Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sense of Place


“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.”

- Margaret Mead


I live with my family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We chose its location because when my husband completed his Ph.D., we had to move for his post-doctoral work. Our first two years of marriage were spent in Queens, New York. Cambridge reminded us of the neighborhood in many ways.

My first nine years of life were spent in Queens, NY. Then I moved to Long Island, living in a post World War II suburb (cape, split level, ranch, repeat). Although I spent the next fifteen years + a number of adult years in the suburbs, it never felt like home.


Though I do miss the beach. A lot.


For a couple of years, we’ve been looking for a bigger place. Four people in a two-bedroom condo is cramped, especially with a daughter and son. But to get the kind of place we’re looking for is out of our price range. We’re either sacrificing space inside our outside or in both spaces.

There’s a house we really like but the expansion potential it has won’t be realized until I land a full-time job. We’ll still feel like we’re a struggling to find our way instead of having arrived.



We’re considering moving to the suburbs – Salem specifically. For little more than our house is worth now, we could have a whole house with more than two bedrooms, a driveway, and property. We could even be closer to the beach. Like,blocks away or even with a view.


What’s stopping us?


If we move, we’d be another family that left before our children were older, draining the middle school and high school. I’m sure most of those families left because of space issues too.

Also, it takes time to have a place fit like a glove. New friends, new restaurants, new stores, new schools, new routes, new routines. At first, we’d lose more than we’d gain.

Then there’s commuting. My husband works five minutes away by bike. There’s so much we’ll lose with that loss of proximity.

I can walk to see the Red Sox play. I can walk to see the Celtics play. Okay, I can’t afford to go very often. But still.

When I lived an hour from Manhattan, I rarely took advantage of it. When I lived 20 minutes by subway, I did. Now that I’m a 20-minute walk to Boston I go all the time. The river is no obstacle.


The Boston skyline is beautiful.

We love watching Fireworks on the Fourth of July.


But I really think my resistance is more than the new, alien feeling of a place. It’s more about who I am.

I’m a city girl. I love saying I love in a city. I believe in my city. Do you know that we live a few blocks from the compost place? We almost make more compost in a week than we do garbage. We now have one bin recycling. And we can recycle nearly everything now. Our family does fine with a small car And the city is as diverse and inclusionary as it gets. It’s home.


Our family, friends, school, after-school activities, routine – it’s all here.


But we’ve visited Salem a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, and I can see fitting in there too. Maybe?


How do you decide where to live,

what that means about who you are,

how you want your family to fit?


On another note, thank you for your kind comments and support of 100 Stories for Queensland.

Congratulations to Vicki Tremper who won a copy of White Glove by Holly Black !


61 comments:

  1. I love this post! I'm at a point in my life where we're thinking of the same things. I have 13 and almost-16-year-old stepkids. My daughter is 2. My husband and I are thinking of moving back near Philadelphiaha (where he grew up) when the older ones are in college, but I hate the thought of uprooting my daughter at age 9. I have this fantasy of her having childhood friends that she sticks with through her high school years.

    We're in a small lake town right now, close to the mountains. I can walk to the post office, where Miss Cindy leaves candy in our box for my daughter. I know the grocery store people by name and make X-mas cards for the library ladies. There's a huge fireworks display that draws people from Colorado Springs on July 4th and an annual town hunt for the Yule Log in the woods each holiday season.

    Wherever we go next, I want it to be somewhere with the same sense of community that we have here :)

    PS- Boston sounds cool--I almost took a job in Somerville a few years ago :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats to Vicki! And good luck to you as you decide about moving. I hate that feeling of being a stranger when you move into a new neighborhood, but it passes quickly, especially when you have kids.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are tough decisions! Does anyone want to make the move? Because if not, there's worse things than living in a cozy place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've always lived in the suburbs for space and cost-of-living. And also, trees. But I'm a rural girl, so I'm more comfortable where I never have to parallel park, where traffic is mild at its worst, where I have woods as my backyard. But also--my husband and I have always worked in opposite directions (even now--I work in Providence RI and he works up 495 in MA), so we need a place in between, and we prioritized that in our decision of where to live.

