I hope 2019 wasn't too terrible for you. It couldn't end fast enough for me. For some reason, years that end in 9 always
turn out craptastic
Since Nightingale's parents moved to Olive Branch, MS, holidays have defaulted to going there because Younger_Sister
is also nearby. As the kids get older each road trip is a little easier but ultimately it is still me just watching my kids in a different zip code.
We typically drive to Mt Vernon, Ill and spend the night at a Drury Inn, which apparently is halfway to a lot of destinations. One time I struck up a conversation with this guy who was going to Virginia Beach from Colorado! He told me he drives 13 hours, comes to this hotel, and then gets up at 3 in the morning to drive the next 13 hours!
The Drury is nice in that it includes a buffet dinner and breakfast. Nothing fancy, or even remotely healthy, but it saves us the trouble of getting back in the car to search for food after having the kids strapped into their car seats for 4+ hours. And it has a nice indoor/outdoor pool that is good for running down my kids' battery so they sleep. So we burn an extra 2 days for travel but it is better than being in the car for 10+ hours.
It wasn't too bad this trip. The in-laws managed to keep their political viewpoints under wraps until almost the last day (usually they break by midweek). My FIL doesn't like his quiet routine disrupted and all the grandkids running around getting into things did get him to go full OLD_MAN_GET_OFF_MY_LAWN
mode before not too long, but otherwise, it was one of the better trips in recent years.
That said, ever time I think moving down there won't be so bad, BIL Jethro does a good job of talking me out of it by simply opening his mouth and spewing Fox News talking points. I remind myself that he is just voicing out loud what a lot of people down there are thinking inside.
We are being pressured to move down there. Nightingales' dad is 70 and he is having health issues. the sister that lives down there already isn't capable of taking care of him, especially now that she has an almost 2-year-old.
We do have to move. Our house has some warts that just aren't worth the money to remediate especially since our school system is okay, but not great. I don't want to make it sound like our house is terrible nor do I want to dive into all the issues. Let's just start with Air Conditioning. We only have window units and it is cost-prohibitive to install space pack, Mitsubishi wall units or even standard central air.
The issue is if we move to a good school system, we get less house. Or we can move to the suburbs where we don't know anyone and Nightingale's commute would suck even more. She would likely have to quit her job and if she's gonna do that, then why not move South and enjoy a lower cost of living.
The other issue is my mom. The smart, adult thing would be to sell her home and use the money to purchase a decent home that could comfortably house her, me, Nightingale and the kids. But she won't do that. Instead, we'll move to Mississipi and then she'll decide to join us or die and I'll have to come back and deal with all of the probates. Alternatively, she could sell her home, and we could pay this one off and she could live here and we'd become snowbirds.
But no. She'll wait until we move down there and then either come visit and never leave, while still footing the utilities for her home, or she'll die and I'll have to come back here and try to settle things up over weekends while incurring hotel and airfare costs.