Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today Grouchy and I spent the entire day in western Idaho looking around. The Nampa Valley area is just perfectly beautiful. The valley is surrounded by high desert mountains. Down in the valley the land is rolling with irrigation ditches and rivers and the likes bringing life+water to the crops. We saw fields of alfalfa for hay, alfalfa for seed, onions, sugar beets, types of grain like wheat, along with apples, grapes, and tree farms of ornamental trees. I am sure we didn't see everything there in the way of crops, but that was a lot!! We saw dairy farms, horse ranches, cattle ranches, sheep, goats and an occasional llama . The little towns were each unique with lots of little hometown, small town America stores, restaurants, and very nice people. We worshipped at a small church in Homedale where we were included in partaking of the second Sunday potluck lunch, even though we didn't bring a pot of anything!! The parishioners were so sweet. One couple in particular came to this area much the same way we did.....had a dream, wanted a change, moved here with small kids, and will never leave. Everyone we talk to loves it here. And we can see why.We had researched areas around the United States where we thought the climate would offer cooler temperatures than our current home in southern Louisiana. Summer highs in July and August are averaging 91, but lows average in the 50s. So while there is a peak of heat in the mid day hours, the night's cooling keeps much of the day pleasant. In the dead winter month of January, the high averages 37, and lows average in the upper teens. So there are a couple of cold months, then many mild months, and a summer that is warm enough for outdoor water park fun, but not unbearable for days on end.

But there's the real life issue of leaving family now. Grouchy's whole family lives within 40 minutes of our current home in Louisiana. They are amazing, loving, and some of the best friends I have ever had. It is very hard to tell them we are planning to leave. It is hard for many of them. We feel a terribly heavy sense of sadness at leaving them. That said......

The heat is an increasing problem for Addie and Garrett. We noticed Addie struggling with the heat beginning about 4 years ago. Each year since then, she has had more trouble with the heat. Addie LOVES being outside, riding her horse, and just enjoying the freedom of being out in the wide open. However, when she goes outside in temperatures over about 75, she wilts. It is a visible wilting, no kidding. She already cannot walk very long distances as it is, and the head makes that tons worse. It has been explained to us that mito kids often do not sweat (we are just now noticing that she doesn't) and cannot regulate their temperatures well - disautonomia. Some have trouble with cold, some with hot, some with both. In the heat, their energy is rapidly depleted as so much energy is used to keep the body remain at 98.6. But when it is hotter, they will even run a fever as the heat gets to them and they cannot naturally sweat and cool. Addie and Garrett seem to be okay with cold for now, but hot is torture. Just this summer Garrett has been able to vocalize that he is hot. He will go outside with us for a few minutes and then get very aggravated and start saying, "I hot. I tired. I go inside!" He will get some milk or water, then head back out...each time the outdoor sessions getting shorter and shorter. Addie will do her best to go with us out to the barn to get the horses and ride, but by the time she makes the 100 yeard walk to the pasture to get her halter for her horse, Lucy, she is wilted. She will usually slip back inside without telling us. We will go on getting our horses ready, then go find her. She will be inside on her bed reading a book. She will almost always look defeated. When we ask how she is and apologize for not seeing her come inside, she will almost always try to blow it off and just let us know it was to hot and that she is enjoying her book.

However, a few weeks ago, one of her friends was over for a riding lesson I was teaching, and Addie came out so she could ride during the lesson with her friend, Laura. I knew Addie had gotten dressed and was headed out to ride, but then I had to come back inside to get into my jeans and boots. It was so hot I was waiting until the last moment before I changed our of shorts. When I came inside, I sat on my bed to pull on my boots, and Addie came to me crying and very, very sad. She asked me to please not sell Lucy, her horse. We have never even suggested we would sell her, and we never push Addie to stay in the heat too much because we know this isn't something she can "get over" or "toughen up" for. But Addie went on to say that she felt bad that we bought her a nice horse and she doesn't seem to want to spend time with her. She told me that she wanted more than anything to be outside riding everyday, all day. She said she wanted to be outdoors all day and spend time taking care of all the horses and hang out in the barn. And then I began to sob, helplessly, along with her. Here's my baby girl, complete outdoorsy kid, and honestly thinks we might think she is a slacker!!!! I reassured her that Grouchy and I are doing all we can to get her and our household to a better climate.

And thus our trip here, our planned move over 2000 miles from try to do all we can for these kids, our kids, to prolong their enjoyment of their childhood. Living trapped in a body that cannot tolerate the things a kid should be able to enjoy is really unfair.

Tomorrow, we will meet our realtor, Maureen, in person for the first time. I found her while house hunting online a few months ago. She has horses and rides trails all over this area of Idaho. Near the Nampa Valley area, there are mountains where there are even herds of wild horses roaming!! We will meet her in Homedale, Idaho, tomorrow for a morning of touring 6-7 properties. There is one in particular that we are hoping will work out for us as it has a guest house as well as a pretty nice main house. We are looking at homes with land larger than 10 acres so we have room for the horses, 4-H livestock projects, room to ride and make a running/walking path, and maybe even till a little soil and plant some hay or crops.

While we have always dreamed of having more land than the three acres we have now, and we have thought it would be cool to live in the western USA, the children's health issues and heat intolerance put us over the edge with our decision making.

This is a fun trip, but there is always the undertone of making a huge decision and making sure we make the best one we can......simplify, make life more comfortable for the children, and maintain our family relationships with our families in LA and AL.
Addie and Ainslee went to a water and amusement park with my mom and a dear friend in Alabama. The girls had a blast!! Garrett hung out with my father, Pop, all day.

Grouchy and I enjoyed two long walks this morning and one a few minutes ago after dinner at a yummy Mexican place. Time for sleep..yay!! Had noisy neighbors working out above us at both midnight and about 6 am this morning!! Hopefully they have checked out!!!

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