Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Insanity Plan

It is called the Insanity Plan because that is just what it is.

For those of you who read this humble blog with some regularity, you may recall that we have wanted to leave L.A. for some time and move to the Vancouver area.

Those desires have only increased with time. Especially since our return from our vacation last month.

The Insanity Plan calls for us just packing up and leaving. Moving. No jobs, just leaving.

Don't get me wrong, I have applied to a number of districts in the area and it seems once I get up there I may not have a problem getting steady work as a substitute teacher if I do not land a full time job before the next school year begins.

We would make an absurd amount of money from the sale of our house. Somewhere in the neighborhood of four years pay. Clear profit.

This whole thing is insane because I would be leaving a tenured position at one of our better high schools where I am department chair and occassionally receive some of the benefits that come with all of the above.

If we moved, we would have no jobs, though my wife and I have decided that if we did move, she would stay home for at least a year with the kids and use the time to get her fibro under control.

No health insurance (we would have to purchase our own if I did not get a job by next fall).

I would be only giving one month's notice.

I have a bit of a reputation with my students that I would miss.

I would be losing the retirement time I have built up with the state retiremnt program. Washington's benefits are only half of what California's is.

In essence, I would be starting over. As if I was a twenty something new teacher. Only I'm 36, have a wife, two kids and a mortgage.

And yet, I can't help thinking getting out of L.A. under almost any circumstances might be good for my family in the long run.

I'm especially motivated by the prospect of my wife getting healthier, for she has been steadily going downhill for the past two years.

When I think of leaving, after I get past the mourning, I actually get a little excited that I would also be leaving behind all the B.S. that exists at my school. True, I would be trading it for new B.S. at another school. But at least it would be new B.S.

It is ugly here. It is pretty there.

Aside from my family and my job, I'm not really attached to anything here. My family is transportable.

And this reallt seems to be the year to fish or cut bait. With the housing market slowing and fuel prices going up, my real estate friends tell me that my house will never be worth this much again anytime soon. This seems to be the year that if it is going to happen, itneeds to because time is not on our side.

I can't recall anything recently that I have been this torn up about.

The adventurer in me says go.

The kid in me who grew up on welfare says "you idiot, you don't leave one job unless you already have another one to replace it."

My wife has had her bags packed for years.

Please pray for us.

Peace and good health to all.

Monday, May 29, 2006

In Their Honor

I took my oldest boy to a Memorial Day service this morning.

We talked about what the day means and why it was important to remember and honor those who have died serving our armed forces.

I hope he got it.

Anyway, being surrounded by the ceremony and colors of service, it reminded me of my trip to Arlington National Cemetary when I was in Washington D.C. two weeks ago. This is the most memorable picture I took that day. It seems appropriateon this occassion.

The procession was heading toward the newest area of the cemetary.

Where the bury the dead from the Iraq War.

Nothing on CNN could be more compelling and powerful. My students were absolutely speechless as we watched it go by.

Pray for the families of our armed forces.

Peace to all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mother's Day

My Love,

It is my sincerest hope that I demonstrate to you every day how much I value, appreciate and admire your mothering our children. I cannot imagine raising two children with any other person. Your innate skill at shepharding our children, our family never stops amazing me. While I'm still trying to figure out the basics, you seem to be writing the advanced users manual of parenting. I'm so glad we have you.

I want to thank you for all that your very presence means to this family. It is no exaggeration when I say that the three of us would be lost without you. Thank you for giving me two of the most brilliant children on the face of this earth. Everything that is good about them comes from you. From Dominic's creativity, love of reading and strong will to Aidan's love of cuddling, sensitivty and independance. They have you to thank for all these wonderful attributes.

But it is not just them that you have to parent at times.

Sadly, I still have so much growing up to do myself, that you are saddled with finishing the job that I have never completed. Thank you for being patient with me.

Though at times you may feel as though you are failing, be assured that nothing could be further from the truth. I have seen motherhood fail, you my dear are the polar opposite. When I consider certain circumstances and weigh your reactions to mine and see the instictive skill you possess as a parent. . .it is humbling. You make me want to be a better father for the sakle of our boys.

In my heart, 'thank you' is not enough, but it is a start. We have a lifetime left for me to show you how truly great a mom you are and for you to see you are making two fine young men by being the best mom they could ever hope for.

Happy Mother's Day.