“Movin’ to the country…

Movin’ to the country,

Gonna eat a lot of peaches

Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat me a lot of peaches
Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches
Movin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches

(Song by Presidents Of The United States of America)

This song came up on my Google Play feed right before we moved. I promptly sent it to Mr. L with the subject title, “Are we nuts?” His response, “Yes.”

In all honesty, although supportive for the most part, all of our family and friends asked one question; why are you moving?

We tried to explain the rationale. Better value for the kind of property we always dreamed of owning. Waterfront access. Acreage with trees and grass. Quiet. But they didn’t quite buy it. I’m not sure we do either.

Having lived in parts of the GTA during the last twenty-plus years, navigating the concert jungle of York University and downtown Toronto for work, and landing on the west end of the city in a cute town (well city..) but let’s face it, suburbia, we were often unsettled. We traveled with and without the kids, explored the area and nearby Niagara winery region and really, were happy. Usually that unsettled feeling would abate after a long trip and a few beers in our small backyard listening to the sounds of the neighbourhood. For almost twelve years, we had lived in suburbia, had our children and built a wonderful network of neighbours, friends and healthcare providers. With our third child about to turn five years old, I had already started making plans for minor renovations and decor changes to the house.

But then, Mr. L, the constant researcher,  stumbled on an article about properties somewhere south of the border and what X amount of money could buy. It planted a seed leading to a conversation about our dream house. If we could do anything within our budget, where would we go? That conversation lead to the creation of a must-have list for both of us, then, to a challenge to find it in Canada, or better, Ontario. It wasn’t real. We were just playing the what-if game that many couples participate in, much like the “What if we won the jackpot?” conversation.

Then, one spring day, he called me over to his computer.

“Look at this.” He said and proceeded to scroll through pictures of a house for sale in an area I barely remember visiting in our early twenties called Prince Edward County.

On paper, the property had all of our criteria at the right price. Real estate prices were spiralling out of control in the GTA and we knew we could sell high but also knew buying our dream home in our current neighbourhood was an illusion. Really, why bother go through the pains of moving for a similar property in the same area?

So we researched, looked at all the alternatives within the GTA, compared other properties, discussed, planned and even backed away. However, after all the considerations were covered, we knew that the single thing holding us back was fear. Fear of changing our lives so drastically. Fear of the unknown, of starting over in a new community where doctors are in short supply and my five minute trip to the grocery store would be traded for a once a week trip into town. We also were not unhappy. We loved our neighbourhood, our kids were happy and fairly well-adjusted. So why do it? But some voice inside both of our heads asked, why not do it?

The kicker while we continually bounced moving back and forth? The house was still available. After six months of discussion, it was still there, waiting. Then one weekend, it hit me. I remembered once upon a time we almost moved east. We had been a hair’s breadth away from picking up our lives to move to Ottawa for post-graduate school until Mr. L got into his first choice of school in Toronto and the planned move was abandoned. Then another strange thing, I had written my second novel before we had even discussed moving and placed the setting randomly on The Bay of Quinte. Well, the house? Right on the Bay of Quinte. Also, in the setting of one of the rooms from my first novel was eerily similar in scope to the solarium in this particular house. Coincidences? Perhaps. But I like to live life with the notion of the possible so for me anyway, something (if you believe in that sort of thing), was pulling us east. It was an instinct, gut-feeling, whatever you want to call it but strong enough for both us (and Mr. L is the ultimate cynic to any notion of fate) that we had to at least consider the notion of picking up life in the GTA for the country.

So we went to physically see the house and visit the area, both of us knowing if it all lived up to the hype we had built up in our minds, we would get it. The writing was on the wall. The subsequent ease of the transaction of our new purchase and coinciding sale of our house, the agreement to a long closing so we could have our children finish school, all of it was issue-free. It was one of those rare moments in life when things fall into place smoothly and you kind of have to go with it.

Today? Three weeks later we are here. In The County, figuring out this rural life. Our children have arrived. We have already had guests stop by to see what possessed us to move here. We are living in and out of boxes while trying to enjoy the summer, the best time to play and host in this area from what I’ve heard and already I have a bunch of stories to share.



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