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.


  1. Wow! I hope it all works out for the best for you guys. The benefit of waiting until Spring means that you have more time to search for that perfect sea green house down there!

  2. Exactly. With FL have an insane number of foreclosures and distressed sales and time on our side I'm hopeful for a good deal. Of course homes with desireable school districts hold their value better but everything is relative.