Moving to Whidbey, Need info - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-21-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Guys. My family and I are looking at moving to Whidbey Island from Atlanta Next Summer. I have been on the ultimate search for the perfect area to Set in and raise our family. My search is based around Waldorf Schools and Area lifestyle.

Anyone on here go to the school in Clinton? Suggestions on The near by towns?

I am a Doula/Photographer and Hubby works from Home, so we are not overly concerned with the commute to Seattle. I am just trying to rear my children in a Loving, safe and natural community.

I am planning on Visiting in October/November time frame. Any areas I must see? Any advice is welcome as well.

We plan on expanding our family and would like to know about homebirth laws in the state. Here HB midwives are illegal, so they are hard to find. Id also need a No Vax friendly Ped.

TIA!

Mother to 3 wonderful boys. Doula, MW apprentice, Photographer, Foster/adoptive mom, twin mom and advocate for much.
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#2 of 10 Old 08-22-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I lived on Whidbey Island for a few months. It is beautiful, but a bit rural. There is not a lot to do there in the winter months (I was there February-April, but I hear winter is October-June or July pretty much), as almost everything is outside. I found it very isolating with an infant. All of the grocery stores on Whidbey are extremely expensive, and there are CSA's and produce delivery services in the area...again, expensive. I now live in Seattle and shop at Trader Joe's and the local farmer's markets, and my groceries are 1/2 as much as they were on Whidbey. The only big box store on the island is Wal Mart in Oak Harbor, and it is not a super Wal Mart. There is no mall, no Costco, no Target, etc. That all sounded GREAT to me until I was actually faced with the reality of driving 20 minutes to get ANYWHERE. Apparently there is a good community on South Whidbey, and I've heard wonderful things about the Waldorf school (I know a sweet mama down there I can introduce you too, if she doesn't stop by this thread.) I lived in Coupeville, and it was just way too out there for me. Oak Harbor has more stuff (La Leche league, one indoor play place, restaurants, etc), but still not a lot, and it's just kind of an icky place to me (it's a military town and young sailors + a rotating population and all of that). I love Langley and Freeland a lot, but they are expensive, and still not a lot of options as far as stores or activities, in my opinion. I think there are more mama's on South Whidbey, but since I was in the middle I didn't really meet a lot.

If you like to be outdoors, there are beaches and hiking trails and national parks galore. It's a very dog friendly place, if that is important to you. I found the political climate there to be pretty conservative, and surprisingly religious (at least, too religious for me) so I don't know how you feel about that.

Re: homebirth..there is a midwife on the island, and I've heard she is busy and books up, but I've also heard she is amazing. She is in Greenbank, I believe.

For doula/photography work, I'd worry a bit about being on the island just because there are only so many people having babies, and there is a large population of older people, retirees, etc, who are obviously not having babies. BUT, the midwife there is busy so maybe there would be enough work for you, I don't know! If you did need to go off island for a birth, and were on the south end, you'd take the ferry...in the middle of the night, it runs only once an hour, so you're looking at quite a commute before you could get to your client on the mainland.

The Clinton Waldorf school is starting up something in Mukilteo/Everett, I believe, which is just over the water from Whidbey. Mukilteo is in Snohomish county, and a beautiful little town which is a lot closer to activities and stores and things. There is also a large AP community in Snohomish county that I found it very easy to get assimilated within. It's also just a quick trip down to Seattle if you need it. I couldn't find a no-vax friendly pediatrician on Whidbey that took my insurance, but there's a great one in Snohomish County. We also love Mount Vernon and Burlington, which is just over Deception Pass from Whidbey Island. There is a large AP community and natural birth community there, as well, and it is a wonderful place to raise a family in my opinion! There's also a doula association in Mount Vernon that meets monthly, and things like Stroller Strides (mom/kid workout classes) and other things to do with kids. Now we live in NE Seattle and I love, love, love it here. I need to live in a walkable place so sadly Whidbey was not for me.

I only lived there a few months, but that is my take on Whidbey. I was SO excited to live rurally and be in the great outdoors and not depend on big box stores...but the reality was that I was pretty lonely, & long trips with a kid to the store or play groups or the library or whatever was just too exhausting for me. Maybe someone who has been there longer and has more resources in the area can give you more info.

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#3 of 10 Old 08-22-2010, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for that!

I was born and raised in Rural areas.. so that shouldn't be a shock to me. Ive lived in rural/tourist areas Like Breckenridge Co and Blue Ridge GA, where you had to drive20-30 mins to get to a Walmart and an hour to a target. Though.. Even right now.. I have one 3 miles from my house and I have never been there. I just dont shop in chain stores if I can help it. What was weird to me is that the cost of buying a house was a little bit more than Atlanta.. but the rental rates were cheaper?? Seemed odd LOL. then again.. if you compare buying a house on the water vs here.. its Waaaay less to buy there. Im not overly concerned with my work as I only take on 12 clients a year. I devote my time to them and dont like risking them birthing very close. Thats great to know about the ferry at night though. Something that I will have to let clients be aware of should they decide to work with me.

