What does this mean?

Accepting a position with Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Watertown, Wis., prompts a lot of good questions. Where will I live? Where will Paul live? What does this mean for Paul’s work, our condo, and our community at St. Luke’s?

Good questions, indeed. Our answers vary around three themes: (A) Don’t know; (B) It’s complicated; and (C) Any advice?

Complicating matters: We bought our beautiful, accessible, ideally located condo at the height of the real estate bubble.  In 35 years of hyphenated life, Paul and I have never lived apart. We have always enjoyed commutes under 15 minutes. And, I admit, I was much braver when I was just hypothetically thinking about a two-household marriage, especially before I fractured an ankle bone.

Don’t get me wrong; I get a charge out of moving. Since 1988, we’ve moved four times in Park Ridge. I’ve joked that I’d rather move than clean.

Watertown (click link to see Wis-Ill map) is half-way, as the car drives, between our home in Park Ridge, Ill. and Stevens Point, Wis. (Annie, Sean, “Scooter” and Hank-the-wonder-dog’s home). It’s 4.5 hours between Park Ridge and Stevens Point.

It would be nice to find a place to rent that (1) is close to Bethesda and offers an easy exit to Park Ridge; and (2) is affordable enough to maintain two households as long as that’s necessary. In my dreams this rental would be suitable as our sole home, when that becomes an option.

We welcome your ideas, advice, recommendations and leads.  Know anyone who would like a great deal on a sweet Park Ridge condo (own, rent-to-own)? Any nominations for a new home town? And, since it looks like we’ll need to become a two-car family, any recommendations for a fuel-efficient, good-in-snow, modest-cost vehicle? Am I crazy for considering selling our beloved low-mileage 2004 Toyota Prius to provide the down payment on two new cars?

–Sue Edison-Swift (6/9/2011)

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