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Western Kentucky?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My husband and I are seriously considering moving to Hopkins County (Madisonville and surrounds) or somewhere nearby in order to be closer to some relatives. The story is that we're 40 and have 2 almost 3 year old twins, one of whom has an autism spectrum disorder ... and we've just never done a very good job building a social network ... basically, I was born in Madisonville and nearly all of my relatives are there, although I was not raised there. In my 20s I moved there for a little over a year to be near my grandparents before they died, but other than that ... well I am not sure if we can make it work there. My husband and I are pretty different from my relatives in a lot of ways (e.g., not churchgoing and holy cow, they're almost 3 and I'm STILL breastfeeding!). My husband is a classical musician and I'm kind of a bookstore and coffeeshop addict. (We live in Decatur, GA right now.) I really want my children to have a "tribe" and I have cousins I am fairly close to (but different from!) who have kids the same age ... anyway, I am looking for perspective and advice on this. What sort of challenges do you see for us to try to make this kind of a move? Should I instead try to look at somewhere like Bowling Green or Paducah (I have exactly one cousin in each of those places), which is at least close enough for weekend visiting? Here are things I (think I) know already: schools NOT good, meth problems in the area, ku klux klan problems in the area (yikes! how bad IS this really?), most people expect you to accept Jesus as your personal savior and will ask you frequently if you have done so, I can't even imagine what they would think about the extended breastfeeding, healthcare is horrible .... OK, BUT: wow, if you break down on the side of the road 5 different people will stop to help you, if someone dies, 2000 people will show up with food, if your pipes burst, neighbors will help you, oh, yeah, you KNOW your neighbors!, I can live somewhere where turkeys and deer roam in the yard, there are people there who love me enough to cry when I leave. So ... I think I'm going despite potential obstacles and culture shock (for my husband at least), but before I do this thing, what do you think? Sorry, this is really long winded. thanks for listening!
post #2 of 9
I have family in Madisonville, too. My Mom's brothers and cousins live there. I'm a musician, as well as a bookstore/coffee shop addict. None of those things really mesh with Madisonville! I think I would look into Bowling Green, Evansville, or Owensboro. All of those places have an active arts scene, bookstores, and coffee shops. You'd be about 45 - 60 minutes from Madisonville in all of those locales.

I don't know about the school system as a whole in Owensboro, but I do know that there are several award-winning schools there. Kentucky Weslyan and Brescia Colleges are there, so there is a more vibrant feel. There is also a neat little Museum with lots of cool things for kids.

I've lived in another town polluted by the KKK. The town claimed that the KKK had moved on, but it was still the most hate filled place I've ever lived. I would do just about anything to avoid a repeat of that experience.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I kind of figured you would say that. I just think that maybe I have some really hard choices to make. I think that if I live so far away, I'm just not going to get the kind of support that I need on a daily/weekly/sharing our lives together kind of basis. I'm an only child with only 2 children, and I really don't want them to grow up alone in the world. Not having any siblings is different, because I think that you can stay close to siblings from a distance, because you grew up together and you kind of started out close. But in my case while I am pretty close to a particular set of first cousins, I don't think it will be close enough to form that kind of larger family for my children after I'm gone. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I guess I think that if I move next door to these cousins we can become very close and our children will grow up together and my children will then have something as close as possible to a true extended family. But I just don't know if I can accomplish it from Bowling Green. Sadly, my one cousin in Bowling Green appears to be getting relocated due to her job, to another town in Western Kentucky that's even smaller than Madisonville I think. I clearly am going to have to make some sacrifices one way or another in this decision, but I just don't know how to do it.
post #4 of 9
Could you go to Madisonville for a visit to get a feel for the place again? Does your dh like it there? Would there be work for you and your dh there?

I live about 1 1/2 hours from my family, and it's farther than I'd like. If I had a chance to move to be closer to them, I would. I would like my kids to live closer to their cousins, too.
post #5 of 9
Hi there!

I'm in Muhlenberg County, so I'm about an hour from Hopkinsville. I'm not from the area, but dh is, and we moved back here six years ago, after our first child was born. We now have three kids: 6, almost 5, and 3.