    Salem is lovely (but Cambridge is, too). Good luck in making your decision!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats to the winner! It's hard to decide where to live. Commuting would get to be a drag for your husband. I didn't like it when I did it. For me, living close to family is the most important.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Theresa, that is a tough one but then I am probably bad for advice. I live in the burbs, my husband commutes, we have a bigger house than the city. But I love, love the city and miss it. So as much as I like the house and the quieter environment, I would move back to the city in a heartbeat. I even miss the traffic fumes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved your post! But as I'm not familiar with your suburbs, I can't say aboutyour moving though it was interesting to read your post.
    Congratulations to the winner!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats to Vicky for winning the prize!

    It sounds like quite a dilemma you have. I can quite understand. Hubby & I failed to have the family we hoped for and although we need a certain amount of space for our hobbies, the space we have isn't laid out well and costs lots to heat and light. We'd love to move but feel we cannot afford to for a few more years yet. We're stuck in a cleft stick like you, I guess.
    Maybe we need to write a pros and cons list and do some research. Good luck with your decision. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My last move (this place where I am now) was dictated by needs - my relationship ended and I needed to leave asap. And of course I needed a place where my cats were welcomed! I've never heard of this town where I am now and I remember stepping off the train at the train station and feeling my heart sink at my initial impressions of the town itself. But after nearly 4 years, I am so so so so happy here, so settled and so glad that my needs at that point in my life led me here. I guess it was fate! LOL!

    GOOD LUCK with your decision!!! I'm sending you lots and lots of hugs. Whatever you decide, I truly wish you and your family well!! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area of California-- but I have moved so much in my adult life. I've learned to make friends easier and to be flexible... there are pros and cons to anywhere that you live. I do miss the beach... but I love the mountains here.

    I got my copy of 100 Stories of Queensland in the mail this week-- I'm excited to read it. (=

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoyed your post Theresa, and see where you're coming from. Your contentment with where you're currently living shines through. It sounds very exotice to live a 20 min walk to Boston. Commuting is the pits IMHO. I currently live a couple of mins from the inner-city and love it.

    Denise<3

    Congratulations to Vicki.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's taken me a LONG time to settle finally in a place I love. A small city in Virginia. I'm a city girl, too. But not BIG city anymore.

    A move is a scary thing. You've got to pick ONE place. I think what you have now, though "cozy," sounds wonderful. But with a boy and a girl...tough decisions to make. I hope that whatever you decide will be good.

    And congratulations to Vicky, the winner!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

    ReplyDelete
  13. I remember living in the city...I loved it, but it wasn't the best place for my children. They needed space. So we live in a suburb. I don't regret the decision. I still worked downtown. Instead of walking two blocks, I had to drive 45 minutes each way. When the snow fell, I wasn't the one to make it to the office.

    It was a big decision, but one I needed to make. There are benefits to living in the burbs...great neighbors. Great restaurants out here. Better schools fir the kids. Of course, I know every place is different, but you will make the right choice.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congratulations to Vicky. Hope to hear what you think of the book.

    As to where to live: When I was younger I lived a lot of different places. Even after I married, we moved around to different parts of the world. Now I've found exactly where I fit--my angle of repose. Wouldn't trade it for anything but to truly appreciate it, I travel-return-enjoy my place even more.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Theresa, great post. I loved reading it.

    We moved here to our farm, because this is the land my hubby grew up. And I would never want to move unless it was back to my home town Key Largo, Florida. I do miss the ocean. Or a castle in Ireland. *dreams*

    Great job on the composting and you don't even live on a farm. :-)

    Congrads to Vicki. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is always a hard decide when is the right time to move. In time, you will know when it is right for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, thanks so much! I'm thrilled to have my very own signed copy of White Cat!

    I just wish I had something helpful to say about your big decision. I visited Salem in HS and I remember it as a small city and a very charming place. It reminds me of where I live now (well, the small city I live 10 mins away from). There are always trade-offs in these kinds of decisions. You have decide which trade-offs you can live with.

