Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Family Diaspora

My husband, Ron, always tells me if you're going to pick a place to live, don't move to where your adult kids live because they always move somewhere else.  Family is very important to me and I had the good fortune for the past 6+ years of seeing both of my daughters move more than 800 miles to within a few miles of our house.  But now, they're doing what Ron told me they would do: move away.

I am a native Californian who lived most of her first 54 years primarily in San Diego County, a place I loved.  When I got laid off from my job of 27 years,  I thought about my expensive mortgage for a big empty house, my daughters off to college in Santa Barbara and Sonoma far away, and the mystique of New Mexico which constantly called to me.

Our San Diego house

The San Diego house where we lived from 1992 until 2005 was a good place for kids growing up

Amanda at Sonoma State University

Visiting Mary in 2004 in Santa Barbara where she was a UCSB student

I sold our San Diego home in 2005, despite my daughters' protests, and moved to the mountains just east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I only knew 10 people who lived in New Mexico and they lived 50 miles away on the Santo Domingo Pueblo.  I soon started meeting others, including Ron, who had moved to New Mexico in 2002.  We got married in January 2006 (in San Diego County, by the way) with my daughters and his daughters and sons-in-law in attendance.

Our wedding day family picture
By 2007, my oldest daughter, Amanda, had graduated from Sonoma State University and asked to move in with Ron and I in our New Mexico mountain home as she tried to establish herself in the professional business world.  She was able to move out after she got a job with a logistics company in Albuquerque.  By 2009, my youngest daughter, Mary, had left college and worked full time in Santa Barbara, managing The Natural Cafe.  She asked if she  could move-in with us in our New Mexico home as she considered her next step in life. Within a month or so, she was employed by Flying Star Cafe in Santa Fe as Assistant Manager.  Soon she and her sister moved in together in a house in Albuquerque.

The girls together at our Sandia Park mountain home

Family together for Thanksgiving 2011 with Matthew
Mary was promoted by Flying Star to Manager at a Satellite Coffee store in Albuquerque by 2010. She met Matthew and they married in October, 2012.  Mary and Matt moved from Albuquerque to Bloomfield, NM in December, 2012, I was sad that she now would be 3 hours away by car.  Her husband of two months had taken a managerial position with Auto-Chlor in the Four Corners area and so she quit her job as Manager of Satellite Coffee and went with her husband.  They rented a home in the tiny town of Bloomfield, where oil and gas production provides the majority of jobs.  Within a week or two, Starbucks hired her as their Manager at the Farmngton Starbucks coffee shop.  In her typical dynamic style, Mary made that store a high producer within a year and caught the eye of Starbuck's management.  So they offered her the opportunity to train for District Manager over a 6 months training period.  When they offered her the position permanently, it was to be in Colorado on the Western Slope.  Matt, who had made his own company operation a stand-out producer as well,  procured a sales position with the Grand Junction operations of Auto-Chlor.  They bought a home -- their first -- in Grand Junction and moved in in October.

Thanksgiving at Mary and Matt's Colorado house, 2015
Now it takes 7 1/2 to 9 hours to drive from Albuquerque to see her.  If the weather is bad and US 550 through the mountains is closed, we must take the longer route through Moab, Utah.  She invited the family to her home for Thanksgiving,  Their father, Mark, joined us.  Even Mark has moved to Albuquerque from San Diego in 2015 with hopes of being with his girls.
The beautiful canyonlands near Mary and Matt's new home in Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, CO
Amanda and her partner, Malcolm, are renting a house in downtown Albuquerque and they love it there.  So far, they are doing well professionally, but in the uncertain economy of New Mexico, I wonder how long it will be until my oldest daughter and Malcolm join the family diaspora and leave New Mexico.

 Like my husband says, it doesn't pay to try and figure out where the kids will land.  His own daughters are in Ohio and Minnesota.  The oldest daughter, Margaret, moved to Cleveland from Iowa this past summer for a new job.  As long as we can drive or have an international airport within a short drive, we'll be seeing them wherever they are.

1 comment:

  1. A familiar story. We've been to Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado and now Arizona. Often to several cities in each state. My theory is the next move to visit the grands if they keep moving south... will be Mexico or Argentina...:)