Family meeting time

My kids are now old enough for us to have family meetings about important topics. This sorta blows my mind. I never participated in this kind of thing as a kid. I was told what was happening to me, not asked what I wanted. Or I would be given a shitty non-choice. “Do you want to go to abusive home A or probably abusive home B with folks you’ve never met before?”

My kids are pretty sure we should move. We really want a bigger house. Not a fantastically huge house, but bigger. The kids want to have rooms they can leave messy without it being common space.Β I don’t blame them.

We are looking at house porn around the country. I’d like to spend less than $300,000. That means… not one of the biggest places.

Southern Oregon, Louisville Kentucky, Cincinnati Ohio (Have you seen the houses there?!?!?!?!), Knoxville Tennessee, and maybe Boulder Colorado. Depends on how much I don’t like other places. I’m not sure which other cities we’ll try.

We still want to spend a season in Washington DC going to museums and the transition year out of CA and into where ever we land is a great time to do that.

Overseas is interesting but… pot is illegal most of the places we would be interested in moving. Including some of the states we are looking at. That’s not a great thing.

Pot is legal (at least medically) in Ohio, Oregon, and Colorado. Oregon is allowing third gender IDs. That’s a big draw. But Oregon is so white. Like, did you know that between 2010 and 2016 Oregon went from being 83% white to being 87% white? That’s… yeah.

Oh fuck. Kentucky is 88% white. California is 72% white. Whoa. That’s… interesting. Hm. White/non-Hispanic is only 37%. For Kentucky the white/non-Hispanic is… 85%.

For Tennessee the numbers are 78%/74%. (white/white+ non-Hispanic). Ohio: 82%/79%.

Hm. So these are all fucktastically white places. I’m kidding myself. Hm. California has a lot of white Hispanics and that’s a huge chunk of the white population.

White. What does being white mean? I live in a country that is mostly white.Β For the whole country the numbers are 76%/61% for white or white/non-Hispanic.

That makes it sound like leaving California means leaving for Whitelandia.

Florida is 77%/54%. But I can’t handle the weather. Full stop.

Arizona is 83%/55%.

I am noticing some weather patterns here.

Ok. So unless I want to start baking my sorry ass I need to accept that I’m moving to a massively white place. Portland isn’t more so. 76%/72% for the city of Portland. You know what? I need to stop being an asshole. Portland is doing better than many of the places we are considering. I apologize to my Portlandians for the slander I have ignorantly displayed.


It’s changing though. I need to stop being a dick.


I don’t want to move to Portland in large part because I deeply value the relationships I have there and I’m completely convinced that if I leaned on any of them more heavily they would evaporate. My strong impression is that a visit a year is about the max load I can put on those people. And skipping some years makes the next visit go better.

I don’t want to fuck up the welcome I have. I love these people so much.

OH MY GOD THIS HOUSE HAS AN INDOOR POOL WITH A FUCKING DISCO BALL. It’s $250,000. Clearly Oregon has something to recommend it.

But yeah. This will be huge.

I scared.

I’ve been in the bay solidly for 20 years. Intermittently for 30 years. That’s a long time.

18 thoughts on “Family meeting time

  1. Your Submissive

    Didn’t Nevada just legalize pot a few days ago? Las Vegas is too hot, but Reno maybe? And I think Nevada has relatively low housing costs.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      We had a family meeting before the vasectomy reversal. We told the kids we were considering another baby but we wanted their go ahead because it’ll change everyone’s life. We talked about how all engrossing it is for me. We talked about how much money would leave the family coffers to pay for surgery and how we wouldn’t be able to do a bunch of other things because having a kid is expensive.

      Our kids *begged* me to get pregnant. So I did. They really want a sibling.

  2. Michelle

    I worry about the snow in Cincinnati for you.
    Have you considered Asheville, NC, -very white but culturally similar to Santa Cruz. Some of the parts of upstate NY I was in you might like. My friend lives in Wappingers Falls and Beacon was fun.

    In TN I hear lots of good things about Chattanooga and many of the suburbs around Nashville like Franklin. I do miss Knoxville.

    If you can handle hot hot hot I enjoyed Austin TX. Part of my heart is in Albuquerque. Though lots of Albuquerque is rougher than here.

