We are just so happy to be living near the 45th parallel. What lead us to move from the big city to a quiet, rural neighborhood came to us in baby steps. We live around rolling hills, acres upon acres of farmland, orchards, & vineyards, miles of woodland trails, an abundance of blue water, and a slightly-larger-than-small-town. Except during tourist season, then we upgrade to large-small-town status. We are passionate about where we live. But we weren’t always attracted to this way of life.
I went to college in a big city, and I loved every minute of it. I relished the culture, architecture, and the diversity of it all. I liked to imagine what the city once was with all of its former grandeur. But most of all, I loved the melting pot of people, culture, and ethnic food that was readily available. My husband went to the same college,graduated, and was living in the city when we met. We knew each other casually through friends for years. One night we had our first real conversation, and we never stopped talking. We married 3 years later. We were idyllic newlyweds and fashioned ourselves as “urban pioneers.” We wanted to be a part of the revitalization of our beloved, but crumbling city.
Our first house was in a charming, mixed use neighborhood. We liked that ours was one of a few single family homes among many flats and apartment rentals. We enjoyed being able to walk to church, and dozens of restaurants, taverns, and coffee shops. But our fondness for our urban lifestyle eventually started to wane. By the time we were blessed with our eldest son, we had been on the receiving end of several crimes, and decided it was time to move to a “safer” neighborhood. We moved to a suburb bordering the city, as we were not ready to entirely abandon it, and we wanted to be able to readily soak up all cultural offerings on the weekends. We met many dear friends in our new neighborhood. Our family continued to grow with son # 2, and then son #3 a few years later.
Shortly before son #3 was born, hubby was faced with a major turning point in his career, which caused us to reevaluate just about every other aspect of our lives. We were restless and peace seemed like a distant memory. We brainstormed what was truly important to us. We wrote a family mission statement. We prayed a lot. We thought about when we truly felt centered and at peace, and concluded that sort of calm came when we were in nature.
We liked being outdoors. We wanted to raise our boys somewhere where they had room to run. Somewhere they could really experience nature, play, explore, and just be. We wanted to be near farms so that we could pick fruits and vegetables, and our boys would know where food really comes from. We wanted to have a relationship with the farmers that grew and raised the food with which we nourished our bodies. We needed room to breathe.
We decided that we couldn’t really do any that in the metro area that we were living in. But it was important that weekend road trips to family and friends would be reasonable. We chose two areas in our state that we enjoyed, and Hubby concentrated his job search. And we prayed a whole lot more. We knew God would guide us in the right direction, wherever that may be. It was nearly a year later that Hubby was offered the “right” job in the area of the 45th parallel. After which everything moved at an accelerated pace. We sold our house and moved up north less than one month later!
Although we toyed with idea of buying a house on some land, we thought that might feel a little too isolated to our freshly uprooted family. Our children having neighborhood friends to play with was important to our transition. We settled in a forested, rural-ish neighborhood with lots of kids. We have miles of trails literally right out our front door. The neighbors are lovely. The farmland is a two minute drive away. For choosing relatively blindly, we landed in a great spot.
I am often asked why on earth we would choose to move away from all of our friends and family to the north country. Well, the photo above is one of the reasons. The simple answer is that it is just so beautiful here, all the dang time. This is where we are supposed to be.