It's finally over.
Such a beautiful home it was. For us though, in the very wrong location. Yesterday, sometime around 3pm, our former home was sold and the keys were placed in the hands of the new owners. We are thrilled! It has been a long year living in one home and having another on the market (and heating that old, drafty, empty home enough to keep the pipes from freezing), but all the documents are signed and we finally have closure.
So now what do we do? Over the summer I shared with you that the home we now live in is actually the one I grew up in. Then, in September I mentioned that we are now officially looking for land in Vermont (though we are thinking of expanding the search to Maine) - some of you were confused. We had just moved here... to this lovely home with land, in the country. Why move again?
To keep a long story short, we don't own this home. We are renting it from my parents as they have recently moved on and are now living in their new home on a lake in Northern Maine. The real estate market, as you likely know, is quite depressed and home values have dropped dramatically in recent years. My parents felt they'd like to ride that out for a few years (we're all hoping for a turnaround, yes?) and not sell their Connecticut house at this time. So, we moved in!
The timing was funny because right at the time they made the offer to come live here, so much was happening in our own world. We knew leaving our former home was necessary and imminent. It was such a funny place, that town of ours... parts of it so perfect and everything we would hope for a community to be, other parts unsafe and unsavory to the point where we felt it unwise for our growing daughter to enjoy the freedoms and independence she was naturally seeking. Unfortunately, the unsafe and unsavory outweighed the good and we began to form our departure.
We thought for sure we were going to head up to Vermont. We even started the whole property search again, looking at a few adorable places to consider. Specifically, our plan was to live in Woodstock Village for a year, just for the life experience of it, for our family. Adam and I have lived in the village before, right after we were married, and it was one of the brightest experiences we've ever had. We wanted to offer that to Emily.
I'm not an urban girl, but living in Woodstock Village was my way of enjoying a lifestyle that didn't require a car, where there was plenty to do within walking distance, and where evening strolls were romantic and filled with glowing lights from warm homes. As homeschoolers we thought it would be a great year-long experience, then we'd settle more permanently somewhere rural, in Vermont.
Right at the time of our many short property searching trips up there, the northeast was struck by a devasting hurricane and everything seemed to come to a hault. Especially in the very place we were looking to move.
During that time is when my parents offered their home to us. It just seemed like the writing was on the wall (again), and we decided to stay in Connecticut for a while longer.
But for how long? Forever?
No, not exactly. Connecticut is a very expensive state to live in, one that many people nowadays find impossible to retire in. We've never had our long term goals set on living here, and we still do not. Another consideration for us, the level and variety of clean outdoor activity Adam and I enjoy is difficult to find here. We are drawn to places where active outdoor living and good earth stewardship is the prevailing culture.
But you know, something greater than us seems to have a hand in all of this, for as hard as we've tried to move north over the years, plans seem to always work out differently. I think I finally know why that is.
Watching Emily connect more and more deeply to her peers during these high school years has shown us that it really does make sense to be here at this time. These relationships forming and memories being made are important, they are what she needs right now.
For now, we are happy to be blooming and living fully right where we are. It would be great to stay here through Emily's high school years, but if the real estate market jumps and it makes sense for my parents to put this house on the market, we'll move on at that time. It's not a high pressure type thing, however it works out is fine.
Meanwhile, we keep adding to our "Vermont Land Fund," with the hopes and dreams for future mountain living. It's exciting to be actively looking for land right now (to live on full time at a later date), although the search has quieted down for the winter months.
We are grateful for the much needed closing of our quaint craftsman bungalow, and are so excited about the freedom we now have to move forward.
I never did get around to completing the series, but feel free to take a partial home tour, if you're like me and enjoy poking around old homes.