We love many things about where we live, but we knew we were picking a set of negatives with this set of positives. For example, moving from Texas to Vermont meant leaving our entire family in order to live somewhere we fit in. Trying out cohousing meant losing a few connections we had established in Chittenden County.
Lives are full of these trade-offs, and they are unavoidable. Even really excellent things have drawbacks. We are not blind to these losses, but we actively choose to celebrate the things we gain. As I sit in a slightly chilly house that is currently unheated, I am reflecting on the things we do not often mention.
I am thinking about how fun it was to swim with five months of summer and how easy it was to travel before we had children. The easy walk for either coffee or groceries was a benefit to our place in Shelburne. I really enjoyed the access to the Nature Conservancy land along the La Platte. I miss cycling and quick jaunts into town. When I'm feeling anxious, I even miss being in an apartment with people all around. It was comforting living so close to a fire hydrant. I never knew how great it was to worry about only my illnesses.
The negatives specific to this place include a decrepit (but improving) house, strange neighbors, an ATV/snowmobile trail, very sandy soil, bad plumbing, outdated electrical service, creepy basement, poorly positioned mailbox, tons of trash, and a long commute. Really, that's not too bad of a list. I think I'm ready to focus on the positives again.