Country Mouse

(written originally in the summer of 2015)

I live in the burbs. It’s a new thing. I did grow up in the burbs, but I quickly found the city and never went back. Until recently that is. Now I live in the burbs again. My new burbs are not the same as my childhood burbs though. There were no horse farms where I grew up. There were no mountain ranges. At least not in my town. The houses were closer and there were more of them. Stores were closer. Everything was closer. Now I live in a house at the foot of a mountain. It’s not a big mountain, but it qualifies.

Why do I live in the burbs next to a mountain? That’s a common question these days. Both from people who already live where I live now, and from old friends who live in cities. That’s not an easy answer. There are different answers. I wanted quiet. I wanted space. I wanted fresh air. I wanted Lucy to ride her bike in front of our house. I wanted a house. I wanted the drive to visit family to be under 3 hours.  I wanted all these things but I’ve only lived in cities for the last 25 years. Do I like it? It’s only been a couple months, but I think so. Red told me she’ll be able to answer that question in 3-5 years. We’ll circle back in 2019.

It’s been a long six months. Once we decided this was happening (moving to the burbs and all), there’s been a lot of new ‘to-do’s’ on our to-do list. People say moving is one of life’s big stresses. It’s probably true, but over the last 15 years we’ve done it so frequently that we’re actually pretty good at it now. Red and I moved several times around Brooklyn… and then from Brooklyn up to Cambridge… and then several moves in/around Cambridge… and now we’re back, living at the foot of a mountain an hour north of New York City. I guess one of the reasons for this move was to hopefully stop moving for a bit. We’ll see. Anyways, the to-do list for moving is no joke.

We sold our place in Cambridge. This involved storage units, and cleaning, and real estate people, and cleaning, and fixing things like broken pipes, and painting, and still more cleaning. We bought a place at the foot of a mountain. We moved our stuff, our kids, our dog, our fish. We said goodbye to good friends. We moved in summer so Lucy could start school on time in a new town. School’s a big deal when you’re moving with kids. At least, it should be I guess. Yeah, I think it should be. Anyways we did it. Now here we are living at the foot of a mountain by a lake.

There’s a lake not far from our new house. Actually, there’s three. Our lake connects to two more, and if you get yourself a canoe or kayak, you can paddle from end to end of all three. I’ll have to get myself a canoe or kayak soon. We took the dog down to the lake this morning. Does Lexy like the burbs? Hell yeah, Lexy likes the burbs. Lexy is the family dog and she recently turned 17. Crazy right? She’s been with Red and I since the beginning. She’s moved through all our moves. She likes the burbs. No question. She likes our yard, she likes our back yard. She likes the lake. Lexy seems pretty pleased with country living.

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So what’s the verdict for a family of city mice transplanted to the country? The jury’s still out, but I’m optimistic.

Update –

So I wrote this entry months ago, and never posted it.  I came back to it because on Monday we had to say goodbye to Lexy.  She was an old dog.  A few months out from her 18th birthday, Lexy had been struggling a lot lately.  Well, anyways, we had to say goodbye. I’m sad.  I lost a friend.  I lost my first, and to this point, only dog.  I’m happy she made it to our new home with us.  I’m happy she got to run in the grass and scamper by the lake.  I’m happy our girls got to know her… our first ‘baby’ before the real babies came.  Her absence feels glaringly loud right now.  I will miss her.  Goodbye Lexy dog.

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