Staying in Lancaster

We probably could have gone anywhere to live, but I chose Lancaster. My brother and sister had already been going to school here and I didn’t want to take them away from their friends. Fortunately, I work right near York, so I was able to keep my job. My commute got longer, sure, and I had to sell my parents’ house since we couldn’t afford to keep up with the mortgage. But other than those two specific things, I can’t complain all that much.

About half the population here are “plain,” meaning they’re some version of Amish, Mennonite, or something like that. They tend to be closed communities and not use much technology, but it depends on the specific group and the church as to what’s permitted. I have learned a little about it having grown up here, but our family was never religious. I personally think a lot of it is technicalities. For example, I’ve definitely picked up my share of Plain hitchhikers. They can ride in a car, they just can’t drive it. If you’re going to have a problem with cars, then have a problem with cars, you know?

Thanks to the Plain population, though, it’s pretty much quiet farmland around here with pockets of “English” (what they call the rest of us) communities. To me, that makes Lancaster feel like a small, homey place. I think all three of us needed that. Nice neighbors who look in on us and leave casseroles on the doorstep, that kind of thing.

As I mentioned, there has been some changes, but they were unavoidable. Like I said, I had to sell the house and a lot of the furniture in it. That sucked, especially because my brother and sister were in foster care at the time and it felt like I’d lost absolutely everything. It was necessary, but that didn’t make it easier. At least now I can see the good side of it: since we’ve downsized, things are pretty affordable on my salary and the benefits we get. That was a pretty huge weight off my shoulders.

The other big adjustment I had to make was simply where I lived. I used to be right near my job, so I do have a bit of a commute now. However, since a good portion of the people here either don’t drive or don’t all work in York, traffic for me isn’t so bad. That’s also something to be happy about. I kind of don’t mind it, either. It is sometimes the only part of my day when I am actually by myself. I can listen to whatever I want on the radio and just relax without anybody trying to make me do anything for them.

I guess my goal was to make the transition to being a family of three as painless as possible for all of us. That was important to me. I think it is pretty lucky that we have somewhere like Lancaster to call home.