We moved back to the United States
As of tomorrow, we’ve been here 1 year
It’s hard to believe how fast time has passed. As of tomorrow, January 17, we have been here in Logansport, Indiana for ONE YEAR.
We have experienced so many changes in our lives since returning to the USA, mostly good changes.
I’m not saying we don’t miss the Philippines, because sometimes we do, but for each of us in the family, we are happy with our new lives back in the USA.
Why did we decide to move?
Even one year later, and many articles that I have written about why we decided to move back, I hear this question nearly every day.
As I have said so many times, there are many reasons. Probably the most compelling reason was for our son, Chris. You can read about the reason that the move has been good for him here.
But, both Feyma and I have also experienced a lot of good things here in the States, and our other two sons, Aaron and Jared have too.
One year later, what are each of us doing?
As I have been doing since the early 90s, I work at home. My work consists of many different things:
- I sell on eBay
- I sell on Amazon
- I write books
- I also take care of most of the household chores now
My life is good here, and I have enjoyed it. Although I have worked at home for nearly 3 decades, I did have things to adjust to, and some things I am still adjusting to. On my last bullet point above, I said that I take care of most of the household chores. In the past, I didn’t do any of that, especially when we lived in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, we had maids to take care of most of the household things, and also we had younger kids who had chores to do. Now, everybody is an adult, and I am the only one who stays home most of the time, so I take care of many of the household jobs. It was kind of a tough adjustment, but I don’t find it too bad.
As I have written about before, perhaps my toughest adjustment here has been the fact that from about 4 PM until about 2 AM, I am alone here at home. I am used to having a lot of people around. Feyma, my wife, would usually be around the house in the past, and also there were always kids around. Both our kids, and also nieces, nephews, and neighbor kids and friends. Being all alone has been very tough for me to deal with, but I am starting to get used to it.
Feyma (my wife)
Feyma is working at Tyson Foods here in Logansport. They process Pork at the plant where she works.
Feyma seems to enjoy her work, although sometimes it is tough on her. There is a lot of repetitive work that she does and that can lead to sore joints and an aching body. She does well, though, and rarely complains.
Some months back, Feyma got a new job at Tyson, she works in ergonomics. The ergonomics job is only a part-time job, and she has her regular production job on the other days. Most weeks Feyma works 5 days (with about 4 or 5 hours of overtime), but works the ergonomics only one of those days (Friday).
One thing I know is that Feyma has made a lot of very nice friends at Tyson. I think she enjoys her job. She wanted to work here in the USA because she wants to become eligible for her own Social Security benefits at retirement age. I am proud of her hard work, and the fact that she is valued by her supervisors and co-workers.
Bob & Feyma
In addition to our work lives, most of the time Feyma is off on the weekends. I can work whatever days I choose since I work for myself. So, on weekends, Feyma and I almost always do something.
We like to travel on weekends. For now, we are more or less just traveling around Indiana and exploring our new home state. Before one year ago, neither of us had ever set foot in this state, so exploring and finding what’s out there has been fun and interesting.
We did make one trip to Illinois back during Labor Day weekend. Our good friend, Gene, lives in southern Illinois and we went to visit him. During the first 8 years that we lived in the Philippines, Gene lived there too, also in Davao City. I actually knew Gene before moving to the Philippines, and we both ended up in the same city in the Philippines, something that was unplanned. It sure was good to see Gene and catch up with him. Gene is likely to visit here in Logansport in the next month or so, and I am really looking forward to seeing him again. Gene and I are more like brothers than friends.
We do plan to take a trip to Chicago soon. Chicago is not too far away, less than 3 hours I believe. I have been to Chicago before, but not for many years. Feyma and our 3 boys have never been to The Windy City before. We have some friends there that we know from online, and also there is a large Filipino community there. Feyma and the boys want to go to Jollibee there. Jollibee is sort of the Philippine McDonald’s. In the Philippines, Jollibee is much more popular than McDonald’s.
Chris is 28 years old.
Chris is still working at Tyson and doing very well. He enjoys his work!
Chris is very popular there at Tyson. He has been featured in the Tyson newspaper, and he has so many friends there! If we go to Walmart or other places around Logansport, there are always people who know Chris! He is very popular.
In November there was a mayoral election here in Logansport, and the new Mayor is “Chris Martin”. It is not our son, Chris, but a different person with the same name. Sometimes we get mail for “Mayor Chris Martin” and that is always a laugh, but also a hassle to get the Post Office to deliver the Mayor’s mail to the proper address.
Aaron is 23 years old.
Of all of our kids, Aaron is the only one who does not live in Logansport. Aaron lives in Atlanta. He works at a bank.
