Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Red Oak Iowa

It's June! That means our family is officially halfway through Jason's six-month stint in NYC. While for the most part I'm focused on just surviving until September, there's always the question of, What next?

While we're exploring multiple options, the possibility of relocating to a small Iowa town named Red Oak recently surfaced. This is not at ALL a strong probability--far from being a job offer, we're not even sure we'd apply should the firm be hiring. Even so, the remote possibility sparked enough interest to take a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive to Red Oak.

Red Oak (population 5700) is fifty miles from downtown Omaha. Usually it takes about an hour to drive, although if you're following my father's extremely circuitous scenic route, it could take you two hours plus. The surrounding countryside is quite pretty with all of the rolling hills and farmland, although Brooklyn did inquire, "But where would we rappel?"

In general, the community seems to be thriving. We didn't take many photos, but here are a few, posted mainly so that Jason can get a glimpse of the town from afar.

The Community Library, obviously lovely:

But just so we don't give any false impressions, this is the building on the other side of the intersection.  Tuesday night Bingo, anyone?

I definitely could pass on this foreclosure.

This home was also for sale--something quite attainable for our family.

This beauty, on the other hand, was not for sale.  But oh, how I wish!

We paused to take a photo of the green town center...

...and realized that we'd paused right in front of the office building of the firm Jason is interested in.

So Peanut Butter, what are the chances of your getting the bay window?  :)

While our family would probably hang around St. George a bit longer if given the option, considering Red Oak has given me lots to ponder.  I've worried that New York may be too big for us, but what is too small?   Would I feel isolated and bored in a town of 5000?  Or would our family thrive in a small community?  Ultimately, I believe that being together is most important.  With a conscious decision to make the best of whatever situation, we will bloom wherever planted.


Jason said...

Just think, our family would increase the population by one tenth of one percent! As opposed to living in NYC, where there are more people on a single block than in the entire city (and probably county) of Red Oak. Still, as I run from train to bus to ferry and back to train again, jostled to and fro by thousands of other bodies, all to get to a 30 minute appointment, I cannot help but think there might be something lovely about living in the middle of what the Dixie Chicks would lovingly dub "wide open spaces".

Thanks for making the trip and posting the photos!

Julie L said...

Your family will continue to thrive wherever it is located because you are, quite simply, a very good family. And that's what families do. They thrive together and grow together and survive together. Looks like an absolutely charming, typical small town USA kind of place. And close to at least one set of grandparents is always a good thing. Good luck in your decision processes. Hopefully, though, you will be able to continue to grow and thrive right where you are.

Justin and Brianna said...

After talking to Jason about job opportunities, Brianna and I had a long conversation about what it would be like to settle down in a town like Red Oak. It would definitely have its ups and downs. When the final votes were tallied, it was an even split on if we would do it or not. We decided what we really need is another voter in our family.