We’re a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll

Aug 09, 2006

#The Flinger Family

I’ve talked about moving before and about how many times I’ve moved in my life. I think the number now sits at 17. In as many years. I spoke of how much I hated selling our house. And how much I hated all our crap. And how insane it made me to wait on the inspection and how much I hated our real estate lady.

And now? Guess what! I’m going to talk more about moving. Don’t roll your eyes. I might talk about my hayhay. Read on.

My In-Laws all live in one location. Both sides of the family. All four thousand cousins and six hundred aunts/uncles/grandmas/frenchies. And if they’re not 15 minutes away, they’re within two hours. And if they’re not within two hours, the family never speaks of them. Like. Ever.

My family, on the other hand, is everywhere. I have no central location to call “home” anymore. I have an Aunt and Uncle here in Portland. My parents are back in Houston. My other Uncle lives somewhere up there and another one somewhere over there. And a great aunt and uncle in San Antonio. My sister, just last weekend, moved to Arizona. I realized, with a sudden thud in my heart, as she drove away, I’m almost all alone. On Christmas when we have forty places to go to the InLaws and all that family, I have my Uncle and my Aunt. My One. Uncle. And. Aunt. Here.

When people ask why we’d move to Seattle, I feel like a total fool sputtering, “uh. it’s pretty?” They ask, “Do you have family there?” and I always answer yes. YES. Well, of COURSE I’d have family. What kind of an idiot moves to where mortgages are more than half your income and you drive ten miles an hour, at best, between 7 and 10 and 3 and 6? Obviously, family would be the only reason to make such a sacrifice.

And I do have family there. I have my adopted sisters, LB’s “Aunties” and the girls I went through that awkward phase known as “college”.

I don’t think this is strange, in these days, to have a family you adopt from your peers. Look at Friends.”  They had their own thanksgiving. They were THERE FOR EACH OTHER (according to the theme song) and since we all know everything we see on TV is fact, I think I believe I’m not odd in adopting a family of my friends. I always say you are born into your family but you adopt your family

So, I guess I’m a little curious. Are you close to your family? Not emotionally, but as in “my inlaws live down the road and my mom and dad are five miles away.” I know some of you have that setup. Sometimes I’m jealous and sometimes I feel totally sorry for you. I haven’t decided how I feel about the 2,000 miles separating me from Oma and the 200 from the InLaws. There are some advantages. There are some disadvantages. But over all, I don’t think I’m lying when I say I have family in Seattle. I do. I just wasn’t born with them.


  1. I am close to my family location-wise (just over an hour from mom-in-law, parents, sister’s family, brother, aunt/uncle). The 80ish miles helps us stay connected, but also allows for a healthy independence!

    I totally agree that friends can become FAMILY - and knowing LB’s aunties - I know your family would have the local support you need, as well as support from your extended family further away!

    Hope your test results show a +!

    By AmyM on 2006 08 09

  2. Ah! *sniff* I’m so happy and blessed to be a part of your family. Seriously, you are my rock Leslie. My life would be a much lonelier place without you. I can’t wait for you to be my neighbor in addition to my sister!

    And as you know, I have family both near and far. My brother and SIL are within miles of me, which I LOVE. Mom and Dad are 3 hours away, which I also LOVE! Like Amy said, close enough to stay connected, but they can’t just “stop by” whenever they want. My aunt and uncle are moving to Arizona in a couple months, so that’s the extent of my local family. The in-laws are a whole different story.

    By Paige (CoraBelle) on 2006 08 09

  3. I have my family close. I was around the corner from my parents, and my inlaws were 4 miles away? Now we are living with them for a few weeks. My sister is 3 miles from me, Kyles brothers are within 5 and 20 miles. Kyles extended family are all with in 40 min and my side are in California and Utah. (and a few states around there, but there is over 60 of us on one side so you cant keep them all in one state..close though)
    BUt nothing wrong with adopted family wink You are lucky to have such wonderful friends smile

    By bree on 2006 08 09

  4. HA!  I’ve got you beat.  At last count, I’ve moved somewhere around 20-22 times (everytime I count, I come up with a slightly different number…pregnancy brain rot talking! LOL).

