city vs. country

garage.jpg We are starting the home search on Wednesday, and I'm really looking forward to it because I think it's kind of fun to spy on how other people set up their spaces. (Even if most houses during showings are freakishly clean -- I mean, no one I know lives with nothing on their counter tops and six billion pillows on their bed).

All along Colin and I have been thinking that when we came back to Indiana, we'd find a small farmhouse out in the country. Out in the middle of nowhere with some land, an open view of cornfields for miles, and set up shop in some renovated red barn. We'd spend evenings in rocking chairs on our back porch sipping lemonade and listening to music and crickets. Sounds really romantic... (and probably totally idealized, but hey, that's part of dreaming, right?)

But since we've been back, we've been re-thinking that idea. With gas prices being so high, country life could get expensive due to driving distances. And we also wonder if we'd just be stoking our anti-social fires by living in the boonies. Maybe it's better to try to be a part of a community, even if it's painful at first. (I get uncomfortable meeting new people sometimes.) And we are big library goers, art show attendees (even if I'm in an eff-art phase right now), and restaurant critics.

I wish we could do both. Get a small bungalow in the city. And a little country cottage to retreat to whenever the mood struck us. But that's out of the question. (This kind of idealized dreaming is way too big. Maybe I can dream of house-swapping for a home in the country occasionally!)

So we're leaning toward putting country dream on hold for a while and finding a house downtown. And we're pushed even more in that direction because of some people we met on Friday night. We had dinner with an art director we've both worked with, and his lovely (and very pregnant) wife who live in a charming little house two blocks away from virtually everything. Their backyard was nice and secluded. (We sat out there and drank root beer floats!) Their house had loads of character (great hardwood floors, old woodwork, big doors). And they are part of the downtown CSA, so they support farmers and eat locally grown food. She can bicycle to yoga class, and he can bike to work. They were talking to us about all the cool people they've met in their neighborhood, and how those people made them realize that they have unique stories too. And it all just sounded really perfect. Sounded like what Colin and I need to bloom a little more. (Other friends also mentioned that they only put 5000 miles on their car last year due to living in the city -- a big bonus.)

So that's where we stand. We start looking at houses in the downtown area Wednesday and I am hoping to fall in love. I want character, an open layout, a good size space for our studio, a secluded backyard, close proximity to fun stuff... and mainly: I want a house that will make us feel safe and like we're home. I haven't felt settled in a couple of years and I'm ready to really sink into a house. Paint colors we like. Sit in big fat arm chairs and read and feel like we have all the time in the world. Have dishes in a sink and tea in our hands. Home.

Wish us luck!