Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oysters and the World Of: Open to Suggestions

In my previous career, the illustrious world of English doctoral studies, the living was, well, not easy, but certainly different from the new career I am seemingly embarking upon. There are a number of pros associated with a life spent engaging in research in the Humanities, and many of those things I miss dreadfully right about now. Especially as one of my classes has to do with research in Nursing, and guess what? It sucks. I'd rather do my old research over this crap any day.

However one of the best things about this new career in nursing is the job market. Unlike having a PhD in English, a mere BSN in nursing, and especially from a top tier school, offers one the option of having a job just about anywhere. Whereas a hard fought struggled to find a tenure track or even just full time job with benefits is de rigueur in my previous field, it's not even an issue for me now. I regularly get recruiting emails from all over the country and this has started us thinking. About moving. I can almost guarantee it won't happen, but still. We're thinking.

We live where we live for a number of reasons. One, and the primary one that will most likely keep us here, is that we live near both our families. Even though we're about an hour away, it's close enough for family to rally if, say, one of us were to go into preterm labor five weeks early. And I think being close to family is a good lesson for Cricket. Now, I lived less than a mile from my Gramma growing up, which was super because anytime I fought with my mom in high school, which was alarmingly often, I'd trek over to her house. It had to be nice for my mom, in a way, to know right where I went. She might not have appreciated the fact that my Gramma often took my side, but to know where I was, well, talk about one less thing to worry about. But we live too far for that to happen with Cricket and subsequent kids, unless we move over and up one county, a move I'm actually pretty loathe to make. Our little town we live in now has its share of pretensions, but I'm ready to live with those pretensions over the obsession with money that exists in the town where I grew up. I'd rather my children grew up pretentious about being liberal Democrat greeny recyclers than obsessed with what car, jeans, coat, etc they are wearing. So, that's another reason we live where we live: the political atmosphere here is good for a two-mom family. And good for a kid of a two mom family.

So when fantasizing about new places to live, here's some of the criteria I've made about that fantasy location:
  • Liberal enough that Cricket et al won't ever feel funny about having two moms and that fact of having two moms won't be looked at askance by a majority of the population in said town
  • Must be a big enough town to still have a city like feel. I must be able to buy gourmet grocery goods like good cheese, fancy mustards, and British tea, namely, Typhoo.
  • I will be able to get CBC on some sort of cable so I can keep watching Coronation Street. I'm not kidding. I love that stupid show.
  • Will have a top notch medical system where I can expand and challenge myself in my new career.
  • Ideally would not have super bad winters, but I'm willing to compromise on this for other trade offs.
  • Is not too far away from Michigan. Unless it's Europe. But a language barrier persists. I don't speak French quite that well. (Plus, I'm really too fat to live in Europe.)
  • Is not plagued by massive wildfires, avalanches, earthquakes, or mudslides. (California off the list.)
  • Is not grey for 350/364 days of the year, like Michigan.
  • Does not carry the worst economic status in all of the United States, like Michigan. It's hard when you are depressed to shake out of it when the whole damn state is depresssed and f-ed up. (See Detroit scandel number 1,045.)
  • And some other crap I can't remember right now.

So, here's our fantasy very short list with small explanations on why we pour over google to look at images, job postings, and real estate in these areas:

  1. Toronto: Added benefit-- Be Canadian! Okay, I get Toronto is cold, colder than here for sure, and would never really ramp up to the heat factor I so depend upon, but there are good hospitals. Granted, nurses don't quite get paid what they do here, but we would be recognized as a family unit. That in and of itself is pretty spectacular. And we'd get to be Canadian! I'd get my Typhoo and wouldn't have to leave Coronation Street behind. We'd be easily acsessible to family via train. We could have one car and rely on city transportation. And we'd be Canadian! Enough said.
  2. Some liberal like place in North Carolina which I previously thought was Ashville until someone told me it was pretty small town: I can't live in a smaller town than the one I am in. But I believe in some small liberal part of North Carolina around Duke or Chapel Hill we can be lesbians and our son won't be teased to death. Added benefit: great weather! Shorter drive to the ocean! Con: No Corrie.
  3. Okay, this odd, but Cleveland. I don't honestly think we'd leave Ann Arbor for Cleveland, but there is the Cleveland Clinic, which has all it's own prestige. But I'd really just be leaving behind UM, which is just as good, right? Con: No Corrie. I don't think. Do people in Cleveland get CBC still?
  4. And finally, Boston. Another place where we'd be recognized as a family, for now at least, and a number of really super hospitals where I could be challenged. And definitely I'd get my British tea. And considering that every 4th person in Boston is probably my cousin, I might feel at home soon enough. (Calling all micks, calling all micks!) Con: No Coronation Street.

I know there's other options to add to the mix. Any suggestions? It really is far too much fun to know we could, if we wanted, go anywhere we wanted. Rally for your location now! Where is your personal oyster? It doesn't have to be where you live!

Now, back to studying meta-analysis of evidence based practice nursing research. Ho-hum.

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Anonymous Karrie said...

