Yes, I love my house. Yes, I love Pine Lake. We have wonderful neighbors; we are warmly greeted as we walk and bike around our little hamlet. I have a gorgeous house with plenty of room for all of us, all our stuff and visitors.

But, I’ve still been feeling like something is missing. The girls, while free to explore the hamlet, have very little independence. I spend twenty minutes in the car, each way to take them to classes, the library, gymnastics, etc. They can’t get themselves to a coffee shop or the library. When I was a kid, taking myself to the park, library and friends’ houses was wonderful. And I’d really like the girls to have that.

Chloe has it in her mind that she’d like to go to school. And as Camille gets close to high school age, I think maybe school might be a possibility for her too. The girls can’t go to the schools here — the schools are just horrid. And I can’t stand the idea of carpool. More time in the car.

I have been wanting to try urban living for years. After a decade of trying to get Rob to find a job in DC, NYC, Paris or elsewhere, I give up. He has a great job here, and we have wonderful friends. So if I can’t get us out of Atlanta, perhaps finding an urban lifestyle here is a good enough solution.

I’m tied of spending a majority of my time taking care of all of our stuff. I’m ready to downsize and spend my time enjoying other things than our stuff. I realize that we will not ever fit everything into a two bedroom apartment. We will want to keep our camping, boating and other outdoor gear, but we can do that in a storage unit. I’m ready to live lighter and simpler.

I like having a yard, but I’m ready to give it up for more communal outdoor space. The cat will adjust to being an indoor creature; she likes going out, but she is happy to stay in too.

Will anything come of this latest idea? What decision will we make? It is a tough one, especially given that it will be near impossible to see our house given the current real estate market. Can we handle two mortgages plus the cost of moving and storage?

pine lake porch - 11 may 2011