    Seattle and the Durham area are more affordable than here and have lots of tech jobs.

    In the South, Mobile and its environs feel more tied to the gulf and New Orleans than the rest of Deep South culture.

    Complicated stuff.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      I worry about Cincinnati too. But upstate New York is colder. Cincinnati is interesting primarily because it is an up and coming city that is still SO CHEAP.

      I have considered NC but I’m frankly terrified of hurricanes. Knoxville seems to be *juuuuuuuust* far enough from the coast to not sustain so much damage.

      My buddy who moved back from Nashville told me to avoid the city and the area. She says elsewhere in TN is different but just… not Nashville.

      No Texas. No Texas. No Texas. NO TEXAS. Ahem. Noah’s family lives there and I’d rather cut my arm off than live near them.

      Can’t do Albuquerque. Too hot. My bowels will liquify permanently.

      Seattle… I have a bunch of history in Seattle and I don’t think I’d fit in culturally all that well.

      Durham: hurricanes. The deep south it is less about culture and more about the heat + hurricanes.

      1. Michelle

        that part of upstate NY I mentioned is barely upstate πŸ™‚ not nearly as cold as the other cities I mentioned and an easy ride to NYC by train. but I gather that even that mght still be too cold.

        I didnt think Durham and especially Asheville were near hurricanes? I’ve never actually been to Durham though I spent a lot of weekends in Asheville.

        I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you.

        1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

          As with my horse shit assumption that Portland was more white than anywhere else I could be over estimating hurricane risk. The way folks over estimate earthquake risk. πŸ™‚

          Being an easy train ride to NYC is not an upsell for me. I don’t intend to ever visit the city again. It’s not for me.

  3. K

    Very Northern CA is more affordable and still beautiful. Humbolt is also very green friendly, and still has beaches and redwoods. Also, very white.
    Central coast has some much less expensive areas than Aptos. I love the drive to Paso Robles and that whole area. SLO is getting pricey but also Arroyo Grande down through Santa Maria is nice. I’m such a CA girl I couldn’t leave this state though!
    Portland’s food scene is so good it would be dangerous for me to live there!

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      All good points. My CA identity is huge for me. I did tell Noah that it is possible we will explore the country and flee back to CA because my weird ass won’t fit in anywhere else.

      I worry about Humboldt being impacted by global warming over the next few years. Otherwise…. oh the redwoods. They are MY trees. The only trees that look like REAL TREES THANKYOUVERYMUCH. (I’m so bigoted about trees.)

  4. P.

    I feel like hurricanes aren’t as big of a deal as you’re thinking. I lived in Florida for 8 years, there were some scares but they never got as far inland as we were. (I’m not saying the heat in sub-tropical climates is pleasant. I am definitely not saying that.)

    I have developed an interest in tropical storms now that I live in a place where they happen (there was one under 100km away last month), but I was also never actually afraid of earthquakes. My first one was sort of jarring, but I also understood the risks. But I also come from people who, upon moving to California shortly after the ’89 quake, put a map of fault-lines on the living room wall, so.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      The thing is, past history of hurricanes is not very indicative of what is going to happen over the next 100 years with rising temperatures and rising sea levels. Shit is going to get much much worse.

      Earthquakes don’t scare me. I’ve been through a bunch. I can cope with that kind of damage. Water chasing my house I can’t cope with.

    2. Noah

      I remember hurricanes being pretty bad in Texas. Even aside from Katrina and the other one around that time (both after I left), I remember Alicia when I was growing up, and several others that were pretty bad.

      They weren’t, like, destroy-the-house bad. But they really weren’t good. And as Krissy says, there are indications that it’ll be getting worse.

  5. Blacksheep

    “I don’t want to move to Portland in large part because I deeply value the relationships I have there and I’m completely convinced that if I leaned on any of them more heavily they would evaporate. My strong impression is that a visit a year is about the max load I can put on those people. And skipping some years makes the next visit go better.”

    EYEROLL. Sigh. I can’t speak to the other Portlanders, but I’m pretty darn good at setting my own boundaries. Let me.

    On the subject of cost, Portland ain’t cheap. At least not Portland proper.

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