After a long, arduous buying process, we finally moved into our new house last weekend. And it took rearranging a couple of times, but we have the studio set up (it's tiny), and have basic furniture placement working now in the rest of the house too (read: the couch is actually in the living room! wahoo!). But of course we're still wading waist-high in boxes and totes of things I've forgotten about, they've been in storage so long. Each one is like opening up a box of treasure -- colorful objects, linens and artwork I've collected over the years. It just takes a while to sort it all out and find a place for it. (And figure out what we can get rid of... this house is smaller than the last one.)
But that's all background... what I've really been wanting to tell you about is where we've chosen to live.
Remember before I was dreaming about living out in the country? A little farmhouse with lots of land, a big garden, space to roam. The kind of house that pushes you outside and then invites you back in with hot tea and ginger cookies when you're good and ready.
But that dream kind of fizzled with the current economy and the idea of our child having no one around to play with. So then we swung the other way and started looking at houses in the city. Walking distance to galleries, restaurants, bookstores, and different yoga studio options. Children's museums. Farmers markets. And all that good stuff.
Well, we actually ended up picking neither.
Instead, we bought a house in a teensy weensy little town in the northern part of the state. In fact, the town is so tiny that it's actually called a village. And the house we bought we have christened "The Sharing House" because it's a big ol' house built in 1902 (creeky wood floors... tall ceilings...) that has been split in half to form two reasonably sized houses.
So we are sharing the house with a family next door. Also, the house has no "yard" whatsoever, but instead sits on a huge grassy green park with giant oak trees, fountains and random pairings of adirondack chairs scattered here and there. So we are sharing the greenspace with anyone who visits the park. There's also a beautiful lake within walking distance and long, winding trails through the woods nearby. So basically nothing is "ours" but instead we share the whole deal with the whole village.
Sounds nice doesn't it? There are a few concerns though, I have to admit. First of all, the town is tiny. Just a handful of restaurants. No art scene to speak of. And really conservative. The only yoga class I've found is offered through the YMCA (maybe it's good though. I will suspend judgment before actually trying it.) This is a big change for us and it's almost like culture shock. Not that we're from giant cities, but we're not used to this kind of dinky.
I'm also worried that there won't be anyone else like us here. I miss my small community of friendships and alternative places in South Carolina a whole lot, and I'm hoping to find a small pocket of that here. Maybe it's hiding and I just have to wait to discover it. (One good thing is that I do have a kind of built in community here because my family is very nearby!)
All in all, it's a choice we made. A choice to go for walks through the woods instead of in dense neighborhoods. A choice to cook at home instead of eating out. A choice to slow down the pace instead of keeping up. And we're excited about all those things. Creating this new life here.
And who knows, maybe we'll love it. Maybe we'll find that small town works very well for us, thank you very much. And maybe we'll find out that there's more here than we think and we'll just have to seek it out. It's certainly an adventure. And I'll let you know how small town living progresses. :)
Until then, I'm going up for a nap on the porch where I have a good view of the leaves changing colors.