Our Move to the Country: Part 2

By Shawn
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Canton is a quaint little town with around nine thousand people. It has that country feel to it with small farms all around us and the Farmington River about a 1/4 mile away with many trout management areas. The pheasant and small game hunting is good here, and the deer and turkey are abundant. The school system is one of the best in the state, and there are good people here who have been here all of their lives and whose families have been here for generations. Now, being that this is still Connecticut, there are the “yuppie” types who commute to the Hartford area every day and live in those expensive cookie cutter homes that all look alike up on the hill that used to be woods and mountains. But they are all in one area of town, so the town still holds most of its original country landscape and charm. (Now, I’m not being derogatory towards the “newer” people of town, but we all know that a lot of small town governments now allow those neighborhoods. You know those neighborhoods. The ones with the people who have those great paying jobs, beautiful homes and SUVs. The ones who live to keep up with the Jones’. They have 2.3 children who play soccer and they hire people to mow their lawns and put up their Christmas decorations.  Ah yes, tax base, tax base, tax base… )

Our home is beautiful. We are on an acre of land with about twenty acres of open space bordering our property out back. We clown around telling each other and everyone else that we have twenty one acres! The house is a two family, surprise, surprise. Tami and I have a four bedroom cape with an attached four bedroom cape/colonial next door. That’s where my sister, brother in law, mom and the kids live. There is a four-car garage that we call “The Barn.” We call it the barn because the tax office has it listed as a barn, and it’s valued at a whole lot less that way. I’m good with that. There is a dirt road that runs along our place and ends about a mile away at the firehouse. We ride our ATVs on it all the time.

Our lives have changed a lot since coming here. Tami is teaching in a town about fifteen minutes away with a smaller population than Canton. She teaches special education students in middle school. Special ed has been her specialty her whole career. While that vocation has its share of problems, she really prefers small town problems as opposed to the ones of the cities. With fewer students, she gets to be more involved with them. I’m more comfortable with her teaching in a small town rather than a big city. Now, I don’t worry about her going to work everyday. She has also gotten very involved at church. She is the chairperson for the women’s group there and runs the food for the hungry collection.

Our daughter Amanda was here with us for a year and a half then decided to join the Navy. She didn’t enjoy or grasp the college life and decided the Navy was her future. We think she made a wise decision. She is recently married now to a guy who is also in the navy. He is on a sub and she is stateside. They have given Tami and I a beautiful granddaughter, and now another one is on the way. We miss them very much. They live in Norfolk, Virginia, where they are both stationed. He’s from Nebraska and likes the idea of farming. I was trying to get him to come up here to our sub-base so maybe we could do some farming together, but our daughter didn’t like that idea. I’m now keeping quiet about it. Oh well, I tried.

Our son Michael has made some friends here. He was resentful of the move at first. He missed his friends very much, and we couldn’t get him involved in the area. He preferred hanging out with his old friends at the beach, playing pool and videos at the many game rooms in the area and going to the mall to meet up with the girls. That was much more exciting to him than muddin’ up dirt roads with pickup trucks and going to bon fires on Friday nights at the state forest with the boys around here. He did eventually start making some friends here the last eight months or so, but none of it matters anymore anyway. He has just decided to go to school in Florida. He is going to motorcycle mechanic school in March. He wants to own a Harley Davidson repair shop. I’m very excited for him!

My mother couldn’t be happier living next door with my sister, and her now three children and husband. She is busy with them every day. She cleans and does the laundry and most of the cooking. She has two Golden Retrievers and a Pug. She breeds the two Goldens and we are awaiting the new set of puppies in about three days. This will be the original Golden’s second litter. Mom is going to let her rest now and breed the other Golden from the first set of pups.

My sister is active with the kids and teaches Sunday school. She misses the city life a little bit, but says she likes our new life better and wouldn’t want to raise the kids anywhere else. My brother-in-law has a full time job driving a truck all over the state for a produce company. He loves his job and takes all of the overtime he can get. (It isn’t easy raising three kids today financially, especially here in Connecticut. Contrary to popular belief, we are all not rich in Connecticut.)