Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?"

As I have mentioned before, my family is broke. We have lived in poverty for almost 5 years. There are many reasons for this.

1. We live in one of the most expensive areas of Michigan.
2. The economy of Michigan is the worst it has been, since the 1980's.
3. A career change (we thought for the better) 4 years ago involving a shitty Union, which resulted in providing nothing to us (well, it brought a lot of grief).
4. The birth of a child, soon to be children.

I have reached my breaking point concerning our financial status, and things must change. I am 38, my husband is 44. We have no savings, no retirement plans. In Feb. 2007 another child will be joining our household. I have watched my clients dwindle, my husband apply for jobs in this state and never getting a call back. He is repeatedly told that he is over qualified, or under qualified. I am tired of always wondering where the rent money is coming from.

As much as I don't want to leave this state, I am beginning to realize it may be our only option. As I read my internet news page last week, I came across an article about how the state of Wyoming has been sending people to Michigan to recruit for skilled workers. I contacted the work force board in Wyoming and asked what the qualifications where. I was amazed to hear that my husband fits all there requirements, and then some. They recently sent out this huge package touting how great Wyoming is. I have spent hours on the internent looking at the area of interest, wondering if I could blend well within the community and still stay as sane as possible, and picking Diana's brain about the in's and outs of living in the state. Most of you bloggers know Diana. Her emails to me have been cause of great discusions and debate in my house of late. I am greatful for her input.

If we are to move there, our income will increase 4 times the amount it currently is. The cost of housing is the same as in Ann Arbor. Shopping will be at a Walmart, which makes me a little creeped out. They seem to have most of the same chain restaurants, lots of coffee shops, new schools, libraries, and recreational facilities. The weather is similar to Michigan, except for the snow and rain amounts. Double the snow, and the rain is 3/4ths less than Michigan's annual amount. The sun is out way more in Wyoming than in Michigan. Diana has pointed out that everything is spread out, and it is not uncommon to drive two hundred miles to get to anywhere. Yep, the nearest Target to the area I am looking at is 200 miles away, and in a different state (S. Dakota). They have no Old Navy's and bookstores are limited to christian type books. I tell myself that I can always shop via the internet for the things I want and need. Geez, just the thought of being able to have the extra cash for a luxury such as a book makes me giddy. Ah, and music...I'd like to buy some music! If we do go, our goal is to be back to Ann Arbor within 5 years. Perhaps by then, the economy will get better in the area.

There you have it. I have had a lot on my mind, and the computer has been used for research, not blog writing. Let me know what your opinion is on moving 1,000 miles away from my home state. Thanks again Diana for all your help. I will be in contact. And Biddie, I know it is the U.S., but do you want to come with us? It would be nice to have someone like me to hang out with. And Fluffy, I really don't mean to depress you.


ldbug said...

Wyoming is a beautiful state. You would never want for anything to do. Your kids would grow up in a healthy, active, outdoor region. I grew up in Montana, just north of there and very much the same.

I highly recommend you go for the move. If you want any more specifics or any suggestions, e-mail me:

My brother lived there for a year, and I still have friends in the state.

ldbug said...

Yeah, shopping sucks, but that's what the internet was invented for. Plus we always would drive out to Seatle (you could also do Portland) once a year for good shopping.

Yellowstone park and the Grand Tetons are right there too. Hiking, biking, skiing, ahhhh, it's sooooo great. And don't worry about the distance of things, it's amazing how quickly you adapt. It's not a big deal anymore to drive an hour (across beautiful country) to get to another city for a party or something. Ok, I'll stop commenting now!!

hankwood said...

i moved from southern missouri to central montana 9 years ago and love it here. i'm assuming you will be in the western part of the state, and if so it's not that far up to billings, montana, which has most ammenities of bigger cities, and most importantly it has an olive garden! i would recomed moving here to anyone, and as the previous comments say, the scenery is beautiful, and would definitely be a great place to raise kids! hope to see you out here! (and by the way, i'd be more than happy to sign your bra!)

Ron said...

Vog, I have given this much thought...we must discuss.

Anonymous said...

sure driving will be a drag, but you'll feel so much better without the stress of worrying about money. And your kids will feel it too--I'm sure they pick up on your anxiety. If you arrive with an open mind--and look for things to move about wyoming, than I'm sure you all will do fine.

and, as one of the previous posters noted, you can choose a more urban area that may offer some more of the amenities you'd miss....

long way from home though. do you have family in ann arbor?

Camie Vog said...

ldbug- You never have to stop commenting on this blog! YOUR input is also greatly appreciated. I will get an email out to you soon.

Hank- So far, I have received great kudos for the area. Please understand that I come from a highly cultural, diverse area...that is why I am asking for the opinions. The area is actually in the NE area of the state. I tend to keep locations, names, type of work to nil, since I don't want the negative impact of employers who like to search blogs. By the way, thanks for stopping by.

Ron- I am afraid to discuss this with you...sort of. I don't think we'll see eye to eye on it.

MinervaJane- Driving isn't really a big deal. Especially since I will have the opportunity to own my first new vehicle in almost 20 years. Yes, it is a long way. My husband has a brother (with a wife and two kids) here. My parents and sister live an hour north. My family thinks it is a good idea. My brother in law said something along the lines of..."ah, that sucks".

Life, or Something Like It said...

Is that your only option? I don't know what to say. Hubby and I have thought long and hard about moving to Windsor (or that area), and we still haven't made the move. For us, it's a littlemore complicated (KC is in college, and J has her endocrinologist here in town). I can't make up my mind and it's only about 4 hours away.
I wish that this was easy for you...I wish that I could come, too. I wish, I wish....
Not much help, am I? Maybe I'll e mail you...In the meantime, I'm thinking of you.

