It has been a little bit over a year since my husband and I took the leap and moved to the country. The first year was quite an adventure, filled with laughter, sweat, and nervousness. When we first discussed moving, we were still high from our wedding, living each day in the after glow of being newlyweds. We wanted a change and wanted the always sought after "fresh start." However, migrating upstate felt more like moving to a new planet rather than a new zip code.
The weeks flew by after moving day, and we quickly had to adjust to the weather changes, animal encounters, and being first-time homeowners. The hardest part was the emotional and psychological changes that came once reality set in... and I would say this happened around the holiday season. Realizing that we were alone, far from family and friends, made things a bit more difficult. Although we have always been a tight-knit couple, we had to learn to rely more on one another, which in hindsight brought us evermore closer. I think I have learned more about my husband in the first year of living here than I did during our five-year courtship and year-and-a-half engagement.
The home we moved into belonged to my husband's family, who would spend their summer's up here until my husband was in college. He knew the land through his wild adventures with his older brother and their cousins. Each broken branch held a specific memory of childish antics; each abandoned object on the land was used by them to complete their imaginary games. He was well equipped for the life that is lived 1,400-plus miles above sea-level. I, on the other hand, was only well-equipped to enjoy the cold, sometimes below-zero, temperatures, or so I thought.
It took me a while to realize that home was more than just our house; home included the world that lived outside our windows - grass, trees, bugs, deer, rabbits, and a few bears. I had to adjust, and rather quickly. Although I am not one to shy away from manual labor, I had to pace myself; not everything needed to be done as soon as possible, nor could it be done so quickly. My New Yorker sensibilities did not help me either, and I had to change how I functioned in the country.
Things are not as easily accessible as it is downstate; simple tasks like food shopping and running quick errands (a notion that does not exist up here) takes precise and logical planning. On top of that, I had to take up driving again, something that was only a suggested activity pre-move. Maneuvering through the mountains, past the suicide inclined animals, and battling the unpredictable weather, really made me wish to be a city-dweller, again.
Then, the sun rises, or sets, and the beauty of the country revealed itself. The fresh air seeped into our bones and somehow rejuvenated us; it makes any person feel whole, even when one never considered themselves to be incomplete. Each season made us fall more in love with our environment and we made friends with the animals that prowled all around us. The land welcomed us, and sometimes bashed us down with its force, but that was okay; we welcomed it with open arms (being a New Yorker has taught us to not take crap from any person or thing).
I wonder what the second year will have in store for us...