In my last post, I revealed a major crush I have developed. Yes, I have become deeply infatuated with a 1930s-era house in my hometown. I have had visions of turning it into a historic B&B, even going so far as to mentally furnish it with local antiques and dreaming up a marketing campaign. I think the jet lag I am still fighting is causing delusions of grandeur.
Those delusions may be nothing more than a pipe dream, but on a more serious note, we have started to seriously entertain the idea of moving back to the States for a year, most likely in the next 3 or 4 years. When I left North Carolina, I was one year shy of being vested in the state's retirement system. I was 26 at the time and didn't really give it much thought, but if I go back and teach in a public school for just one more year, I will get the state's contribution (as well as mine) to my retirement. A year isn't a huge commitment, but it is a significant enough amount of time to give Crumpet and Cupcake (and The Other Half) the experience of living in America, which is very different from just a two-week visit. And despite the bad press North Carolina has received over the past several months regarding teacher pay (a quick Google search will tell you that NC is ranked 46 out of 50 in terms of average salaries), a year is doable financially if we plan ahead.
Several things are contingent on this plan, including whether or not my current school still offers a sabbatical, which would give us more security in terms of moving back to the U.K. Another thing to consider is whether or not the local school will save Crumpet and Cupcake's places for them for that year. Given the competitive nature of school admissions here, I don't want to assume this is the case, but I would hate to uproot them for a year only to have them have to resettle into another new school and make new friends upon our return. A further consideration is how we go through the immigration and visa process with The Other Half and whether or not he would be entitled to work. I've been through that the other way around, but I wouldn't even know where to begin going Stateside. This will require extensive investigation. There are other minor details to consider once we start really setting the wheels into motion. It's a good thing I have a Type-A personality; lists and action plans are my speciality.
In a perfect world, we would have a house in both countries and would spend the school year in one and the holidays in the other. Unfortunately, my lottery wins while I was in the States amounted to about $12, so I don't see that happening any time soon.