Red said...

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for a better quality of life.

Of course, I would much rather still live in London than in the only depressed corner of Kent, but in London we would never have been able to buy a property, and our rent would have just gone towards lining some other guy's pocket instead of towards something that will be ours eventually.

So we switched from the most vibrant city in the UK to a place with no restaurants, no cinemas, no theatres, not many shops either, to be honest. The upside? We have nothing nearby to spend our money on, so we don't spend any, other than on groceries. And, of course, an online video rental service.

What we save by leading monastic lives goes towards the mortgage, which we're hoping to pay off in half the time allowed, so as to save on interest etc. When that's sorted, we'll probably look at buying another property to rent and that will be our ticket into retirement, since neither of us has a retirement plan worth the paper it's written on.

Again, this is not where I would choose to be if money was no option, but when your choices are dictated by finances (as our choice was, and yours, by the sounds of it), then you have to look at the bigger picture.

I say Wyoming sounds good. And doesn't Dennis Quaid live there?

Anonymous said...

Oh Camie,

Those wide open spaces, the lack of financial stress.

I think you know what you need to do.

I really think a lot of you girl and your family. Ann arbour will always be there.

Sorry I am waffling here!

* (asterisk) said...

Um, what Red said, obviously. Except I would add that, frankly, I'd had enough of London by the time we left. Because even when we were there, we lived in a poor and depressing area.

cappy said...

as usual i turn to weller for the answer;

I'm gonna clear out my head
I'm gonna get myself straight
I know it's never too late
To make a brand new start

I'm gonna kick down the door
I'm gonna get myself in
I'm gonna fix up the yard
And not fall back again

I'm gonna clear up my earth
And build a heaven off the ground
Not something distant on a cloud
But something real to me
But something real to me

All that I can I can be
All that I am I can't see
All that is mine is in my hands
So to myself I call

There's somewhere else I should be
There's someone else I can't see
There's something more I can find
There's only love to me

I'm gonna clean up my earth
And build a heaven off the ground
Not something dsitant on a cloud
But something real to me
But something real to me

I'm gonna clean up my head
I'm gonna get myself straight
I feel it's never too late
To make a brand new start

bob said...

Cammie - time to go! Congrats on finding a place where you can make the sort of $$ you need. And like all things, nothing is forever. Thanks to modern conveniences such as fast cars, internet bookstores and phones, you can stay in touch with your culturally advanced friends even as you languish in the bosom of a far-away land. Like Australia. Or Wyoming.

her indoors said...

i think everyone has said it, whats five years its not forever you may even like it that much you want to stay. there is nothing worse than worrying about money, trying to make ends meet, its got to be so much healthier for all of you if this presure is off.

Anonymous said...

Camie, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

For years, I didn't care about not having things or living by my wits, because it was just me. However, I can't imagine putting my little girl through that now. I hate living in the 'burbs, but my kid is better off having a secure home in a safe neighborhood. I loathe my job, but it provides the mortgage payment and healthcare.

If you and your hubby can make a better life for your family by moving away, then you've got to do it. Plus, you both need to start socking money away for retirement and savings. Don't get yourselves in that 'worst case scenario' situation. Besides, Wyoming might not be so bad, and if it is, then you can bitch about it freely on your blog.

Gardenia said...

Camie, you have a lot of good sounding advice coming in.

I know how hard the decision is though, I bawled my head off leaving Florida & family and sometimes I'm not sure I made the right decision. But, ya know, you can always go back if it doesn't work, after you get some bucks saved up.

i've become an avid internet shopper - yay, L.L. Bean! I think there might actually be an airport in Gillette - here I have to drive two hours to get to one.

And like Melanie said, you can always bitch on your blog - hahah, just make sure you keep your location & phone # secret.

wrinkled weasel said...

There is nothing I can add that will help but I hope things work out.

Anonymous said...

Wheres my post gone?

Never mind it was very waffling and sentimental.

'give me land lots of land with the starry skys above......'

Anonymous said...

you do what you need to do for you and yours.
I think it's a great idea!!

Anonymous said...

Hey hun I am so sorry for you trouble over the years, but I think if that is your only option then you have to take it, I moved from England to Ireland to try and make a better life but unfortunatley it did'nt work maybe you will have more luck than me.| wish you all the luck in the world.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that if you are miserable, you must make change. Whether it's location, or a state of mind, a rut is a rut.

I truly beleive in the wisdom of insecurity. Keeps your eyes and mind open.

Laura said...

I say go where the money is. Worst case scenario is you learn you never want to be near Wyoming again. I've visited Caspar and Cheyenne, I love the state. You're going to be so close to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, too. Such fun for the family!

Having grown up in a tiny town in a desolate area, yeah, it'll be different. You and yours will be a lot wilder and a lot more worldly than the natives. There's for cravings, and the internet puts everything at your door. Wyoming is a state on my short list of places to be, really. There can be beauty in the desolation, and the sunsets are amazing.

Cynnie said...

aww Cam..I've started over more times than I can remember..
Michigan at the moment is a dead end..
You have to try something new ..for your family.

Worst thing that you have to move to Puerto Rico and let me take care of ya'll..


You do what's right for your family babe. End of.

Anonymous said...

I say go for it babe. For so many seem pretty unhappy where you are, and it's not just financial. I know your husband is down too with all that fucking union shite. Go, make a fresh start. Relish in a new adventure! I'd go in a heartbeat.

And like a bunch of folks have said, Michigan ain't going anywhere.

(and you'll have loads of cash which is always really really nice!)