Have you thought about Eugene, Oregon? We fit every criteria (except perhaps being a little far from Michigan.)

12:28 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Washington, DC! Many, many, many good hospitals to choose from, fits all of your criteria (the Michigan distance being the worst, but hey, we could caravan!!), and if you live in Takoma Park, MD, you'll feel RIGHT at home though our farmer's mkt doesn't hold a candle to yours.

7:16 AM  
Blogger a2karen said...

I have to tell you, you are so right about kids who grow up in AA. My freshman in college is very happy she grew up somewhere that respects people of different points of view and religion, sexual preference, origin etc. It is truly a special place in that respect. I don't have my parent's here (4 hours away) nor hubby's (6 hours away) but my kids would have loved to have grandparents closer.

I think MI will eventually recover...esp AA. I just wanted to concur that AA is a great place to raise kids! No doubt about that.


Check out my blog (pls be kind I'm NOT an English Phd).

9:30 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Just putting in my vote for Toronto, since it's my home town. :) We've also got one of the best, world-renowned children's hospital's in the world. Plus it's multi cultural, tons of great places to see, eat and things to do, year round.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

Chapel Hill is also a small town, but not as small as Asheville. Another benefit to it is that you're within driving distance to much larger towns. And the weather is lovely. UNC-CH's new children's hospital is just beautiful, too. If you're seriously considering it, shoot me an email sometime :-)

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I live in MD and don't see us ever leaving, but if we did, I'd seriously consider Portland, OR. Baltimore has fantastic hospitals, many of which I've worked in. For nursing it's one of the higher paying areas.

And really with nursing, you're right, you can go absolutely anywhere (look into travel nursing! I did that for awhile but stayed local). I constantly get recruitment offers and my license isn't even active anymore! (I chose to make it inactive last time I renewed)

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Lynnette said...

Ok. I think I have it. St. Louis, Missouri. First, I would love to have you as neighbors...

-liberal enough, I'll hook you up with my ex-surrogate and her ex-partner and their kids. I ould say the midtown suburb Webster Groves, that we are finally building our new house in, is especially liberal.

- I know all the gourmet shops and cool restaurants (though I don't get out much anymore...twins) and can introduce you to The Infertile Gourmet.

- CBC...I'm thinking satellite? I checked our cable list, and its not there, but BBC America is, if that helps.

- excellent hospitals, esp. Barnes-Jewish under acclaimed Washington University (which looks just like those pictures you just posted), Children's, Cardinal Glennon, St. John's Mercy, Missouri Baptist (twins born there, also Wash U affil) etc.

- milder than Michigan (hot in summer, though)

- I think it took me about 7 or 8 hours to drive to Detroit 12 years ago (on my way to Toronto, no less)

- No major disasters except the Great Flood of '93, and you had to live next to a river for that to affect you

- upbeat economy, that I attribute to being centrally located to everyone else

- plenty Catholic around here, too, Metrolink transit is expanding all the time, could introduce Partner to our Green builder, they're staying busy, even in this real-estate slump, good REs here, and other crap I can't think of, too...

Have fun deciding, the world really IS your oyster! Kisses to Cricket from the girls!

9:23 PM  
Blogger frog said...

You already know that I think you should live in Ypsi. Seriously.

But if you want to relocate, I'd consider Madison, WI, or Minneapolis/St. Paul.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...


But no place can hold a candle to A^2.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous pixi said...

I pick #4 for selfish reasons. Come to Boston!!! Who knows, we might even be related?!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Sassy said...

What about Melbourne, Australia. It's pretty liberal down here, we have a city that is cityish but would probably be tiny for you. We certainly have great food and wine, not to mention English teas.

We've a got a pretty good medical system which are always recruiting internationally. It doesn't get too cold here and isn't all that super hot. We only have bushfires in the country and don't have any other natural disasters.

Also not being in the US we're not about to enter into a recession.

Just a thought. ;)

2:22 PM  
Blogger LilySea said...

What about a decent-cost-of-living actual big city? Namely Houston or Chicago? They are in the top three for sheer numbers of same-sex parent families and both are reasonable in terms of cost with lots of cozy smaller neighborhoods to choose from.

New York State just had a court decision ruling that same-sex couples married in Canada are married in NY too. There might be some places in NY that meet many of your criteria.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

In the same vein as Pam's comment - come to Toronto (or even the 'burbs!). We have incredible medical facilities that would love someone of your compassion and education. The weather *does* get cold in the winter - but isn't as bad as, say, Buffalo. In the summer, we're HOT. Like anywhere between 85 and 110 F from end of May to end of October.

Come join the fun!!

1:30 PM  
Blogger jnewwave said...

Ummm, no one's mentioned Albuquerque! I know you already want to move here! We get seasons (i.e., fall colors, beautiful springtime, snow), but our trump card is our many, many days of bright sunshine. The living is good in Albuquerque (or Santa Fe, if you want), so you ladies and Cricket should come to New Mexico and you'll be closer to ME! And we desperately need nurses.

11:03 AM  

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