A's to the Q's...

Thanks for your patience. This is the final category...RURAL LIVING, which could also be called the 'keeping it real' category:

Q: Brandi said...Is it tacky to post questions twice? Forgive!

 Let's talk about the holidays. Do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear any of your book recommendations, project ideas, or gift suggestions. 

Okay, really just one more. How do you feel now that you've moved back somewhere rural and have had some time to adjust? I realize there are good and bad aspects of everything, but are you antsy? Do things smooth out eventually where you feel like you have your life back, or do you constantly struggle with the age-old issues?
No, it’s not tacky.I have tons of recommendations for holiday gifts and books and lots of project ideas that I’ll be posting here soon.

With regard to the rural question, the answer is yes, I am antsy...we both are. The answer to this question has been bothering me for a year and a half now. I don’t talk about it on my blog and I’m not really sure why I don’t. So, perhaps the answer to this question should start with an apology from me for not being more open about this topic. I’m sorry.

PRH and I moved away from this area when we were first dating (almost ten years ago) and it has definitely been a struggle for both of us to be back. We truly loved living in Buffalo; we were part of a fabulous arts community, we had a lot of time to ourselves, and we walked everywhere (we lived within walking distance of several incredible galleries, three major museums, and dozens of incredible restaurants). When I finished grad school I was offered a position as the director of a not-for-profit. However, at the same time, due to budget cuts, PRH’s teaching contract with a college ended unexpectedly and I was, very fortunately, pregnant with Kicky. We sat down, hashed it out (aka I cried a lot), and finally decided that I wouldn’t take the position and that we’d move back ‘home’. It had been in the back of our minds to perhaps eventually return to this area and we just decided that there was no time better than that moment.

So, here we are 1.5 years later. Have things smoothed out? Not completely. We haven’t found an arts community that we feel a part of here, there are many more demands on our time, and we have to drive everywhere (including PRH’s 3 hour daily commute to work). Here’s another biggie: I’ve always worked and my professional life has always been a big part of my identity. I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to not working outside of the house (I even hate how that sounds). At this point I’m sure you’re asking “so, why the hell do they stay”?! These reasons outweigh any others: our children are incandescently happy; it's safe- we don’t worry about our cars (or house) getting broken into anymore; our kids really know their grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc.; we love, love the handful of friends we have here; the schools are great; we no longer pay $1600 dollars per month in daycare expenses; and it's an inexpensive area to live, so financially-speaking we're not freaking out about me staying home for a while with EZ E and Kicky. At the end of the day, this time with our children and our families is going to go by so fast...we just really didn’t want to miss it.

Q: Skylark Studio said...this is kinda random - so how do you like living in upstate NY? My husband and I love it there but when we actually consider a move I get kinda freaked out by the vast remoteness. Did you move to be closer to family? have you learned to love it or did you love it already? Do you feel far away from the creative super meccas? if so, how do you deal?
As you read above (egads…was Abbey ever going to stop), I’m learning to re-love it. We deal by reading lots of blogs (and writing this one), making lots of stuff, keeping in close contact with friends who do live in creative super meccas, and occasionally running away from it all. Thank goodness for the internet and for sweet readers like all of you!

OK. Wow! That's it. Thank you all for asking such thoughtful, interesting questions...and for reading (or at least maybe scanning) my long-winded answers.


Dar said...

This post really hit home for me. My husband & I moved to rural Vermont (well, it's all rural, isn't it?) 10 years ago, from San Francisco. We wanted a change (closer geographically to my side of the family, distinct seasons, easier to travel to Europe), & had planned on moving to Montreal (we actually were ready to put money down on a place, when we decided to explore the Northeast a bit more). 10 years later we are still adjusting, but we love it, for many of the reasons you listed. I miss the rich culture of having many restaurants, museums, music venues, etc. at my disposal, & we do make the 2-4 hour trek to a nearby city quite regularly to quench that, but I love being close to great food sources & being more in touch with the natural world. Oh, to be in a position to have both a country & city home - how perfect would that be? Thanks for your insights!

Robin and Mould said...

I love this post. I know exactly what you mean and I didn't skim at all! Thanks for sharing. It always helps to know someone else is having the same worries and daily struggles as you.
We're country folk originally but lived in London (UK) for 6 years then moved back to afford more space. I'll always miss the city. I think it's just a much more profound adjustment than we'd realised. 5 years in and we're getting there! Hope you do too...

Brandi said...

I loved reading your responses! Thanks for being so honest, and thanks especially for the tips on postpartum creativity!

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thanks for being so sweet, everyone! xo, Abbey

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