A personal update is a little more difficult than a post update, because obviously many more things happen and change in life than normally do with a single instance or circumstance in one’s life. Or in one’s teaching studio.
In the past 2-1/2 years, my family has moved three times. Two of those were long-distance moves. We live where my husband can work. I signed on for that when I married him. He’s a programmer analyst and he’s been outsourced out of a job twice in the same time period. In many ways, he is extremely lucky that the business world still uses the software that he specializes in. I am extremely lucky that my “work” has become portable. A webcam is a terrible thing to waste.
When we weren’t up to our eyeballs in packing boxes, we were remodeling. We started remodeling our home in Iowa in 2005, but had some forewarning from the company that job number one was being shipped off to India sometime in 2007. When the Great Job Hunt began, we soon discovered that no one was offering comparable salaries for consultants (even less for employees), so we moved where the work was. Instead of trying to sell an unfinished remodel in a market that was on the front end of the housing bubble, we decided to keep it as an investment property for as long as we could. We moved into an apartment in Kansas, got settled, and finally became comfortable enough to buy a house there. How were we to know that the company made some really boneheaded investment decisions. The way they chose to minimize their losses was to fire nearly all the programmers. With no warning. Our home in Kansas was the recipient of some much-needed upgrades that were intended to make us more comfortable and make my online business run smoother. Little did we know that they would become selling points a few weeks later. When job number two went up in smoke, my husband found a job in Iowa. So we moved back into our Iowa house over a period of about 12 weeks.
It was time to finish the previously-started remodeling. Going from 1970s to contemporary-ish is more difficult than it looks. Although, to be fair, it is not nearly as difficult as trying to convince a mortgage appraiser that your house is worth enough to qualify for refinancing. Or potty-training a four-year-old boy. But…if you had seen the gold shag carpeting, dark sticky wood paneling and the total failure of the previous owner to maintain the property, you’d have done something too. Anything. Please trust me on this: it was yuck. There were many structural and mechanical issues as well, and we are currently only about half done with the project list, but it is comfortable, warm and livable. We feel like we belong here. Our baby, now four years old, was born in this house, and our cat is much less spooked than she was in Kansas. Anyone who has done any major, full-scale remodeling knows that it is never finished. It is always behind schedule, and nothing is ever easy. On the bright side, no one ended up in the emergency room. And we got refinanced at a much better interest rate. So there you go.
I have one more update planned, dealing with my studio and how it has changed over the last couple of years. Then I’ll get back on topic.