You knew my Vermont posts would eventually come around to knitting, didn’t you? I live in Vermont because of knitting. Not because I love to knit, but because my job is designing knitted projects and writing about knitting. I live in Vermont because my income doesn’t support living in Colorado or California, the last two places I lived before moving here, and because my husband and I don’t want to work for “the man.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love Vermont and I have wanted to live here since I was a little girl. But I don’t know if I ever would have ended up here if I hadn’t gotten laid off from my work-at-home tech job that paid the bills in Colorado. I loved my house, which was finally remodeled exactly the way I wanted it with oak floors, built-in bookcases, beautiful mosaic tile work over the butcher block cutting board, and a hand-made Mexican sink in the master bath. It took Dom over ten years to do all of the work himself. And that was just inside the house! In the yard we had a vegetable garden, a berry patch, grapes, a kitchen herb garden, and a dye garden. Not to mention the flowers!
Oh, how I loved my house and yard in Colorado! And even though the weather was too hot and the altitude was too high, I probably would have stayed there forever if the money had lasted. But I got laid off and a few months later, Dom quit his dairy-farm job with carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and a long list of other aches and pains. It was a body breaking job. It was a soul sucking job, too.
So there we were with a beautiful house and no income except for unemployment insurance and my knitting jobs. And enough equity in our house to buy a big, old, fixer-upper farmhouse in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, also sometimes known as “old Vermont,” where you may go to your favorite store and find out it’s closed today because the open flag is not up or there’s a sign on the door saying that the kids had a soccer game. We live in the poor corner of Vermont, and we love it.
We will probably never get this huge house and 2-acre lot fixed up the way we had our smaller house and 1/4-acre lot fixed up in Colorado. The floors will never be completely level and our yard will never be perfectly manicured. We won’t have a Mini Cooper or Mustang convertible in the driveway. But knitting pays the bills and frees us from the alarm clock.
And we are happy.