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CAPTIVE
We are ruining Karin's life. RUINING it. How, you might ask? By living where we do (and by not letting her do ANYTHING, EVER but that's another post). How COULD we choose to live in Flyinge? What in god's name possessed us? WHAT WERE WE THINKING?

That's the gist of the text conversation I had with her this afternoon, while I was trying to get through the afternoon of my first day back at work after 2.5 weeks off. Good thing she wasn't in arm's reach or she might no longer have arms herself or at least thumbs to text with.

She thinks we live in the Boonies. The Sticks. BFE. And she's sort of right. It IS the sticks, for a 15-year-old girl with a very busy social life and a devouring need to be surrounded by her peers at all times. But I'm more and more glad of it. Imagine what we'd be going through if she had easy access to everything she wants...the grass is always greener on the other side of Flyingebygden.

We live in Flyinge. For lots of reasons. First because it was within the circle we drew around Malmö and Lund when we first started house-hunting over 17 years ago. Just within, but still. It's 10 minutes by car from Lund, where we both work and where Martin goes to school and where Karin will also go to school next year.

Second, because it was cheaper. By far. To buy a house in Flyinge 17 years ago was less than half the price of buying a similarly-sized house in Lund. I think the difference has increased now. Lund is EXPENSIVE. And Malmö isn't appealing: it's too big. If I wanted big city, I could have stayed in Chicago :D ...it's enough to visit once in a while, nowadays.

Third, because it's quiet and safe. It's a great place to raise a family and not surprisingly, she didn't have any problem with living here at all until she started playing soccer in Södra Sandby and then switched to school there. Living here is soothing. There are birds chirping and horses nickering and pheasants rattling around the backyard. It's peaceful.

Yeah, it's a little far away from social activity and that adds up, in an economy where gas prices are so high, but it's worth it. It means you think just a little bit harder about what plans you make and how often you make them. If everything you want to do has a travel price attached, maybe it gives you pause about whether you really want or need to do it. But I'm not a 15-year-old either. I know it's hard. But I think it's good for her. And for us.

Flyinge is tiny. It had under 1000 inhabitants 4 years ago and I suspect it's probably holding even. There are approximately 800 horses in the area, but I don't know if they're holding steady or catching up. There is no store or bank or post office anymore. There is only a pizzeria, a hair salon, a school, a junkyard, 3 daycares and a bunch of soccer fields.

Of the 26 kids in Karin's elementary class, she hangs out with none nowadays. All of her friends (except one), and her boyfriend, live in or around Södra Sandby (the next largest village over) or Lund. Sandby has over 6000 people. Lund has nearly 10,000.

But I'm glad she (and her brother, who also only has friends outside of our village) have to work a bit to get to the "big city," and that they have to take the bus or bike or moped to get there.

And lastly, we live here because of our house. I love this house, that we chose and built and fixed and made ours. I know we'll move someday (at which point Karin will probably declare in outraged tones that OH SURE NOW YOU MOVE) but I am not looking forward to it. This house is a sanctuary for me. Anders doesn't feel exactly the same, I know...he's mentioned moving once or twice, but I'm not ready, not by a long shot. And I think that it's good for us to be out here, in the countryside, in a quieter space.

Anyway, I know she isn't going to appreciate any of this now. But maybe she will later. Maybe when she starts her own family and realizes someday the same reasons might actually apply to her. And if not, that's okay, too. Either way, we'll have moved by then, I bet.
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: Neon Trees—Foolish Behavior
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Comments

30 years? She can't even stand the wait to 18 WHEN SHE CAN DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS. srsly.

June 2018
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