    In regards to proximity to family, we live 400 miles away from my family and about 3000 miles away from hubby’s family.  All in all, we’re quite happy living that far away from everyone.  They’re all loony in some way or another and neither of us wanted their craziness to affect our kids in anyway.  Plus, we both find each other’s families annoying, so living off by ourselves seems to keep the peace around here.

    By Annie De on 2006 08 10

  5. Unfortunately, my mother lives with me but we aren’t close otherwise.  I have a sister in Fresno and a sister in Reno.

    By Maria on 2006 08 10

  6. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I have no family whatsoever anywhere nearby. My parents live in Arizona, my extended family lives in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky, and my sister lives in North Carolina. I’m here all by myself. I think it’s good to have somewhat of a “buffer zone” from the ‘rents (I think it helped me grow and lose some of the negative traits that I modelled after my parents’ behavior), but other times I think it sucks.

    By JC on 2006 08 10

  7. I live in VA and my parents are 45 minutes away in one direction and my sister is an hour away in the other direction. The rest of my family is in NorCal. My inlaws all live in or around Philadelphia and we are considering moving to Delaware so our son can be raised near family because I wasn’t raised near family and I sometimes feel like a stranger when I visit.

    Friends can definitely become family. I consider my mother’s best friend my aunt and I’m sure my son will consider my friends aunts as well.

    By jomama on 2006 08 10

  8. When we got married, we moved here - a five hour drive from my closest family member (my brother, geographically), and a four hour drive through Atlanta traffic (read: a seven hour drive) from my in-laws.  My parents (my mother only technically) lives six and a half hours away, but she spends most of her time at my grandmother’s house - an eight hour drive.  Extended family is a two day drive down near the Mississippi coast for the most part, although their scattered a bit.

    Sometimes, it’s great.  Sometimes, it sucks.  Would we like to live closer?  We’ve always planned on moving back closer since we first talked about moving here - to The Land of No Family and No Friends (Aside from Hubby’s Office Mates).  Now that we have Lil’ Whiskey, the argument is complicated - this is a fantastic place to raise a child.  We’d have a hard time finding an area like where we live anywhere else.  But we want her to grow up close to family.

    It would also be nice to have babysitters. smile

    By Seuss on 2006 08 10

  9. My parents and our family share a very large piece of land, it actually works out well, especially with DH going out of town on business so much.  Its great to have the support so close, Lord knows with these 3 there have been enough ER trips in the middle of the night and if I didn’t have them so close I don’t know what I would have done.

    DH’s family is spread out, some in TX, MA, MI, FL, and some still here in ME, but they are pretty whack so we try to steer clear.

    By JakesGirl on 2006 08 10

  10. My family is scattered throughout the NW (dad in WA, mom in MT, brother in Portland and moving to tri-cities next year, grandparents in OR and ID and my favorite aunt and uncle in Spokane) and where do I decide to unpack…TN.  Yeah, not so near.

    By Marjorie on 2006 08 10

  11. I look forward to reading your blog every day.  Thanks for sahring the good and bad!  On that note, I envy you in a way.  My Husbannd and I both moved nine states away to go to school and remained far away from family since then.  Just this year, my (high maintenence!!) sister has moved ten miles from us.  Even more fun, my Husband’s mom decided to move here from PA for a year to babysit my son who is six months.  I suddenly feel completely surrounded by crazy people!!!  Wishful thoughts run through my head of packing a bag a nd the Pack & Play and running far enough away that a call would be required before the “drop in”.  I believe that family is very importatn for my son, but selfishly, I would like to decide whom is family.  Good luck.

    By Pam on 2006 08 10

  12. Absolutely, I have chosen my own family from my closest friends. When we move to the PNW, we are recruiting a bunch of them to come with us. We joke about having a commune, but we’re kind of serious too.

    My parents talk about retiring nearby (I told them they can’t be closer than an hour’s drive) and I’m like, “Meh.” But I want our friends, like, next door.

    You know how on Big Love the three wive’s houses all combined back yards? Like that. How cool would that be?

