioned is as farreaching as the Simpsons viewing area. If your wife iss retireing and is a teacher homeschooling is a strong option along with selective socilization.

If ther are severe changes in the local demographics that you don't like then you best get while the gettings good.

I cqan only really tell you to do what you BELIEVE is best for you and yours.

Your thread interested me because my daughter and her family just moved to Ohio in February. For them it is just temporary untill he can get transferred back to "God's Country". Which, of course,is Arkansas. :) (Just kidding, please don't kill me)
I have researched the homeschooling laws there and they are do able but do involve some hassle. One thing I might mention, if you decide to homeschool your children that alone will open up a whole different world than you could ever imagine. As a rule, you should be able to pretty much have your pick of nice people that are willing to help. Of course, there will be the bad eggs, just as there are in life. Just throw them out and concentrate on the good ones.
Your farm sounds like a dream come true to most people. I would really really think about it before I up and left it.
Arkansas Transplant
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I think one of the big reasons I dislike this area is because I spent many years as a truant officer for the aforementioned poor school system. I saw things that
I never dreamed existed in this area. I mean dirt floors, incest-yes incest, gross
negligence by soooo many parents. I'm beginning to get the idea that maybe every area has it's dark side.
Whiterock- I think you are right in that populr culture will seep into every nook and cranny of our society.
Ohiosteve said:
I think one of the big reasons I dislike this area is because I spent many years as a truant officer for the aforementioned poor school system. I saw things that
I never dreamed existed in this area. I mean dirt floors, incest-yes incest, gross
negligence by soooo many parents. I'm beginning to get the idea that maybe every area has it's dark side.
Whiterock- I think you are right in that populr culture will seep into every nook and cranny of our society.

For goodness sake you should stay in Ohio otherwise what would your name be? (Kidding)

Have you read any of Wes Jackson's book "Becoming Native to this place?" In it he talks of his state Kansas and how it was once thriving and how it is now a shadow of it's former self because the residents left (for a variety or reasons) and the things that made the area special (the community) couldn't survive without the people. Or of the Dakotas and how they were able to support more people with a better lifestyle before the white man took it from the native Americans. The thrust of the whole book is that the American way of conquering someplace (and using it rather wastefully) then moving elsewhere is probably not the best (especially since there's not an unexplored western frontier to keep moving to anymore)

It sounds to me like you've got a great place where you are. The big issue seems to be schooling. Have you read any of John Holt's unschooling books? One of his points is that by not going to school in a completely age segregated public school system the unschooling student will be better socialized by having opportunities to work with people of different age groups and experience sets. Helping at the local charity, apprenticing with a tradesman of some kind, asking the librarian for help looking something up etc. etc.

I think the truant officer would be a tough position to judge the community on. Wouldn't you see the same or worse at that job wherever you moved to?

Is any uprooting experience a good one? Maybe but maybe things would have turned out OK if you'd have stayed too.

That's my $.02

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wow. if it helps your decision at all...

there are some of us stuck here in Col's (which USED to be call "cow town"); with Meijer, Lowes, and any other billion-square-foot store going up daily right on top of us; who would KILL to be where you are. So, really, try to appreciate what you've got there.

But if you still want to leave, and want to give your place to a darling little family - just let us know and we'll pack...:)

Ohiosteve said:
I think one of the big reasons I dislike this area is because I spent many years as a truant officer for the aforementioned poor school system. I saw things that
I never dreamed existed in this area. I mean dirt floors, incest-yes incest, gross
negligence by soooo many parents. I'm beginning to get the idea that maybe every area has it's dark side.
Whiterock- I think you are right in that populr culture will seep into every nook and cranny of our society.

Gosh, those things can be found everywhere!

Maybe you ought to consider doing some type of volunteer work for the same school district in order to get a view from the other side (do something that involves "good" kids). At least then you'd have a more balanced view of things.


Whereabouts are you located? Our farm is in Carroll County. A lot of people in that area homeschool so I wouldn't rule it out.

Personally, I don't think you are going to find too many "remote" places these days that don't have new people moving in.

You have enough land that you have some elbow room. I think about the improvements you have and how long it will take me to have them (such as a greenhouse) myself. I'm sure you appreciate how much work you've put into your place.

I've spent time in all the areas you mentioned and I don't think you'll find any stronger moral fiber in one spot versus another to speak of.

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Those areas you mentioned, Wis, Minn and the U.P. are great places to visit but those finns are funny ducks. I have alot of family in Duluth and Superior, Ashland and Baraga and L'Anse. Lovem all but they are funny ducks. There is basicly two things to do in the winter: drink and screw. And they do alot of it . Throw in alittle Ice fishing and snowmobiling in between and during the drinkin and screwing and thats a finnish winter.
Course they do make the best pastys.

They all aint like that I am just pokin fun at my realitives. ( or is everybody like that?)
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