    Good luck and thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We've always lived in our small city in Northern Ontario. It's wonderful. I have no desire to live anywhere else, but I would love to visit other places more often!! :) I've never been to your area, but I've read a lot about it and it's just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tough decisions. I haven't moved more than three miles in a long time, so I'm not qualified to respond. However, I suppose if the pro outweighs the cons then that's the method I'd use to decide.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Aw, I loved Cambridge! Salem seemed beautiful, too, though I can see how it would be less convenient. But maybe you could find new cool places there--a compost heap and fun things to visit? It's always hard to find that sense of place, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful post! I've moved a lot because I married a military man. It's a different world where we meet instant friends overnight. For us, home is where our family is.

    ReplyDelete
  22. all those places sound so cool and historic. I can imagine being happy in Cambridge or Queens or Salem... But we're moving because of work. And there's no flexibility there.

    However, we are trying to find flexibility in WHERE we live. And we love old historic homes, so that's an option.

    best of luck w/your decision! :o) <3

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Theresa .. moving and life-style changes with the kids are always difficult .. and as you have a pigeon pair - more necessary in some way I guess ..

    Just hope you get what you all want and need - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wonderfully written dilemma. Though I enjoy big cities and all their culture, I could never live in one. I do understand not wanting to move, what a chore. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congrats Vicki! Thinking of moving, huh? Sorry I couldn't be of more help on that front. Stop by my blog. I just tagged you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Moving can be hard. My family was in the military when I was a kid, so we moved a lot. As of August, I will have lived in this town the longest of anywhere in my life, exceeding 6 years. This is my 9th city.

    I just try to think of moving as an adventure. There are so many little pieces to figure out. By the time you figure them out, it fits. And you won't be so far from Cambridge that you can't see your old friends, or continue going to your doctor until you can find the right one. Yeah, it'll be more in gas money, but you're not moving to Seattle. All those comforts will still be nearby if you need them.

    Good luck with your decision. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Tough decisions. We've always lived near where my husband worked so commuting. (Though when my husband was in grad school, I commuted and it was horrid--of course, I was pregnant at the time). On the other hand, two bedrooms doesn't work with a son and daughter, especially as they get older.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My parents moved around a lot when I was child, for me, in retrospect, it turned out to be more of a good thing than a bad.
    Of course, kids are all different... What do yours think about it?

    We're currently pondering a move to a tropical place, I guess that just shows that we're dinks. : p

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've moved four times in five years, including two "major" moves (Seattle to San Francisco, San Francisco to Atlanta), a total of nine moves over the past decade - all to follow my husband's career. I'm a city girl, my husband is all about the 'burbs. Last year we bought a large house on a large lot in a north Atlanta suburb, and while I ache for the city, I get to write full-time. That was the trade-off.

    I can't imagine how difficult the moves would have been had we had children to consider. Try to determine what's most important to you and your family and go from there. Change can be a very positive thing. and sometimes it's good to shake it up. Just keep in mind, there is no wrong decision. If there was, this would be easy.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hear you! I'm a city girl through and through, but sometimes when I think about how much bigger a house we could get in the country... well, it does make you wonder!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I would weigh out the pros and the cons and see which one wins. We haven't had much of a choice since we've moved with my husband's job and we live in the west so buying a home large enough for our family wasn't difficult. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. sounds like they are both beautiful places to raise your kids in. Maybe you could ask them what they think to help you make your decision. Kids can come up with the wisest answer sometimes.
    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. That is such a hard decision! There is no easy answer. In a way, for me, living in a certain place is like fullfilling the childhood dream. I travelled ALOT as a child and never wanted to move when I was older but a part of me aches for it and so we do...often. I'd say if you want to stay a city girl and your husband wants the same there has to be a way for it to happen. You might not have a huge backyardm but think of the fun places you could take your kids. I don't envy your tough decision but I guess it is nice to have a decision at all:)

    Good luck with it!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Came back to tell you I've left an Irresistibly Sweet something for you at the Write Game. Hope you enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thats such a tough one, life's short, you have to like where you live, preferably love it !
    Though I wouldnt move just for more house space, as Karen said there are worst things than being cosy!

    Its great to have a choice whether to move or not though, over here we're all in negative equity and houses arent selling, so I'll be waiting...a decade or two... for my sea and mountain home... unless the lottery or a book deal comes our way...:)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Now see THAT'S why I've always liked you so much - you're one of my NYC b&t tribe. I was a baby on the UES and a toddler in Flushing, like all Chinese people.

