Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catching up on the last 2 years

It has been forever since I've blogged on here. I've thought about just scrapping it, but when you like to write, you write. Since I already have a platform, might as well use it.

I started this West Virginia Expat blog because I was a WV native living out of state and I wanted a way to keep myself identified as a West Virginian. I wanted to write about issues specific to West Virginia. I also wanted a place where former (and even current) West Virginians could read about things about their home state and maybe make friends with other WV Expats.

But life gets away from you sometimes. Homeschooling a middle schooler is quite different from homeschooling an elementary schooler. I got busier. I was less able to focus on writing about life as a WV Expat and more involved in living that life. Then something C-R-A-Z-Y happened. We moved back to West Virginia.

The opportunity was completely unexpected and not at all sought after. I have mentioned on this blog before that we seriously tried to move back to WV one time in our 16 years in Georgia. My husband actively sought out job opportunities, drove to WV for interviews, and was offered a position. It took us about a day to figure out that position wasn't right for the family. It was a heartbreaking decision. Seriously.

After turning down that position, we stopped trying. We decided to just enjoy life where we were. We liked Georgia, after all. We were really happy there and we coped fine with the details of living 500 miles away from family. We even said to each other that the only way we'd move back to West Virginia was if something just fell into our laps.

Two years later, almost to the day, we received a call about a position in my home county. The call was unsolicited. We weren't looking to move. He wasn't looking for a new position. He had a good job in Georgia. We owned our own home. We were satisfied.

But calls like that don't happen every day. We talked about it and decided we would just let it play out and see what happened. Three weeks later we loaded up a moving van and headed to the hills. We have been back in West Virginia since November of 2009 and sometimes I still can't believe it. Often I still can't believe it.

Two years ago I was living in Georgia, homeschooling a 6th grader. Now I am living in West Virginia and my 8th grader just started back to public school in August. Needless to say, I've got some time on my hands.

My intention is to use this blog for its original purpose. I am no longer a Georgia resident, but I do still feel like a WV Expat. You can't spend the majority of your adult life in another state without feeling a bit changed.

The grass is always greener on the other side, so I will tell you that this move has not been without its sacrifices, its heartaches, and its regrets. I'm going to try to expand on those in greater detail, as time allows.

We moved back to West Virginia just in time for one of its worst winters in years. Last winter was no picnic either for someone who has spent 16 years in the Deep South. We're working on the end of October and I'm making plans to settle in for another blast of cold weather, so I imagine I will have some time to put into this blog.

We're back in West Virginia. We are figuring on staying here. And I'll be writing about everything all of that entails. Some of it's good, some of it's bad, some of it's ugly, but some of it is really beautiful.

More to come.


A. said...

It's good to see you writing again! I'll enjoy catching up with you and your move to WV. Sometimes I long to go back. And then sometimes I don't. But, it will always be home!

Becca said...

Hi there. I live in Cape Town, South Africa with my South African husband & 2 teens. I saw your comment on Rhonda's DTE blog and WEST VIRGINIA stood out for me!

I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and while my family moved 1100 miles west (to Okla City) when I was 18, I stayed and finished college in Buckhannon, WV (WV Weselyan College) and then went to grad school near Pittsburgh, worked around Pgh, moved to Wheaton IL (Chicago) where I went to grad school again for another Master's and...met my future (South African) husband! We married and 5 years later moved to Cape Town (his home town) and I've been here ever since (1990). Even after 21 years living outside the USA and a few years of living in other states within the USA and my family of origin moving around (after OKC parents moved to Buffalo, NY), where do I say I'm "from" when asked......you guessed it........WEST VIRGINIA!

It is a very special state. My son is a first year university student over here in the Cape Town area at a university called Stellenbosch. It is in the wine country with rolling hills and beautiful countryside. The best way that I can describe it is that it looks like West Virginia! In fact, I often hear myself saying that my hometown looks quite like Stellenbosch.

Nice to read your West Va musings.

Love from Cape Town, South Africa

Tina said...

Thanks for your comments, Becca! Good to meet you! West Virginia is a very special place. No matter where people end up, if they are from WV, it really stays with them.

Chime in whenever you want. I look forward to hearing more from a WV Expat living in South Africa!

Tina said...

And, as usual, thanks A for your support! :)