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Not new to BYC, but new to Montana. - Page 8

post #71 of 77

If I may ask, what prompted your move from Hawaii to Montana? Did you vacation there and fall in love with it? By the way, I love your new avatar. What's not to love about a picture of a beautiful young lady by a beautiful blue lake? :)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Reply
post #72 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBirdsTheWord33 View Post
 

If I may ask, what prompted your move from Hawaii to Montana? Did you vacation there and fall in love with it? By the way, I love your new avatar. What's not to love about a picture of a beautiful young lady by a beautiful blue lake? :)

A number of factors played a role in our decision to make the move.

First and foremost, economic factors. We owned a 5 bedroom home in Hawaii with very little land around it and were paying $3200 per month in mortage payments. We were able to sell our home there and buy a similar sized 6 bedroom home on a small farm just outside of Kalispell, MT, and pay for it outright (no mortgage) with cash left over. In addition, the cost of goods here is about half of what it was in Hawaii. In addition, the taxes continue to mount in Hawaii due to a number of issues including the rail project, which is now estimated to be at least 20 years in completion and will run 10 billion dollars over budget (the truth is it will take longer and cost more); the slow but sure cutting of the military (10,000 cut recently, 60,000 more in the near future) which is a major blow to Hawaii's economy; and the fact that the homeless problem has reached epidemic proportions in Hawaii with homeless tent cities spread out all over the public beaches where the huge number of homeless leave them trashed and severely hurting tourism which is a major industry in Hawaii. Unfortunately the tax payers are having to shoulder the load of all this. Furthermore, if our country experienced a major economic collapse so that shipping from the mainland shut down, Hawaii's grocery stores would be completely empty within a week or two (already when there is a tsunami or hurricane threat, the rice and bottles of water are gone within a day or two and the gas station lines are a mile long). And there is no way that Hawaii's natural resources could even begin to support its population.

Second, crowd and traffic factors. My son-in-law was teaching at a high school about 12 miles from our home, and on many days it would take him 2 hours to drive to work and another 2 hours to drive home. We wanted to get away from all the crowds and traffic in Hawaii and move to a low density population state.

Third, climate change in Hawaii. When we first moved to Hawaii 23 years ago, most of the days we had trade winds which bring cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Only a few days during the summer would we get Kona winds which bring higher temperatures and high humidity, but over the past few years that has changed. This past year we had more Kona wind days than trade wind days and this past summer we experienced a record number of days with temperatures in the 90s (with around 90% humidity) forcing us to run our air conditioners. Our last month's electric bill in Hawaii was over $800, compared with $60 for our first months electric bill in Kalispell (economics again). In addition, the Kona winds also bring VOG (volcanic smog) over from the lava vents on the big island and this has gotten much worse since a second volcanic vet opened up a couple of years ago. VOG can create respiratory problems even for normal lungs and with both my son-in-law and my granddaughter having asthma, it was a constant struggle for them. And long term meteorlogical forecasters say that these climate changes are here to stay in Hawaii (Hawaii is going to become the next Guam).

In conclusion, we wanted to move to a low density population area with lots of natural resources where we could buy a small farm with no mortgage, where the cost of living was much lower than Hawaii, and where summers were cooler and less humid and air and air quality was better than in Hawaii. I had visited the Rocky Mountain states in the past and our family had been to Alaska on several occasions so we narrowed the search down to the three states with the lowest population density--Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. We seriously considered Alaska, but finally backed out due to the fact that property prices and the cost of living, while quite a bit lower than Hawaii, was still quite a bit higher than most of the 48 mainland states. We decided to go with NW Montana over Wyoming as NW Montana has considerably more natural resources (water, timber, agriculture, etc.) than any area in Wyoming. None of us had personally been to Kalispell or Flathead County but my wife and I both have Aunts and Uncles who have visited in this area in their RVs on a number of occasions, loved it here, and all told us that Kalispell was the place to go. They would have retired in this area themselves had their kids and grandkids not all lived in Texas. So we researched the area thoroughly, took their advice, and here we are with our own farm (debt free) in NW Montana. :o)

post #73 of 77

Michael, we've chatted some in the past about your reasons for moving, but I didn't realize how grim things were looking for HI. Such a shame, I have always pictured it as an island paradise (and guess it was).

