adventure · blog · Portfolio

And Away We Go…

Moving across the country (well, from the coast to midwest anyway) is not without its own type of adventure. Trouble is the more appropriate word, but adventure is a more positive outlook.

We finally made the big move from Central VA (about 3 hours from the eastern coast) to the midwestern part of Ohio. This puts me within an hour driving distance of my best friend and writing partner, Amanda Mabry. To me this means the business can only grow even more now that we have eliminated the miles between us.

Yes, I moved 500+ miles to be closer to my best friend. Cue the Proclaimers (which is now considered “our song.”)

And how this all came to be is really an adventure all its own.

Virginia is a very expensive state to live in. Where we used to live wasn’t as bad as northern VA was. Most NOVA employed peeps actually commute from where we used to live (and still do) because the COL is a bit lower. It’s grown quite a bit over the past couple of decades though. For us, it seemed like the more income we made, the less we could provide for ourselves. For an old-fashioned Army veteran raised to be the breadwinner for his family, this became especially hard. No matter how hard he worked, we could never get ahead. In fact, despite doing all the right things, we got further and further behind. We even had to stop taking the trips to Ohio I needed to make for business purposes.

The few times we came to Ohio as a family (and doing some serious house hunting), Hubs was unable to get the incredible difference of Ohio vs. VA out of his mind. He finally came out and said “Babe, you still want to move to Ohio?”

As if he even needed to ask.

We found our house at the beginning of January. 1006 miles per weekend, we drove back and forth.. securing jobs, hauling a few things, setting up utilities, and paying mortgage along with rent. OMG this was a rough (but awesome) start to 2018. The more progress we made in relocating to Ohio, the more VA decided to kick our asses. Anything VA could do to “hurt” us on the way out, it did.

Take away our state tax refund? Check. (yeah, we owed personal property taxes, which only counted for a small portion, but they found ways to eat our entire refund anyway.)

Sell Stephanie an SUV with a bad transmission to lug a Uhaul trailer with? Check. This is an adventure for another day entirely. It deserves a blog post of it’s own. Definitely an “adventure.”

Decide to withhold money so we can only travel on what’s left of Hub’s payroll after bills are paid? Check. I can’t stress enough how much we wanted a Uhaul truck to just load and go. Didn’t happen. In fact, as I write this now, I am still waiting for Hubs to return from VA with the rest of our furniture and goods (and himself).

But, I am very happy and delighted with most of the discoveries I am finding as I settle in my new home with my kids. I have only found 2 flaws so far…

  • The cost for a license and permit is a lot higher and all new drivers regardless of age are required to get a permit first.
  • I haven’t found a Ruby Tuesday close to my house yet.

If these are the only flaws I can find, I’d say we are doing pretty good. To say I am ecstatic about the taxes is an understatement.

  • Ohio has no food tax. Va taxes EVERYTHING
  • Ohio has no vehicular taxes. We pay personal property taxes for all vehicles we own in VA twice a year. We will be transferring our registrations soon!!

More reasons to love Ohio more than Virginia?

  • Everything is cheaper here. This is no joke. Our house would cost $325K+ in VA. Here it is below $100K. An amazing deal we couldn’t pass up. The fact that I am in love with this house is a bonus. I can’t wait til we get all the furniture in here so I can finish decorating.
  • Ohio has no state inspection requirements.
  • The schools automatically offer free breakfast and lunch to every child.
  • Our new home town is HUGE and different at every turn. As my stepson says “The sidewalks lead everywhere.” Yes, they do. I love that.
  • My house has 2 porches and a double deck. (yeah I know it’s not a real comparison between OH and VA but I had to share.)
  • OSU colors are better than UVA.
  • Men are way more chivalrous up here than they are in VA. Seriously, they put VA men to shame. As much as I’ve heard about southern gentlemen, I am honestly beginning to believe northern gentleman are better.

I missed writing. I had all these ideas and nowhere/no time to put them down anywhere. We turned off our cable services to cut back on our expenses as we moved (and OH beats VA in cable service prices too!).

It is good to be getting back to my normal routine. Did ya miss me?

I wanted to add a good closing video here but all of the songs are either where someone died or a romantic relationship gone bad, so instead I’ll leave you with a video created by Amanda Mabry… If you haven’t subscribed to this channel yet, don’t leave without doing it! Well worth your time.

Looking for some reading to make these last few winter days fly by?
Why not pick up a copy of The 13: Tales of Illusory or Ambrosia: A poetry collection today? Don’t forget a portion of every purchase of Ambrosia is sent to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

You can also donate to my birthday fundraiser (Until March 2, 2018) to support the AFSP as well through my FB page here.


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