Funny you say that about the politics.. I am fairly conservative and pretty religious. I just happen to be more with the liberal mindset on everything else LOL. Clear as mud? LOL

Mother to 3 wonderful boys. Doula, MW apprentice, Photographer, Foster/adoptive mom, twin mom and advocate for much.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-22-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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Hi there-
As someone who grew up on South Whidbey, I think it is a great place to be. The south end of the island, where Whidbey Island Waldorf is located, is a thriving community. It is true that there are no big box stores here and the closest thing to a chain is Dairy Queen, but that is what I like about being here. When McDonald's tried to move in people protested and it never happened. As you may know, the island is three destincive communities. The north end, where Oak Harbor is, is navy and more conservative. The middle is Coupeville and Greenbank, the county seat, but way small. And then there's South Whidbey, made up of the communities of Langley, Clinton and Freeland. Tons of parks, excellent library system, trees, beaches and water. There are definitely play groups and other family activities. If you live in South Whidbey, and not Greenbank or Coupeville, you are closer to everything. There are 4 locally owned grocery stores and we buy most everything on island. They ferry is in Clinton and can get you to the "mainland" in 20 minutes, but costs $8.00 a trip and there can be a line. We just consider it the cost of living in a great place. This year June was a terrible weather month, but the summers are usually lovely (75+ and rarely hotter). It does rain sometimes, so look at an annual weather calendar too. There are tons of liberal minded people on the South End, along with more conservatives ones. There are alot of special "South Whidbey" events - the Maxwelton 4th of July Parade is my favorite. It is a true mix of environmental hippies + patriotic fervor + creative costumes + antique cars + farmers. Which pretty much summarizes the South Whidbey. Locally owned coffee shops keep popping up and great farmers markets.

Re: Birth. The local midwife is beloved. Doula work is slower, but there are still clients available. South Whidbey also has a fairly large adoption community.

South Whidbey is a great place. Granted, I am a but biased, but I think the South end would much better suite you than the North. And it is a 45-50 minute drive end to end.

Good luck!
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#5 of 10 Old 08-22-2010, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a ton for that! I am only considering the south end. Everything I read/ hear about it sounds amazing! I cant wait to come up there and visit.

Do you know anything about the Waldorf school there? Is there a waiting list? Here, they have to interview the child before you are even considered for the waiting list..


I just keep praying and crossing my fingers that this place is as great as I think it will be LOL.

Mother to 3 wonderful boys. Doula, MW apprentice, Photographer, Foster/adoptive mom, twin mom and advocate for much.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-23-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Hey-
I can't comment on the Waldorf school now. I attended there K-3, but that was years ago! It is in a lovely wooded area and I have fond memories of recess times spent building forts in the trees. I'd just contact them directly.

It sounds like you have reasonable expectations about the south end. There are 6 or 7 stop lights on the main road, only "traffic" when the ferry unloads or you get stuck behind a tractor, and sometimes winter can be quite gray- might be a stark difference from Atlanta! Other than that, it is a great place. Just got to get ferry-savvy as it will play a huge part of your life if you ever want to leave the island=)
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#7 of 10 Old 08-23-2010, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by agp4380 View Post
Hey-
I can't comment on the Waldorf school now. I attended there K-3, but that was years ago! It is in a lovely wooded area and I have fond memories of recess times spent building forts in the trees. I'd just contact them directly.

It sounds like you have reasonable expectations about the south end. There are 6 or 7 stop lights on the main road, only "traffic" when the ferry unloads or you get stuck behind a tractor, and sometimes winter can be quite gray- might be a stark difference from Atlanta! Other than that, it is a great place. Just got to get ferry-savvy as it will play a huge part of your life if you ever want to leave the island=)
Great! I cant wait to get up there then. And Atlanta is quite gray in the winter too. Im sure its not as bad as there.. but it does stay gray alot

Mother to 3 wonderful boys. Doula, MW apprentice, Photographer, Foster/adoptive mom, twin mom and advocate for much.
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#8 of 10 Old 08-23-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fairyandgnome View Post
Thanks so much for that!

I was born and raised in Rural areas.. so that shouldn't be a shock to me. Ive lived in rural/tourist areas Like Breckenridge Co and Blue Ridge GA, where you had to drive20-30 mins to get to a Walmart and an hour to a target. Though.. Even right now.. I have one 3 miles from my house and I have never been there. I just dont shop in chain stores if I can help it. What was weird to me is that the cost of buying a house was a little bit more than Atlanta.. but the rental rates were cheaper?? Seemed odd LOL. then again.. if you compare buying a house on the water vs here.. its Waaaay less to buy there. Im not overly concerned with my work as I only take on 12 clients a year. I devote my time to them and dont like risking them birthing very close. Thats great to know about the ferry at night though. Something that I will have to let clients be aware of should they decide to work with me.

Funny you say that about the politics.. I am fairly conservative and pretty religious. I just happen to be more with the liberal mindset on everything else LOL. Clear as mud? LOL
That's awesome. I'm moving towards that, but unfortunately just can't afford it at this point. We buy a lot of stuff online but when you just need, 2 tbsp of turmeric for a recipe! it can make you crazy...especially when you are like me and always forget 4 or 5 things on your list and go to the grocery store almost daily!!

It sounds like it'd be a wonderful place for you! I would love to live on the South end of the island one day when I can be more self-reliant and less store-reliant! Ha ha.

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#9 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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mama from Atlanta- did you find what you needed? Might be able to answer more questions..just joined this site so a little late in reponding.

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#10 of 10 Old 08-11-2014, 01:38 PM
 
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We are contemplating moving to South Whidbey but are concerned about their special education programs in the school. Our son is 5 and on the autism spectrum. Does anyone have an insight into what the special education program looks like in the south whidbey school district?

Thanks
Becky
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