(Written two days ago. It is pouring rain at present.)
The sun just peeked out from behind the clouds to shine on the mountain for the first time in days. The weatherman last night announced that this was the 4th wettest October on record in the Champlain Valley, the region of Vermont in which I live. Only Son’s daughter was here on a long awaited visit last week; it rained every other day while she was here. But to look out of the window onto the valley and see the layers of cloud cover over the lake and the lower areas was, and is, magnificent. Even Granddaughter was struck by the loveliness.
Yet as I type this, peering on occasion through the window to see faded autumnal colors against a brilliant blue sky, I know that I won’t see many of these Vermont Octobers.
Taciturn has decided that although he likes Vermont, it is as a place to vacation and not as a place to live. He doesn’t feel as if it is home--his home. We have been here all of eight entire months and have not yet completed unpacking. But his decision is made.
Several unfortunate things have happened that I’m sure influenced his decision. One was the house we bought. We were had, no way around it. Structurally it is more sound than not. But we realized after closing that there was a reason the art work all remained on the wall until the last minute, etc. The furniture and the art were arranged to hide a multitude of cosmetic sins such as large carpet stains, holes in walls, things like that. We paid major money for a secret fixer upper. Of course we purchased the house from a real estate lawyer, so no point in attempting to recoup anything.
Soon we realized that many of the windows did not close. The inspector told us some of the windows would need to be replaced, but after we moved in it was obvious most of them needed to be replaced. Kissed one full week and many, many thousands of dollars good bye.
The summer this year was extraordinarily hot. Living in northern New England, we did not think we would need an air conditioned house. Most houses aren’t air conditioned anyway. Taciturn is very susceptible to heat and suffered enormously. We inherited a room sized portable a/c unit, but it didn’t do the job. We purchased another, larger unit but needed to install a vent hole in the wall; we hired a fellow who had worked for the previous owner to do that for us. He agreed to the job--but never came to do the work. Meanwhile, at my new parish, I met a construction worker. He ended up doing the job after a few weeks of suffering while we waited for the first fellow.
Other things happened, but the biggest reason Taciturn decided that Vermont was not meant to be his home was that the house in South Dakota, the big house with all new appliances and newly painted walls that he always loved, did not sell. Taciturn, while not a religious man, began to consider maybe God did not mean for it to sell so again it could be his home. He said nothing to me about this gnawing inside of him.
As Taciturn mused, I threw myself into creating a life. I joined a health club and took up spinning. Saturday mornings I walked into town and bought a weeks’ worth of veggies at the farmers’ market. I had coffee with friends. Writers’ workshops were easy to attend as so many were close. Many Episcopal churches are in the area and I visited until I found a lovely small parish in which the people love each other as a real family. I even was invited to write an essay describing the role of the local alternative newspaper in our decision to move. Imagine my amazement when my essay was published on its own page!
Yet it seemed the more I threw myself into this new life, the more my husband backed away. The day after I submitted the essay to the alternative newspaper, he announced the epiphany that Vermont never could be his home. I had noticed that he did not seem to engage in life here, but he did not engage in life in South Dakota, either. There I was out of the house and busy all of the time but wanted to move away. He said he wanted to be there but seldom left the house. While still in South Dakota, I took that ennui to mean he really wanted to move away also.
Turned out I was very wrong.
More to come...