Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sometimes a great notion

sometimes I live in the country
sometimes I live in town
sometimes I have a great notion
to jump into the river and drown

The song Goodnight Irene has always been one of my favorites, and now it resonates even more strongly because we are contemplating a move into the country. It's the all too typical American dilemna, life in town vs life in the country. When I was a kid there was a sit com called Green Acres that had some fun with the retreat to the rustic life.
This isn't the first time we've been struck by the relocating usually passes in a few days but not without us having to draw up lists of pros and cons of our current house vs the house in question, financial assessments, and a reevaluation of virtually everything in our lives.
So here's a short list of facts as I see them.
Current Home:
  • Tess and I walk ten minutes to school/work in the morning
  • We live in a quiet neighborhood with sidewalks
  • We are walking distance from the university, downtown, Saturday Market etc...
  • Our house is cozy and has a great back yard, deck, trees and a garden
  • We know people here
  • Our home is smallish with no room really for a studio or an office or a garage unless we do something fairly drastic with an as yet unfinished basement
Hypothetical Home:
  • 2 acres with a house, a garage/studio with a woodstove, an orchard and several very large maple and oak trees, a barn, a pond (tiny) and picturesque views of the valley and the mountains
  • It is a twenty-five minute drive to La Grande - longer when the snow flies
  • the house needs roof shingles and new siding and the inside begs for's a project but structurally sound.
  • the house has a large bedroom downstairs and two upstairs - three bedrooms more or less though the upstairs space could be configured as a master bedroom, bathroom and an office
  • the house sits oriented toward the south, light pours in all day long through the living room window.
How does one put a daily morning walk to school with one's daughter in the balance with the prospect of spending at least an hour in the car every day? Or conversely, the opportunity for the kids to raise a goat or a pig (maybe even a horse) and to work and play in a beautifully pastoral setting versus the in-town distractions of Saturday theater class and bike rides across the university campus? As the kids grow older will they chafe at the bit and yearn for what's available in La Grande? If so, will we then become prisoners of the shuttling kids to and from town syndrome, forever coming home to our beautiful home too late in the day to even catch the sunset?
Oh yeah...My dad calls these 2-5 acre lots "heart attack lots" because of the upkeep they require.
I need help with this.


Blogger adam jk gallardo said...

How rural is the new lot, how much upkeep is required. Sometimes, when I think of living in the country, I think of very rural settings where there's no upkeep at all, except for claiming a small patch around the house. But that may not be the situation here.

And I would guess that you'll miss the time you spend with Tess every morning. It's true that you'd have time with her as you drove her back and forth to town, but it's not the same.

I sound like I'm advocating staying put, don't I? I've been on a "get to the city" kick lately. Now that Melissa and I are expecting, even Salem feels to small, too provincial and a bit mean. So this could all be about me, really.

Still, there's my two cents.

9:08 PM  

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