    I have a much higher tolerance for people in my business if it’s not blood relations. hahaha.

    By Laura on 2006 08 10

  13. Well, I keep TRYING to get away from my mom, but every time I move, she moves close to me again!  First it was from Arizona to Kansas, and then to my town in Kansas and then a few blocks away in my town, and NOW she lives 5 houses away (“Just 122 leisurely steps” as my husband likes to say)! 

    But at least now I can keep an eye on her and we don’t have to go far to take care of all those little “projects” she comes up with!  smile

    By Katie Kat on 2006 08 10

  14. Oh… and the family I WANT to have livng closer to me (i.e., my sister or brother) all live far away even tho I beg them to move to my town.  For some reason they just won’t come live near me.. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Maybe it’s cuz my Mom keeps following me everywhere!  Ha!  (We really do love her, I swear.  No, really!  We do!)

    By Katie Kat on 2006 08 10

  15. We are pretty close to our family.  My parents live an hour away, and Steve’s entire family (except for one cousin, which bites, because I really like her and have a lot in common with her) lives an hour away in the other direction. 

    We did not necessarily plan to be THIS close, but I got a job here.  We did, however, move back to Home State from Grad School State on purpose, and I concentrated my job search here.  Sometimes I was frustrated with that choice, because it really limited our options, but I think it was the right decision for us.

    Can friends become family?  Absolutely.  Some of the best holiday memories I have are from grad school holiday gatherings.  Those people were my family then, and still are today—even though WE are the “far flung relatives” as we all graduated and moved on.

    By silene on 2006 08 10

  16. OH! Let us know how the test goes today.

    Yes, my dad, mother, and inlaws live within 45 minutes of us (as well as my BIL, my big bro and one of my big sisters). It’s great because we’ve only had to pay for a babysitter once. But I think it’s awesome you’ve found your own family there. Friends are definitely family. In fact, sometimes I’d prefer to be around them.

    By Jamie on 2006 08 10

  17. We’re far from family—both actual and “adopted.”  Both families, including two sets of parents and three sisters plus kids and husbands, are within a 15 mile radius of each other in Arizona.  We?  Are in Tennessee.  All of my best girlfriends are from other lifetimes (college, grad school, early work experience) and are also scattered across the nation.

    I like to think that they’re strategically placed so that no matter where we go, I’ll have a “sister.”

    Good luck with that poke.  I guess it’ll tell you if the other one worked.

    By Sitting Still on 2006 08 10

  18. We live in Virginia.  My mom lives here too, about 20 minutes away.  I absolutely love being in the same city as her.  My dad lives in Texas with his (whore) wife and their daughter.  I guess she is my 1/2 sister but then I’d have to care.  Bitter, much?  My MIL and FIL live in NJ.  Not far enough.  On the moon would be better, especially now that they have retired, purchased an RV and think nothing of just showing up in town without notice.  Ugh!  My older sister lives here too and we don’t even speak.  My youngest sister lives here and I hope she never moves.  My second youngeste sister lives in Missouri and that is way too far away. 

    The family I have “chosen” - some live here, some far away.

    By CPA MOM on 2006 08 10

  19. My parents, sister and brother-in-law and their two kids all live here in town, only 15 minutes away from us. I love being near them. If anyone in our small, close-knit family did move, it would be us. But, I’m not sure if I could move away from my born-into family or my *family* of friends.

    My husband’s family is in Indiana and a while back we considered moving there to be closer to his other two kids, but they’re 16 and 18. Once they graduate from high school, they’ll leave that little Indiana town and there wouldn’t be much point for us to live there. They only have ONE Starbucks for crying out loud!

    So, for now, we’ll stay here and try to rennovate this shoebox in which we live or buy a bigger house that’s not in as nice a neighborhood where we live now. There’s always some challenge, isn’t there?  smile

    By Colleen on 2006 08 10

  20. my family has always been cast out to the 4 corners of the world but my husbands entire family lives almost completely in the same county. And it is fabulous. I love them all but I got lucky there, his whole family is made up of good people.

    Having a close-knit family is way under-rated. Who else can help you in a pinch than them?

    By texasbelle on 2006 08 10