Life Changes

Well, 2011 is shaping up to be a big year for Kristin and I.  Some of you know and some of you don’t that we have been interested in quite awhile in moving somewhere back east and eventually buying some land.  There are certainly things about the city we still enjoy very much, but over the past couple of years we’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with life here in Chicago.  Part of it is just the politics, lack of room and cost of living.  But mostly we are finding that all the stuff we like to do keeps going back to having land and space to spread out.  All of our hobbies take up room, including homebrewing, baking, canning and preserving, music and gardening.  And our interest in food, particularly the sustainable, grow it yourself kind requires land.  Neither of us are Midwesterners and we wouldn’t be in the Midwest other than Chicago.

So over the past 4-5 years, we’ve been doing lots of research on farming, animals, gardening and places to live.  We’ve visited quite a number of farms, including a lot of dairy goat farms and cheese operations.  We decided to put our condo on the market almost 2 years ago, realizing the timing sucked, but not realizing how bad.  We finally got a buyer in May of this year and after a long ordeal involving FHA approval and various other issues we were able to close on the sale of our condo last week.

Initially we had thought about taking a year and traveling/interning in various places before settling down, but since our condo took so long to sell we decided against that.  We had visited and considered various places, but the one that kept coming up to the top of the list was Vermont.  I think there are a variety of reasons.  One, it is one of the most food oriented states around, with lots of CSAs, cheese-makers, food co-ops and opportunities to buy local food.  Not to mention still proudly holding the title of most brew pubs per capita of any state.  We like that it’s fairly sparsely populated, with a lot of areas that are still relatively undeveloped and a dedication to green spaces and wilderness areas.  A big reason is that the state is just absolutely stunning, with an amazing mix of mountains, gently-rolling hills, forest, pastures and lakes and rivers.  And we also find the progressive politics to be a better fit for us than the corruption and ineffectiveness that is Illinois politics.

So in August we are moving to Vermont.  We’ll be renting a house in Bristol with a garden, wood stove, and plenty of storage, among other cool things.  Bristol is one of those quintessential Vermont villages.  It’s located about 30-40 minutes south of Burlington and about 15 minutes from Middlebury.  Our landlords are part-time farmers about 10 minutes south and I’ve already been enjoying getting to know them.

More to come later.  I’m hoping this move and the chance to do a lot of things we’ve been dying to do will spark more frequent updates to this blog.  But we’ll also be very busy for awhile, so feel free to ping me and ask how we are doing.