Friday, March 16, 2018

Update on our daughters

A reader asked recently how our daughters are doing. Here’s a quick update.

Older Daughter continues with her job as a live-in nanny in New Jersey, but she’s getting mighty tired of the endless suburbs surrounding her. Coming home for Christmas made her realize how much she missed the wide-open spaces and the ability to go walking and be surrounded by nature rather than houses and pavement and cars.

So – she plans to move west within a year or so, this time heading toward Western Washington (Seattle area). She’s now an experienced nanny. Besides nearly three years’ experience on the job, she’s been volunteering at a women’s shelter caring for babies and toddlers (she needed experience with that age group), and this facility liked her so well they offered her a paid position. (She declined, but boy was she flattered!) Coupled with her credentials as a Certified Professional Nanny from the English Nanny and Governess School in Ohio, she will be in hot demand in the Seattle area.

She's grateful to the family she's working for, who have been very generous with her. Older Daughter has been diligently saving her money since eventually she wants to purchase some rural property. So many young people her age are mired in student loan debts after attending college; but she's soaring, free and unfettered, with a healthy bank account, excellent in-demand credentials, and endless opportunities in a place like Seattle.

Some may wonder if moving to Seattle means she’ll be exchanging one urban prison for another, but the Emerald City is a lot closer to wild spaces than New Jersey. An hour’s drive puts you into the mountains. There are also endless hiking groups in the area, which means she can get out on weekends and hit the trails.

Selfishly, we’ll be very, very glad to have our oldest closer to us. She’ll be a five-hour drive away, rather than a five-hour flight away, and conceivably could even come home on weekends. (Or we could go visit her.) Wouldn’t that be something!

Younger Daughter, as you recall, is now a sailor in the Navy, training in Advanced Electronics/Computer Field (AECF) in Great Lakes, Illinois. She just – as in, last week – finished ATT (Advanced Technical Training) School. Just as boot camp is a “filter” to weed out those unable to hack military life, Younger Daughter described the 10-week ATT school as a “filter” to weed out those unable to hack AECF. She tied for second place in class, so she’s clearly able to hack the coursework.

This week she started “A” School, with more advanced training. My understanding is this will continue until about October, at which point “A” School will be over and we might be able to expect her home for a fast visit. By then she’ll know where her duty station will be – perhaps Virginia, perhaps San Diego, perhaps somewhere else – and she will travel to that location to attend “C” School, the specialized training she’ll need on the job. Then she’s bound for a ship.

So far she loves the military life – absolutely stinkin’ loves it. She enjoys the discipline, she enjoys the camaraderie, she enjoys the challenges, she enjoys meeting people from all over the country and from all stations in life. She’s working hard, saving her money, and looks forward to when she can get on board a ship and put her training to work.

So there you go. That’s the latest on our girls.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Your young ladies have much to offer this world is so many ways. And just imagine...they can do it debt free. My hubby got his x-ray training in the Navy and it carried him and his family successfully for 53 years. Your gals deserve a very hearty "high five"!

  2. These young ladies are all doing so good, you can be nothing but proud!!!!

  3. Patrice, what about your beautiful farm? Who is going to take care of that place if one of your kids is planning to buy her own property and the youngest could stick with the military for a good part of her life? Not that both of you are old, but you know how that goes...

    1. Hopefully it's not a decision we'll have to make for another 30 years or so, but at that point we'd sell it. The choices Don and I made to purchase our property and start a homestead should not dictate what our daughters do with their lives. If one of them wants to take it over, great; if not, then we chalk it up to a wonderful place to live and move on.

      - Patrice

    2. That's our philosophy. If my kids and grandkids don't enjoy what we leave them, they can sell it and buy something meaningful to them.

  4. I was out in the pasture mowing a walking path, for the first time this year, and I was wondering how the girls were doing. So this evening you answered my questions! Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  5. Post Alley CrackpotMarch 16, 2018 at 6:00 PM

    I don't know if your older daughter has given thought to what part of Seattle she'd like to be in, but I have a bit of advice as someone who lived in the city itself and in the suburbs for a while ...

    Given her upbringing and other factors, I would suggest that she stay far away from Seattle itself except to visit. She might be accepting or tolerant of liberals, but I believe that current events show that the acceptance and tolerance doesn't work the other way.

    If she'd like a taste of the local urban culture, I suggest a few readings of The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly in addition to the Seattle P-I blogpaper and the Seattle Times newspaper. I have a sense she isn't going to like the freak show aspects of Seattle, and they are very strong in certain neighbourhoods.

    Instead, she should look at the Eastside, especially around Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, and Issaquah. That area is full of somewhat affluent families with connections to technology companies as well as full of single guys who are doing well at those companies.

    Alternately, she would probably do well out on the Olympic Peninsula around Silverdale and Poulsbo. It's a bit more country out there (and a lot more redneck), and the fastest paced thing out there she'll find are the large trucks that fly up and down WA 3.

    There are US military families out there, so it's conceivable that the two sisters could wind up meeting up out there, especially since there's a large US Navy presence in the region.

    The best little barbecue shack in Washington state is on the waterfront near the WSF dock at Bremerton, BTW, within walking distance to the US Navy facilities there. :-)

    If she would like an honest opinion of certain neighbourhoods of Seattle, ask in your blog and I'll eventually notice and send an answer ...

  6. Thank you for the update! I am happy for you that older daughter might be moving closer to you. It is great to hear how successful they both are. That is another piece of ammo against those that tell me homeschooled kids are weird and can't fit into society.

  7. So nice to hear good news about members of the next generation making smart decisions and sailing successfully on the sea of life.

  8. Great update! Hearing news about members of the younger generation doing well and being productive always gives me hope.

  9. Thanks for the update and congrats to both! Fine young women, and our country needs many more just like them!

    Both my kids are graduating from High School in a couple of months, and I hope they turn out as happy and well adjusted as your daughters are!

  10. Glad to hear the young ladies are doing well! You and Don certainly have reason to be proud of them both!

  11. Sounds like they’ve turned out very well!

    Hope mine do as well. We haven’t had a farm to bring them up on, and there has been a lot of modernity in their lives. I’ve tried to teach them to be respectful and to work for what they hope to get. We’ll see I guess...