    And of course I went to college in Cambridge, though I don't know how I stood the cold now that I've become a Cali wuss.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love the city. I was always kind of pissed that I grew up in the suburbs. I just to live within walking distance to a great coffee shop.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Tough choice. Which is more important? Space or proximity to the city?

    Whatever you do will be the right thing. And it'll be home no matter what. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey, I've seen that sign!

    I'm a live just outside the city type of girl! Cambridge had too many cars and traffic for me. But it is a gorgeous place to live.

    I've been to Salem a few times: also very nice. Love the witch museums.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I need to be near the water and in a city. I grew up in Manhattan and now live in Miami Beach, both by the water and both cities. I lived in the suburbs for years in between those two places and I was miserable.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great post Theresa! As a city girl, I long to live in the country, but wonder if I could hack it. I, too, would miss everything that's available when you live in a big city. Especially when you live in a leafy, tree lined older neighbourhood smack in the middle of it. On the other hand, small town... So hard to choose!
    I'd say, move near the beach :-)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is a hard decision to make. So many things to consider - especially when you have kids. How do they feel about a move?
    Close commutes are nice ~ :)

    I live in a smaller space than I'd like, too. Actually, I rather loathe my house. But, then again... it's just a house. Living here affords me some other comforts and extra cash to travel - so, I can wait for a better opportunity. I hope whatever you decide works out THE BEST for you and your fam! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. @ Jess, yes, sense of community is very important. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Somerville? You would've been the next town over!

    @ Susan, I hate the stranger feeling too. When I moved to Cambridge, my downstairs neighbor had a girl one year older than my son. She got me involved quickly. Kids do help.

    @ KarenG, tell that to my husband. Actually, the kids don't want to move far. It's making us really push to stay here.

    @ Sarah, my husband and I have done compromise living in between jobs too. I've gotten really good at parallel parking, but I don't love traffic!

    @ Natalie, I don't think we can fully appreciate how close he is. Since we've had kids, he's never been that far. It would be hard.

    @ Brigid, I don't love the traffic fumes! In fact, I miss the smell of grass. That's what would be nice about the place we're looking at in Cambridge now - grass!

    @ Nas, thanks for reading! I appreciate it.

    @ Madeleine, I always feel like we're stuck in residence. I hope you're not stuck for too long. We did compile a list. Our Cambridge staying list was longer, but it seemed like the smaller Salem list had a few items that carried a lot of weight. Sigh.

    @ Old Kitty, that must've been a difficult moment. I could feel it reading your comment. Thanks for sharing. It made me feel better about the unknown.

    @ Jo, you're so right. The more I move, the more I realize that every place is a compromise.

    I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for buying it.

    @ L'Aussie, commuting is the pits. For the first three years we were married, that's what I did. You're a city girl, like me!

    ReplyDelete
  44. @ Ann, I don't like big cities either. Cambridge is 100k and Salem is 50k. I don't mind cozy either. But my husband grew up in a big house, so I think his perspective is different from my small bedroom early childhood in New York City.

    @ JL Jackson, I guess the hardest part would be to uproot the kids needlessly. Having my husband commuting would make it that much harder. The suburbs definitely have benefits though.

    @ cleemckenzie, you sound so happy in the place you're settled. Where are you? Maybe I should move too. I'd like the next place to be THE place to stay, but that's never a guarantee, is it?

    @ Robyn, I've never even lived close to a farm. I can't imagine it. I camped only once, and it was a disaster. I'm way more city than country!

    As for a castle in Ireland, I've dreamed of that too, but then I remember they're drafty!

    @ Choices, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Now we're trying to step back and breathe.

    @ Vicki, congratulations!

    Thanks for the advice. It's true - I have to find the compromise we can live with. In the end, we'd probably be happy in both places. If only I knew which one would make us happIER. Crystal ball? Actually, I saw so many psychic reading signs in Salem...

    @ Jemi, I'd love to be able to afford to travel more often, to see other places too. Glad you like where you live.

    @ JL Campbell, our pro living in Cambridge list is way bigger than our pro living in Salem list. But it's the weight of each item on the list. I have a feeling we'll stay in Cambridge. Maybe.

