I love my house but hate its environs. I feel like my life is a Billy Joel song.

"Well we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down...

And it's getting very hard to stay
living here in Allentown"

The only thing missing is a film of gray over everything and the stench of iron ore. You see, I live in one of the poorest towns in Connecticut. Perhaps you will mock me, and say that, if you have to be poor somewhere, it might as well be in Connecticut. Whatever. The point is that it sucks to have child sex offenders on one side of you and the department of public works across the street. The only benefit is that my street is the first to get plowed when it snows (which it does, a lot). But this is what we could afford in a state where any house under 200k is guaranteed to have lead paint, asbestos, a leaky roof and flying squirrels in the attic.

Still I am grateful for what we have, and the independence we are able to maintain. Our circa-1800 Cape Cod dwelling is full of well-maintained charm. The rooms are spacious. The windows are new. Our kitchen ceiling is made of barn doors and the ceiling in the den is tin. We have three fireplaces and a brick oven. Our basement is lined with trenches so the place doesn't turn into a pool when rainwater pours down the stone facade. My husband has a large garage space and there's the potential to create a writer's studio in the barn loft. I truly love the place, and would be happy to employ a moving company to pick up our belongings--house and all--and plop them down on a 10-acre property far away surrounded by nice neighbors and good schools.

Then again, why should we have it all right now? We're young still, with plenty of life chops to earn. The world doesn't owe us a thing. If we want to live in New England, with acreage and access to a premier education for our kids, then we're just going to have to work longer and harder for it. Thanks to our parents, we've got a firm foundation on which to build. We're solid.

That's a lot of be thankful for, when you consider there are people living in a double decker tree house next door. Posted by Picasa


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