Monday, September 28, 2009

Illegal Enterprise

Explaining that my husband is taking over his family's business interests has proven to be comical. Since they are not singular brick and mortar concerns but a collection of ventures including but not limited to real estate, construction and a car dealership, it sounds really dubious. Like drug running, mobbed up dubious.

Especially when I add that his dad will be splitting his time between the States and The Bahamas.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Promising Correspondence

Sounds like something two star crossed young lovers have at the beginning of a Merchant/Ivory period piece but it applies here as well.

I've bumped into a fair number of homeschoolers and private schoolers as I scour message boards dedicated to the citizens of our soon to be locale. Neither option interests me in the slightest, with homeschool ahead in the if hell freezes over category. What is especially interesting is the tone with which the private schoolers write about their children's academic institutions. Hushed and reverential, its private school with a capitol "P".

Color me unimpressed.

The state of Florida school system has a lot wrong with it but your church putting up a billboard, charging tuition and calling itself a school doesn't mean its an institute of higher learning.

I shouldn't disparage places I haven't physically visited but my online research about some of the curriculums made me laugh out loud.

Enough with that and on to the positive.

I've met a potential friend. A real, live person with a child at the elementary school that is at the top of my list for the kiddos to attend.

Hopefully both our schedules will allow us to meet up when we visit next month.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Lord Help Me

Which despite the previous post isn't wholly ironic.

Armed with some spare time, thanks to the crappy weather we are having here in the south east, I decided to peruse the internet in hopes of finding some local info before we began house hunting in earnest.

Well, the messages boards that I have stumbled onto thus far have confirmed my worst fears about our soon to be hometown. Pregnate as an alternate spelling I can handle. Mothers against immigration reform as a handle means we're not going to be friends. With a platform that expressly seeks immediate removal of all "illegals", regardless of their circumstance means I hate you.

I know full well what I'm getting myself into. Younger people (which currently means under 40 to me, but given the demographic I'll soon find myself in, might mean under 65) with interests and viewpoints similar to mine are going to be few and far between. I've put out the siren call to all of the blogs and message boards that I frequent in the hopes that I find one soul mate.

In the meantime I'll start planning the order of my relatives visits. My FIL keeps a condo for out of town guests but rarely, as in once a year, has any. Me and my clan will be happy to fill that gap. You know our circumstances would have to be greatly improved in order for me to move even further away from NYC...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blac Femme's Blog

Over at Blac Femme's blog (I can't seem to get the hang of the cedilla under the c) I did a little Q & A.

Religion isn't really a factor in our day to day life so I rarely write about it here but it was nice to get a chance to contemplate some "big picture" issues.

Friday, September 11, 2009

95% White

This week has had more than it's share of family drama and chaos which I won't deal with in too much detail. Long story short, I heard from my sister for the first time in three years, Jim had a major falling out with his mother and we will definitely be moving not to intown Atlanta but to a beach town in Central Florida. Neither of these incidents are related but they all came about within the span of 48 hours so I'm a little punch drunk from all the emotional highs and lows.

Emotions are entirely too raw as far as the situation with my sister goes. After leaving a message that would be stunning in both content and tone if it came from anyone but her, she has yet to return my call. I'm pretty sure it will be another 3 years before I hear from her again.

Because my SIL and BIL love themselves the internets, I will be cautious and keep details vague in the off chance they "find" me. To be honest I don't care what they think but at some point we will resume cordial relations with my MIL so full disclosure is the not the best policy in this situation.

What I can speak of at length is our relocation. Jim is a free lance writer which means sometimes we have a little money and sometimes we are broke. His parents gave him a trust that enabled him to get a nice a start in life, and they continue to supplement things quite a bit. But some months are leaner than others.

For years Jim's dad has asked him to come down and help him with his financial holdings. With flexible hours and an understanding boss he could continue to write with the luxury of steady income. I'm very aware that this sounds like an easy decision but living in Central FL has never appealed to either of us. Once again I realize that people move for financial situations everyday, for jobs they hate, to cities they loathe. Having your father essentially tell you to come help him count his money, manage his investments and deal with his small business enterprises so he can spend more time in the Bahamas, is a job offer a great many folks would like to have.

The main impediment has always been the lack of true ethnic diversity in that part of FL. From what I can tell the population is very segregated and I've never wanted to be the only parent of color in the class much less the entire grade.

But I think that financial freedom, in particular the ability to travel extensively and to see members of my family (afore mentioned sister not included I'm very close the my people and flying to see them "just because" is something we haven't been able to afford in years) outweighs that very legitimate concern.

More importantly I want another baby, two in fact. Moving to a smaller house or condo in Atlanta was not going to be conducive to that. To combat living in a neighborhood that is 95% white, I'll just breed my own little tribe of children of color.

The main decision-in addition to the actual house hunting- is when. In an ideal world we should have come to this conclusion last spring, before the new school term started. But we didn't and I can't imagine pulling either of them out before the end of April. Thelonius is thrilled to have his own little friends for the first time. With a birthday in November he's already planning his party. In addition to the emotional turmoil associated with changing schools mid term, we've already paid Mirette's tuition in full, $9,000 (and we're receiving sizable financial aid) which is non refundable. My FIL, who paid the bulk of said tuition, said he doesn't care about the money he just wants us there as of yesterday...

Real estate wise we are in a good place because the worth of our home has held steady in comparison to a home in Florida. The same could not be said of our home as compared to a house in Atlanta proper.

There is a historically black college not far from the town we will probably live in. I'm not sure exactly how to make that connection, going to a residence hall and introducing myself as new local desperate to meet other black folks might get me a visit with campus security.

The upside is a fantastic, academically challenging school district whose HS is consistently in Newsweek's top 100. The beach and having access to pools virtually year round might make up for the atrocious summers and lack of seasons.

So in short I might be living in a sea green house after all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

These Are the People in my Neighborhood

Actually this occurred in an adjacent suburb, but it did remind me of an incident that I'm not too proud of.

Several years ago I owned a small store, which eventually folded, leaving me with a mountain of debt and heightened my general disdain for the public at large.

One rainy afternoon, a grandmotherly type entered with a small boy of 4 or 5. I think that she was the guardian of the child, too much time has passed for me to remember the exact nature of their relationship. What I won't forget is that on her way out, he committed some minor infraction that caused her to spank him in the door way of my shop.

I froze. I don't believe in spanking my children under any circumstances and have read many positive ways to gently intercede if you are so inclined while witnessing a public display of corporal punishment. But in that instance all I could think about was that this woman was a potential repeat customer and I didn't want to alienate her in any way, shape or form.

I am so ashamed that I said nothing. And to be clear it was a couple of quick swats on the butt not an ass whipping of any sort. The woman was much older than me and presumably quite set in her child rearing ways but I'll always feel guilt that I didn't say something.

As for the child slapper in Stone Mountain, he's all types of deranged. Unfortunately this random story will not prompt frustrated parents to seek other forms of coping with their children.