 

I'm so glad you guys found a place you love and that is so perfect for all of you!

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Check out all 11 new mini contests!

BYC Mini Contests - Win a 2017 Calendar!!

Deadlines for all is Dec. 11, 2016

You can't win if you don't play!

 

8th Annual BYC New Year Day Hatch-Along - Hosted by Ronott1

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post #74 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthFLChick View Post
 

Michael, we've chatted some in the past about your reasons for moving, but I didn't realize how grim things were looking for HI. Such a shame, I have always pictured it as an island paradise (and guess it was).

 

I'm so glad you guys found a place you love and that is so perfect for all of you!


Thanks. I'm old enough and well traveled enough to know that there is no such thing as paradise in this life, but sadly, Hawaii is not nearly as close to paradise as it used to be. A lot of the young people that my family and I taught in high school in Hawaii have moved off to the mainland for the very reasons that I mentioned in my post.

post #75 of 77

Since I joined BYC, I have thought of you as a top-notch educator, and so it comes as no surprise to me that you taught high school. I found your explanation of the move to be quite enlightening because, honestly, I had no idea Hawaii has as many problems as it does. 

 

Funny thing...just the other day, I was telling a friend that I dream of moving to one of the VERY three states you mentioned (though my husband and I agree that Montana is our favorite). Low population density and abundant natural resources is so important, especially in times of economic crisis...and I DO tend to look ahead to "what-if" crisis scenarios. Based on what you shared with us, I am so glad that you and your family made the move. From a survival standpoint alone, notwithstanding the amazing natural beauty that surrounds you, I would say that you are in a great place!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Reply
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Reply
post #76 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBirdsTheWord33 View Post
 

Since I joined BYC, I have thought of you as a top-notch educator, and so it comes as no surprise to me that you taught high school. I found your explanation of the move to be quite enlightening because, honestly, I had no idea Hawaii has as many problems as it does. 

 

Funny thing...just the other day, I was telling a friend that I dream of moving to one of the VERY three states you mentioned (though my husband and I agree that Montana is our favorite). Low population density and abundant natural resources is so important, especially in times of economic crisis...and I DO tend to look ahead to "what-if" crisis scenarios. Based on what you shared with us, I am so glad that you and your family made the move. From a survival standpoint alone, notwithstanding the amazing natural beauty that surrounds you, I would say that you are in a great place!


Thanks for the compliment. You should be aware, if your not already, that there is a big difference between western Montana and eastern Montana created by the Rocky Mountains and the continental divide that runs through Montana. Western Montana is mountainous with gentler winters and a lot more natural resources than eastern Montana which is plains (much like most of Wyoming or the Dakotas). In western Montana the snow falls straight down in the winter. In easter Montana the snow falls sideways, driven by the plains wind, in the winter. Northwest Montana has an even greater abundance of natural resources (water, lakes, heavy forest, fruit trees, etc.) than SW Montana. The folks who live in Flathead County often (jokingly) refer to our area as the "banana belt" of Montana. :o)

post #77 of 77
I was aware of the vast differences between eastern and western Montana, but we haven't gotten as far along in our (rather preliminary) research as you did before you zeroed in on your target area. We ruled out the Dakotas for the exact reason you mentioned...grasslands with very few trees. For so many reasons, trees are really nice to have around... besides, they're beautiful!

As a teen, I was mesmerized by my best friend's grandpa's vivid descriptions of his home state, Montana. Ohio also has some natural beauty (though it doesn't quite compare) and we are happy and blessed to live on a farm in one of the least-populated counties in the state; that being said, property is not cheap here, and in order to find the kind of acreage and setup we're looking for within our price range, we'd almost certainly have to move elsewhere.

I think sometimes we come to a place in life where we have to take a step back, evaluate our situation, look hard at how we're living vs how we WANT to live, admit that the status quo isn't working, and figure out how to change course.
Edited by TBirdsTheWord33 - 10/30/15 at 8:20pm
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Reply
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Reply
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