Our main reason for moving back was that I desperately wanted to be at home with the kids, and my dh could make a good living here.

The positives: I feel safer than I did when we lived in a big city, the pace of life isn't stressful, a lot of people know and care about our kids, my dh's business is thriving.

The negatives: Many people here are very religious (as in biblical/fundamental), and there's a general lack of acceptance for those who aren't. I see a lot of religion going on in the public schools, and no one seems to challenge it. (We homeschool, so this doesn't affect us directly.) In six years, I've made only one close friend (though I'm friendly with lots of other people--just don't have many core things in common). Honestly, I've not seen any KKK action, though the meth problem certainly exists.

Right now I'm going through a period of angst about living here. I would choose it all over again, because having the time/financial security to attachment parent, homeschool, etc. has been awesome. I also love our house. I just wish I could have the same things somewhere else. Also, I recently resumed my writing career, and there's not much support here for writers who aren't writing inspirational Christian literature. Dh is pretty locked in here jobwise, and is also much happier here than I am.

We go to Owensboro once a week for music lessons/shopping and sometimes for a date night. Owensboro has a couple of great restaurants, and better shopping, but honestly not much else. I like Bowling Green much better.

Good luck making a tough decisions. I know it's hard to weigh things out.
post #6 of 9
I live north of the area in the greater Evansville metro (comprised of Henderson KY & Evansville/Newburgh IN), but Madisonville is considered part of the "TriState" so it's covered by our news/weather stations. Based on the support groups/resources locally up in the greater Evasnville area compared to what is further out and what's covered by our local news, I'd say that you'd feel far more comfortable an hour north up in the greater Evansville. If you're wanting to stick with Kentucky, move to Henderson. You'd be about 40 minutes away from Madisonville, and it's a straight stretch of highway.

But if you want to move to Madisonville: I've not heard of KKK activity down there, have heard a LOT about that area's meth problem on the local news, and just think your more "natural" lifestyle would raise a few eyebrows more than in the greater Evansville area. You'd probably want to drive up once a month to the Evansville area to shop at some of the natural stores (there are several natural health food stores in the area and farmers markets, and a natural parenting store called Little Ants) and get involved in the LLL group, Mama Cafe group, or the babywearing/AP group that meets in the area. Each group meets on different dates either once a month or every couple weeks. The first two meet on weekdays and the last on a weekend.
post #7 of 9
So, lcisne, did you make the move? I grew up outside Madisonville and, while the area does have its faults, overall I think it is a good place to raise kids. It's an hour from everywhere: Paducah, Evansville, Clarksville, Owensboro, even Bowling Green if you speed! Okay, more like an hour and a half to B.G.

The other thing is I think there are more "weird" moms like us in Hopkins County. We all just need to find each other.

I cloth diaper my kids, and there is a mom on DiaperSwappers who wrote a great tute for a fleece diaper cover, and she lives in Madisonville! So, if you moved to the area, you are not alone.

Please, let us know what you decided?
post #8 of 9
My husband is being considered for a job that would have us living in Madisonville... I am also worried that our lifestyle will be hard to fit in around there. I don't know anything about it, but I am trying to find out info as much as I can.

We homeschool so this is a concern of mine I need to look into. I am not sure what KY's rules are on homeschooling.

Anyway, following this thread if anyone posts anything else.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Gosh, I can't believe how long it's been since I came back here!! I've had a lot of unexpected things going on in my life the past few months, so I just couldn't seem to ever make it back here (and remember my password!). We still haven't made up our minds what to do. We do, but then we start agonizing again before we can do anything about it. We're kind of stuck for a little while because we owe more on our house than it's currently worth. It is nice to know though that if I do come back to Hopkins County there may be some other more liberal minded parents there! It's also nice to know that the KKK thing may not be quite as rampant as I feared. It is just very difficult to make these kinds of decisions. I cant' remember if I mentioned it before, but one of my sons is autistic, and so that will play a big role as well in our decisionmaking. I think it's really important that I find the right environment for him, but I'm just not sure yet what that is ....
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