Heaven holds a sense of wonder….











My parents have given me something new to think about. They’re moving to the Missouri-Arkansas border. This weekend, they went down to scope the place out and fell in love with a house. Thirty acres of land, three ponds, a three-bedroom house in which the smallest bedroom is larger than my living room. They fell in love with the town. Met a local shop owner who sent them off with more than $100 worth of merchandise, hopped from Farmer’s Market to Farmer’s Market.

Mom called me up yesterday to rave about the place. Dad’s been texting me pictures left and right.

They want us to move down there with them.

Not with them, with them – not in the same house or anything. But they want me and my family close by. Pickle and I have talked so many times about picking up and moving away, starting over with a clean slate. We’ve dreamed of farm life, growing food and raising cattle and goats, living sustainably. We dream of a house out in the country – or close, so we can still be close enough to have access to the things and people we love.

If we moved to this place, we could have that.

We’d be leaving behind the drama with my kids’ dad and everything tangential to it. But we’d also be leaving behind old friends and connections that took years of effort to build. And we’d be letting some people down.

I’ve committed to my kids’ school as a board member for another year. It would be hard to find someone to replace me. Not impossible, but hard all the same. Pickle and I both have relatively new jobs – I’ll have been at mine for a year in August, if I stay that long. Pickle started hers in March. Both of our jobs were the result of friends pulling for us, and we both are close with the people we work with. Pickle’s best friend is wanting to open a restaurant with her in a year’s time. They’re trying to work out a business plan. If we leave, her friend will be crushed.

And we have a plan for where we are now. Pickle makes enough money at her job to only work one or two days a week. She wants to stay at home with the kids. The kids are thinking they want to be home schooled, and we’re both supportive of that. She’s looking forward to it. On the other hand, if they do choose to go to public school, we’re supportive of that as well. And once both kids are in kindergarten, or once Pickle feels comfortable enough in the role that she’s carving out for herself (or we’re all carving out together), I want to go back to school. I’m guessing that will be in roughly two years. I want to get a degree in small business management and accounting. Partially because I want to help with the restaurant – no one wants to do numbers – and partially because I’ve always wanted to open up my own boutique/café.

Pickle’s always wanted to open a drive-in movie theater and a family fun center, as well as her culinary endeavors.

The town that my parents are moving to don’t have anything like that. They have a building that locals want to turn into a movie theater, but no one has the time to do it. They’d love someone to come and do it for them. Kids in that town have to drive half an hour to the nearest larger community to find fun things to do. There’s a lot of tourism in that area, but not so much in that particular town.

Mom was also quick to share with me that I could be a substitute teacher in Arkansas with only my high school diploma. Nice. But that would open the door to questions about me going back to school to be a teacher. There was a time when I wanted to be a teacher, very badly. I’ve since learned a few things about myself. I love teaching kids, but not in the current system. I don’t like rigidity. And I don’t like being limited in the ways I can help.

My passion isn’t so much teaching, but making a difference. And I have so many ways I’m able to do that. I’m drawn to community organizing for that reason. I’m a resource-finder, a leader-finder. An organizer. I see what needs to be done and I find a way to work on a solution with the people affected.

I can’t help but think this might be a good arena for all these dreams. I’d have to put my organizing on hold somewhat, until I got to know the area and its history fairly well. And we couldn’t make every dream happen all at once; it would be a lot of hard work and planning. We’d have to re-evaluate finances (cost of living is way cheaper down there) and how we’d spend our efforts.

But are we ready to leave home? What keeps us here? We have so many friends whom we’re very close to, and our friendships have survived much worse than distance. We’ve also lost a lot of friends over the last year, people we realized probably weren’t worth calling friends in the first place, painful as that awareness was.

The kids have a life here – they’ve never known anywhere else. They have friends here they’ve known since infancy. If we move them now, it’ll be easier for them to adjust; if we wait until they’re older, those ties will be even stronger and the move would be even more heartbreaking.

Granted, we may be in Kansas, but there’s some semblance of culture here where we are. And we’re an hour away from Kansas City, where we can have a mini-escape when we need to. This town my folks are moving to is three hours from Springfield, five from St. Louis. That’s a long way to go for civilization. Pickle and I are both city girls, to a degree. We can’t live in the heart of the city because we need fresh air and green grass, but we need access to the excitement.

If we moved out there, at some point, I know I’d find myself blogging less than I currently do – because I’d be busy with my hand in every pot.

So much to think about. Cold comfort for change? Do we dare?



et cetera