Aaron has two big pieces of news from this last year. Firstly, Aaron has a serious girlfriend! From what I know of her, she seems very nice, and a good influence on Aaron. She is Korean but grew up in the USA (in California, I believe). One time I was talking to Aaron on the phone and he mentioned that Sonia was there, and I asked to talk to her, but she refused to talk to me! She is shy. But, a few months later, I did talk to her for the first time on the phone, as I recall that was during Christmas.
Aaron’s second piece of big news came just yesterday. He will soon be going to college. He is going to study Automotive Technology somewhere there in Georgia, I don’t know the name of the school. I am proud of him and am sure he will do very well. Aaron is a smart guy and has always been able to teach himself anything that he set out to learn about.
Jared is nearly 20 years old!
Jared lives here in Logansport, and he also works at Tyson. He was living in Atlanta with his brother, but in July 2019 he decided to relocate here to Logansport and live with us. We were happy to see him come here. Now, if we could just get Aaron to move up here!
Jared is working in the same area of Tyson where Feyma and Chris work. I am trying to push him to go into the Maintenance department. Tyson will send him to college to learn maintenance work, and the pay is really excellent. But, Jared is still young, and he is not sure that is the direction he wants to go.
One year behind us
So, that is one year behind is. One year of living in Indiana. Last year when we arrived on January 17 it was cold and about to get super cold. Within a few days of our arrival, it was 15 below ZERO with a wind chill factor of -45. That was a huge change from the 90-degree temperatures that we got every day in Davao! But, we have adjusted.
This year, the winter, so far, has been milder. Today we were in the mid-20s, but we have also had a lot of winter days that were in the 50s and 40s. But, I am told by my friend that I should just be happy because colder weather is coming soon! I am sure he is right.
I think we have had about 4 times this year that it has snowed here, but never very much, a couple of inches at the max. Mostly just a touch of snow that did not even accumulate.
Do I think we will make it another year?
I asked Feyma a few weeks ago if Indiana is still feeling like home to her. She said that yes, it was home now, and she likes it here. She then asked me the same question.
Yeah, Indiana is home for us now. I think we’ll be here for some time to come. Perhaps we will move to a warmer climate in a decade or so, but that is not even for sure. We do like it here.
Will we return to the Philippines?
A lot of people ask me this regularly. People here in the States and people in the Philippines ask me the same question. My answer to that? It is doubtful to me that we will ever live in the Philippines again. I love the Philippines, but life is not always easy there. Technology is poor there. Many things are a hassle. But, there are also many good things. In the end, though, it is certainly possible, even likely that we’ll be back to visit in the Philippines. I doubt that we will ever return there to set up a home, though.
One year. I never thought I’d be back in the USA. It’s been good though. I have no regrets. I did the right thing.
It sounds like life is going well for you, Bob! Feyma is wise to be working to get her own social security. Both my wife and I just looked at how many quarters/credits we have. Where we work, we don’t pay into Social Security, but I do have enough to get something. My wife is closer than we thought. Now it just needs to stay around to be there when I retire!
Hi Tom – I started working when I was 9 years old. I started my first job where I was paying into SS when I was 15. So, I long ago had paid in the required 40 Quarters.
Feyma worked here in the USA for maybe 3 quarters when she first came in 1991. Then in 2017 and 2018, she worked a couple of quarters each year in Alaska. Then the past year here in Logansport. So, she has probably 8 quarters and 32 more to go. 🙂
Yeah, we are doing well. The adjustment has been hardest on me compared to the others. Funny, when we moved to the Philippines the adjustment was most difficult for Feyma. It seems strange, doesn’t it?
Nice to hear from you, Tom.
Another enjoyable article Bob. My how time flies.
Thank you, Gary. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Indeed, time flies! Faster every year, it seems.
Hi Gary, Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the read!
You are right, time flies!
Great reading about your reintegration into the U.S.
Sounds like things are working out all around.
I can’t speak of Davao as we only visit every 4 months, but all the same challenges still exist…
Have a great 2020
Thanks, Neal. Yes, we are doing fine here. I hope you are doing great as well.
Always interesting reading your stuff Bob, be it about life in Mindanao or Indiana. Glad it’s working out for you and your family.
For what it’s worth, there’s a FilAm organization, Davao USA of the Midwest, that has its gatherings in the Chicago ‘burbs. Lately, we’ve been meeting at the Food City, which also has one of the area Jollibees. Lemme know if you’d like contact info for the organization’s President (“Feli”).
Hi Peter, thank you!
Feyma and I have been talking about coming up to Chicago for a visit! That might be a cool time to do it, I’ll let you know.
Darrell W Cheeks
Had no idea you left PH, glad you are enjoying the states. As for me, too much drama in the states. I visit every 2 years BUT my heart and soul is in PH.
Yes, we are really enjoying our new life here. We’ve been here for more than a year now. Read this article to learn more: Chris in the USA