Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why Jackson?

That is the question posed to me more than the "why China?" one, which really surprizes me. Jackson is a town of 35,000 or so, located about 20 miles west of Ann Arbor. Several years ago, when I was in the beginning stages of planning for my 2006 retirement , I knew we would sell our house and move to a condo so that I could have a U.S. "base". The original plan was to return to Chile. But as you can see, we're taking a bit of a detour on that route!

The basic requirements for a condo were 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, laundry room, access to the outside, a garage and to be less expensive than the currrent house. We began to visit communities and condo complexes. It really was a process of elimination. We wanted out of Wayne County. We didn't want to go north or east. That left us south and west. To the south was Monroe. Nice - we liked the idea of being this close to Ohio - but couldn't find a condo that met our criteria. That left west. Ypsilanti was too urban, Ann Arbor way too expensive, the villages of Milan and Tecumseh too small, Chelsea (almost!), Dexter and Grass Lake were difficult in finding a 3 bedroom reasonably priced condo...(is this sounding like Goldilocks?), so we kept heading west on I-94 to Jackson and found what we were looking for, and the bonus - it's brand new! And we couldn't be happier!! Although it has only been 2 months, we love living in Jackson. Nice people, no trafffic, no long wait in lines and everything we need is nearby. We have deer, turkeys and rabibits (and also the average human variety) for neighbors in a peaceful and pretty surrounding. Everyday we marvel on how our new home is a perfect fit for us. We live in a big enough town that's not too small, it's close to larger cities (Lansing/Ann Arbor), and it's an hour from the airport and minutes from parks, lakes and nature.

We moved in late May and since then the kids have been to several progams at the library, took swimming lessons and attended a "camp". The "camp" for pre-schoolers was sponsored by a Wesleyan church located at our corner - I saw the sign outside and signed them up! It was unbelievable! The program ran for three 2 hour blocks and a final 2 hour festival. For $15 (!!!), each child particpated in nine (very nice) craft actviites and three outdoor actvities (like an obstactle course), had their picture taken and were given two t-shirts. Each session began and ended with three "Jesus Loves Me" type songs and a Bible story. (I was expecting way more religion.) The final night festival included the songs, a display of all the projects, popcorn and snowcones and those huge inflatable bounce/slide things. The kids loved it and I was so impressed with the quality of everything. (I don't think we Catholics could pull off something like that!)

So that's a few of our experiences so far. We're just sorry that we won't have more time this summer to explore and enjoy. But it's very satisfying and reassuring to know that we'll be returning home to a very nice and welcoming place.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Aunt Peggy and I were looking at your blog and we both thought how Cool it was. We are looking forward to hearing about all of your stories as you are in China. We wish you all the best. Stay safe and well. Take care of yourselves. We Love you.

Aunt Peggy and Sandy