Town Mouse, Country Mouse
It’s Springtime here on the prairie. Yes, indeed, March roared in a week ago with blizzard warnings and school closings, but by the looks of today’s sunshine and mild breeze you’d never guess that 7 days ago we were weathering a below zero windchill.
The robins are skipping and flitting about building nests. Squirrels are happily digging up buried caches of acorns. Bunnies are hopping around piles of last fall’s leaves. Nine is leering at everyone greedily. In our humble garden, yarrow shoots and strawberry leaves are poking out from beneath the dirt. And finally, we’ve been able to crack a window and air winter’s dust from our carpets and upholstery.
Yup, Spring is here. And it has put us in a mind for moving.
One year from now, Joel and I will anxiously await the results of computer-generated, tell-all Match, which, like a gypsy fortune-teller, will mysteriously inform us of our future, in no uncertain terms. “Here’s the name of the town that you will live in for at least the next four years,” the paper will read, “and here’s the name of the place where Joel will continue to learn, grovel, and wheedle his way into the World of Medicine.” We’ve been dreaming about this moment for months now … Counting down to that wonderful Match Day when we’ll move on from Vermillion to wild and untamed lands like Minneapolis … or Omaha … or Portland … or Iowa City.
Until then, we’ve got one last brilliant summer to remember Vermillion by, and here’s the question: where to do it?
We’re happy outside of our cozy little domicile, a few blocks from nearly everywhere in Verm-Town. The grocery store, the movie theatres, the swimming pool, and the park are just a sidewalk away. Inside our house, however, is different story. The three of us share a little less than seven hundred square feet of living space, and it’s getting cramped more and more as Adelaide scales the Growth Chart.
Adelaide’s presence however welcome has made our quarters even more tight with her extensive, constantly changing wardrobe, her battalion of plush toys, and her ability to turn a tidy, organized cupboard of pots and pans into a mine field of trips and falls. Additionally, we’re happy that Adelaide’s company has brought grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to our home, but – and I think that we can all agree on this, grandparents, aunts, and uncles – one tiny bathroom for 6 people to share over a long weekend is crazy!
So, here’s the thing … We’ve got an opportunity to move to a farmhouse outside of town, for less money, for more space, and for an additional bathroom (even if it is in the form of a compost pile that only Joel uses). This farmhouse is in between Vermillion and Yankton, cutting Joel’s daily commute to twenty minutes one-way and adding ten minutes to my commute. We could get a dog. We could have fabulous outdoor parties. We could have guests a bit more comfortably. We could live like country folk for just a year. But, we might miss the sidewalks. We might get scared all alone in a creaky old farmhouse on nights when Joel will be away next year. We might get lonely. And we’d have to move. Yuck.
But then again, listening to the prairie on summer nights, sitting on the back stoop of an old farmhouse, seems kinda nice, too.