Yes, Lauralew is still alive, but relocated.
A bit over two weeks ago, Taciturn and I locked up our Black Hills home for the last time and hit the road with our two felines. We drove a day behind a horrendous snow storm (no dearth of those this winter), which caused only a couple hours’ worth of road angst in and around Erie PA. We moved into our interim Vermont home, a 160 year old furnished red farmhouse, on Sunday February 28th. Our gracious landlord came over to check on us not long after. She gave us a quick update on the quirks of the house and the property and the customs of garbage disposal, recycling, etc--which we absolutely needed to know as they are quite different than in western South Dakota.
This is a nice home for the time being. Definitely would not want it forever--we are here in Vermont’s mud season so it is a wild ride down the dirt (mud soup) road into town, for example. It is a bit far out of the closest town. Even if all else was perfect, one of the quirks of the property that the landlord mentioned would totally preclude this house from consideration for a permanent home. But it is a good base for househunting.
We had one offer on the Black Hills home, which has been on the market for almost six weeks. We turned it down as it was so awful it was almost insulting--it made many assumptions about us and our motivations, let me just put it that way. Eventually it’ll sell.
VTCrone has been just wonderful to us since we arrived. She and her husband received five large packages for us that I had shipped ahead, brought us some yummy lasagna which made four meals, and took us to a wonderful restaurant just four miles from our rental. Also, they allowed me to tag along to church with them this past Sunday at an Episcopal congregation that meets in an old schoolhouse in the town of Jerusalem, VT--thus the name Jerusalem Gathering. The bishop of Vermont, Thomas Ely, visited that particular Sunday; he said to me afterward, “What’s your story? You obviously know your way around Episcopal liturgy.” We talked for a while. He was very nice. Everyone I met was pleasant and cordial. It’ll be fun to go on a normal Sunday.
Househunting has started in earnest. We have driven all over the west central area of Vermont looking at villages and neighborhoods. Right now the pickings are slim for homes that we would consider in our target areas. For example, we fell in love with the town of Richmond, VT last summer. Taciturn’s ideal home would be an older home right in town. One that fits that description in our price range has railroad tracks just past the back yard and a packaged meat distribution center one block away in the front. Not for us. Elsewhere we have found two houses that would do, but we are not sure yet we want to live in the village where they are located. We do not have to make a decision now, thankfully.
As for Lent--what’s that? Hard to maintain a discipline when I don’t feel yet like I live anywhere. I brought some books to read but at present when I’m not actively working at a task, I just pace around the house.
As we get into a rhythm of life here in this transition phase, I’ll try to be better about updates. One can only househunt so many hours in a day without tearing out one’s hair.
Off to run errands!