    @ Meredith, I definitely think we'd fit in Salem. It's the uprooting and commute I'm most worried about. My husband is most worried about cost and space.

    @ Carol, I'm impressed with how well military families adapt. You must go out of your way to help one another out, right?

    ReplyDelete
  45. @ LTM, it's hard when you don't have flexibility for work. I love old, historic homes too. That's actually what appeals to me in Cambridge. (And that we're looking at newer homes is what's appealing to my husband at the moment.)

    @ Hilary, even without a boy and girl, we'd still want to move. No driveway, one bathroom, no yard - it's a bit cramped here!

    @ Jules, I could never live in a big city like Manhattan, but this is a good compromise. And the house we were looking at in Cambridge feels less city-like, which is what I love about it. My husband isn't so thrilled that it's not near a subway, but only a bus.

    @ Angela, thanks for the tag. I've never done a tag her, but I'll visit.

    @ Rosie, I can't imagine moving around as a kid. I moved once when I was 9, and that was traumatic enough!

    True, we won't be far from Cambridge if we do move to Salem.

    @ Connie, commuting while pregnant can't be fun.

    Yes, tough decisions. I hope we reach a good compromise soon.

    @ Alesa, my kids like Salem. But the thought of moving drove my little girl to tears on Sunday. I remember it as being hard when I moved at age 9 (the age she'll be). Surprisingly, my unflexible son seems more open to it. But if we actually move, it may be a different story. We moved to Cambridge when he was 3, and he took it badly.

    Moving to a tropical place? Interesting. What would you both do for work?

    ReplyDelete
  46. @ VR Barkowski, moving that often is hard. Until we moved to Cambridge, we stayed in each place 1-3 years. The more kids we have and the more we accumulate, the more I cringe to move again.

    You're right, there is no wrong answer. Either way will be a compromise.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    @ Talli, I agree with you. Why do I want to forgo space? Yet I do.

    @ Shari, thanks. I made a pro and con list. Staying in Cambridge won, but somehow we're still deciding. But I think we're leaning towards Cambridge more than ever as a result.

    @ Nutschell, asking the kids is a good idea. We've told them we'll make the final decision, but we want their input. Then my daughter cried about the idea of moving out of Cambridge.

    @ Deana, good points. I like to travel, but I don't like to move a lot. My husband never moved as a kid, so he doesn't fully understand our children's attachment to a place. There are so many good opportunities here- I'd hate to lose them.

    @ Cleemckenzie, I visited. Thank you!

    @ Words a Day, I don't mind being cozy. It's the paying 100k more to do it!

    Prices have gone down here, and are expected to fall further. We'll see.

    Good luck getting that sea and mountain home. And winning the lottery.

    ReplyDelete
  47. moving and change in general is never easy. I've always loved mass- especially Boston and Salem (we went there every year for halloween). Both beautiful places and it sounds like you have a lot of pros and cons for both so in the end, you just gotta do what feels right for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  48. @ Sophia, flushing! I went there all the time as a kid and adult. Eating Chinese food, of course. I lived in Whitestone as a baby, then Jackson Heights as a kid, and Forest Hills as an adult.

    Cambridge too? Very cool. I don't know how I survive the winters either.

    @ Missed Periods, it's great living in walking distances to place you like. I have a coffee shop I like that I can walk to too.

    @ Liz, we're trying to figure that out. My husband wans certain things in a house minimum. But he'd have to commute and has the bigger income, so he needs to be comfortable more than me. I don't mind small as much.

    @ Aubrie, I guess there are no big cities by you, right? If we moved, we'd visit a lot, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. And Salem is definitely inspiring if you write fantasy.

    @ Medeia, you're a city girl too. Living by water is great. I'm close to a river now, but I prefer salt water.

    @ Deniz, I would hate to live in the middle of nowhere, though I guess it would keep me focused on writing. The good thing about either place we're looking is they're pretty populated.

    @ Donea, both children are advocating to stay. My daughter especially. But I think if we were actually moving, my son would take it harder.

    It's nice to have a cheap place to do more things. Soon we won't be able to anymore!

