Friday, April 10, 2009

Get the kids, we're moving to the woods

Before I begin, let me warn you that this is a bit of a monologue. I don't enjoy blogs that are rambling manifestos, and I promise that I won't do that to you. Except for just a little bit this once.

It turns out that I've finally decided on a direction for this blog. Yes, it's obviously about my family. Yes, I tend to focus on the painful and rather funny side of being a dad. That's all good. But there is one overarching theme in my life that is fairly unusual. About eight months ago my family and I jumped head first into an experiment that is likely to at worst kill all of us, and at best turn us into red necks.

We've moved to the country.

I grew up in the sticks, and have romantically fond memories of the experience. Since that time, however, a couple of things have happened. First, I've completed a graduate degree and subsequently developed a successful career in the information technology industry, most recently landing at a major software corporation (one of the biggest in the world). That's turned me into a big-city softie. I spend a whole lot of time behind desks, in front of white boards, on airplanes, and generally not in the country.

Second, I've spawned. For all of you that have successfully reproduced, you'll recognize the process of grand introspection that happens as a new mom or dad. The cliches are all true -- your priorities really do change when you become a parent. For my wife and I, it quickly became apparent to us that we didn't want our kids growing up while being spoon-fed popular culture. Don't get me wrong. We have electricity, running water, air conditioning, a 46-inch flat screen TV, and internet access. We just don't want those things to define us or our kids. We decided that a house in the woods with some property would be the best opportunity for our family to grow up close to each other, the things in this world that are real, and God.

So here's the catch: I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Owning a home in the woods is much more difficult than I could have ever imagined. We have seven acres, a 1/4 mile long driveway, and a house that is solid, but needs a fair amount of work. I now own a pickup with a snow plow. I have a diesel tractor so that I can mow my 2-acre yard. We heat with wood, or at least we're trying to. Just keeping things running around here is at least a part-time job.

Of course, on the flip-side, I see deer every morning in my front yard. Wild turkeys roost in the trees outside of our house. There's a forty-foot waterfall right behind our deck that feeds a stream full of crayfish and frogs. My kids are outside from morning until night, weather permitting, and love being there. They build forts, they drag rocks and bugs and flowers back up to and into the house. They climb up and fall out of trees. It's all good.

So that's it. I suppose whether or not I consciously decided to make this blog about what happens when a geek dad moves to the country with three boys, that is ultimately what it would have been about. There is plenty of funny and plenty of painful in my life as a result of this lifestyle choice. I hope you enjoy it. I do.


Aimie said...

I wish we could move our family to the country too! I really like your blog. :)

Alice Phua said...

Wow! Sounds like a nice place you and your family are living in. I wish for a countryside house like this too. The only thing for me is the time needed to maintain the house compound...that's going to be a lot of work to do....unless money is not a problem, don't have to go out to work, then I can do household chores for most part of the day!

katy said...

What an interesting background. Sounds exciting. Does it get too lonely with neighbors so far away?

The Dadical said...

no, we have the best neighbors ever! they are just an eight minute walk away. plus, with three kids, cousins that live nearby, and everything that there is to do, these boys are never bored.

Mr. Blue said...

It seems as if you've "made it". Not like the rest of the world defines it but as it should be.

You've found your priorities. I envy you :)

Enjoy it as long as you can! Your kids will become something more than you could imagine by raising them in the country.

Chris Emerson said...

Dude I am jealous! I still wish I could pack everything and the kids/wife up and move to the tundra or somewhere far away from the insanity. Give me more details on your decision/migration!...

- Are you still in IT?
- Do you have a crazy commute now?
- What part of country did you move to?
- What kind of bandwidth do you have now (at home)?

(sorry if this is re-post, I returned and didn't see my comment displayed - [maybe in moderation purgatory?])

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