Friday, 22 March 2019

Turn in the Road

Last year was a year of travel with several motives. One motive was exploring towns, states, locations, communities for a home that could be ours. A place we could feel comfortable, a place we felt offered us something, and a place that we felt we had something to offer in return. We each had a list of things we wanted, but the list was flexible. We knew compromise would be needed, nothing is perfect, and certainly nothing could be perfect for two persons with such varied interests.

We liked many places. We liked small towns, larger towns, towns in the north, towns near the Mexican border. We liked pretty much any town with a halfway friendly vibe, a library, a few restaurants, and a brewery. There are many towns that fit that criteria, but all of them had some negative (for us) that made them not 100% appealing or worth the risk of a move. So we reasoned: if there wasn’t a town that we loved in all of our travels, why not choose the town we already have?

I’ve lived on my south Texas property for six years, but I have not made Hallettsville my home community. I have maintained clients and community in Austin and Houston instead. For six years, I have driven the two hours to work for organizing clients and rehearse and visit my music communities. A two hour commute has been an acceptable price to pay for the lovely retreat I have created on my ten acre oak tree paradise.

Because we love the property, we decided to honestly give the Hallettsville community all of our energy to see if we could find a social and a working space to call our own. We got an office in town and advertised our services in multiple ways. We got involved and went to every function the town had to offer for six months. It’s not that Hallettsville is unfriendly or a bad place, but it does not fit us. We don’t fit Hallettsville. And, Hallettsville does not fit even half of our criteria list. With the exception of the fact that I loved the old 1890s building in which our office space existed, trying to fit our round needs and personalities into Hallettsville’s square space is never going to work.

In a bit of curiosity and frustration, I asked my facebook friends what towns they thought would fit us. Several towns were brought up that I had never heard of. We crossed most northern cities off the list because we don’t really like the idea of freezing for half the year. There was one southern town that caught our attention. We explored online to find locally owned restaurants, an active library, vibrant live music scene, artistic friendly vibe, AND a really weird house listed for sale.

We took our first trip to Silver City, New Mexico in early February. It was without question perfect for us. A town of 10,000 people, it’s big enough to have most conveniences, but small enough to be completely walkable. From that weird house-for-sale, it is only four-tenths of a mile to the library, to a grocery co-op, to a brewery, to the main row of locally owned bookstores and restaurants. There are nearby hiking trails, and people accept us as we are without question or curiosity.

We met with a realtor that week of our visit. She showed us six properties including the really weird house. Weird House is in a great location, the price was right for a house that will be a project for three to five years. Weird House has unbelievable potential and the town is wonderful. We put in an offer and negotiated the contract before going back to Texas.

I am writing this at our dining room table in our crazy Weird House in Silver City. Our move may seem sudden to some, but it is the right move for us. As for the Texas property, that’s the hard part. It’s twelve hours away and does require attention to maintain the space. I’m not trying strongly to sell it at this time, but I am entertaining offers. It may be that we can find a balance and still enjoy visiting, but the world is full of places to visit, and we want to build a life with community and friends. At some point, I’m pretty sure the property will become more of an obligation than a treasure. I would like to sell it before it becomes a thorn in my side. I’d like to pass it on to someone who can enjoy what I with my friends have built while I still love it.

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