    @ Creepy Query Girl, thanks for the advice. Hopefully it will work out.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I read this post earlier today but for some reason Blogger wouldn't let me comment.

    This is definitely a tough choice. I consider myself a city girl too, and it was hard to move into the suburbs. Although, now that we're here, we have enough space that we can both have offices, and I love our backyard. But I do miss the energy in the city - there's nothing quite like it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. My sister lives in downtown Chicago and I live in a small town in IL near the Wi border. I always say she's the city mouse and I'm the country mouse. :)
    We are moving soon to another state. I've lived in this area all of my life, and I'm nervous to start again. But yet I'm excited for a whole new adventure too.
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  51. This is a tough one. I'm a city girl too. So where we live now is perfect (except we'd like more space too). We're 10 minutes from the big city and it's very "neighborhoody"--people walk evetywhere here. So... I understand your dilemma!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Yikes! This is a toughy! I guess, in the end, something will just feel right and you'll know what to do. There's no harm in looking around - you're not committing - and maybe you'll find something that's a perfect compromise, or that fits where you didn't expect it. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  53. @ Jennifer, blogger has been having too many problems the last couple of weeks. I couldn't comment or even sign into my blog all day Tuesday. Glad you came back!

    I love city energy too. Great way to put it!

    @ Kelly, I like the city and country mouse! I remember that book. Which state are you moving to? Good luck!

    @ Christina, that sounds like a perfect place!

    @ Susanna, you're right. No rush. I hate the feeling something may slip through our fingers that would've been perfect in retrospect. But that's part of house hunting. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Much to decide - I think you are wise to spend time investigating. Sort of like checking out a new neighborhood at different times of day to see if there are dogs barking, unusual traffic congestion, etc. Wish you the best with the hunt!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think something deep inside of us knows where we belong. I know I'm a country girl but like having those things you mentioned--close recycling and schools--nearby.

    To me, a place to finally drop roots in feels like a puzzle piece. It just slips into place and there's nowhere else it could have gone.

    Good luck, Theresa!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Wow, such a hard post! I so hear you, though. Often, people don't get to choose where they live. They live where they can afford, or out of convenience. We do both of those things.

    I hope you get to live exactly where you'd like to, though. There is something exciting about flexing your fingers into new gloves.

    There's nothing like MAYBE.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  57. When my hubby and I first got married, he got a job promotion and we had to move to New England. We picked MA because it was kind of central. But my hubby wanted to live near the water so we looked at salem, Marblehead and Swampscott, finally finding a place there. We moved back to NJ again for his job but moved near the water again and a place where he could bike to work if he wanted.
    I still miss Boston though.

    ReplyDelete
  58. @ Karen, first we put the fire under us, but then decided we'd make a better decision if we slowed down. Still looking!

    @ Jackee, you put it perfectly - it's about fitting in like the right puzzle piece.

    @ Elana, I know the new chapter will be scary with a big mortgage, but I'm hoping the next place is the one we can live in and live with for the rest of our lives if need be.

    @ Jennifer, how interesting you lived where we're looking. My husband wants to look in the towns surrounding the area, but so far Salem is my favorite. But I think it's become our goal to try to stay in Cambridge if we can find something decent in our price range.

    My sister lives in Jersey City. It's so nice to be able to bike to work.

    ReplyDelete
  59. The commute is important. So much time can be wasted on getting to and from work. And now with the cost of fuel a long commute is an especially important consideration for those who drive.

    When I moved to Los Angeles I used to do a lot more, but now that my kids are grown and gone my wife and I usually stay home or close to it. City life is okay, but I prefer a more rural setting. If it weren't for my wife's excellent teaching position we'd probably consider moving to be closer to our daughters. It's hard to give up the benefits and medical and especially the good salary in today's economic climate.

    More space for your family would be mighty nice though. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for if you take your time and look carefully.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  60. @ Lee, a commuting expense is a big factor. Luckily for my husband, his company would pay for it, and he could take the train. Some people like the time to do work or read. But I think he, the kids, and me would rather have him home.

    Besides, he runs so he'd probably lose exercise time. Something winds up giving, right?

    You're right, it's hard to give up a good paying job with good benefits in this economic climate.

    Thanks for the comment.

    ReplyDelete