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June 16, 2009


I'm so pleased for you that you have a buyer for your house, Beth, especially an excited young couple. It's hard to say goodbye to 30 years of living there but you've obviously already made the physical move to Montreal. It's the stuff, the garden, the memories, the town, isn't it? Though as you say the latter has changed with growth. I hate being a pessimist but that growth will stop one day not far into the future when we run out of oil. Maybe then we'll go back to local market gardens and farms and a communities making do and people helping each other? That young couple may well be part of that new movement.

Thirty years is a long time, but even if you had stayed, it hasn't stayed the same place. Things change, and when you get really old, like me, nothing is the same and you just live in the moment. Actually, that's not such a bad way to live. I know you love Montreal, and will have more stories to tell about it. Your memories of Vermont were lovely.

What you say in this post is very true, Beth. A world run by accountants, and change-management and time-management experts truly is an increasingly bleak one.

I thought I was content, Beth, to have seen your home in person, but I am equally content and feel more privileged to know a writer who can capture in words the intersection of place and time, inner and outer reflection, with the freshness you bring to it. So I am less afraid of what is happening to the world. Your sentences are from the quiet. They are chopped by hand.

Marja-Leena,you're right. I do find it's much easier to leave this place knowing that the next owners are excited and happy, wanting to build their life here much as we did. In Vermont there is a gradual movement back toward the local, it's just that the relationship is of consumer and grower, tax-payer and hired town manager. People have no background in pitching in and building their own community; they barely have time to cook for themselves these days. It's very different and I too hope it will change, but it's going to take a near-disaster for that to happen.

Anne G.: thank you for your wisdom. I hope I can gradually come to terms with the fact that I have no control, and that being in the moment is kinder to myself.

Anna, it's good to hear from you, and I agree completely with what you say.

Vivian, what a comforting and generous thing to tell me. Thank you.

That's just wonderful writing, beth, broadly considered, sensitive and well made. Just read it aloud to my wife.

I appreciate so much here -- "architectural colonoscopy" is brilliant, wish I'd though of it! -- especially your angle of view through the years. I think it could/should be cross-posted to The Clade.

Thanks, Bill, that means a lot to me.

Good idea, Deb - it hadn't occurred to me to cross-post this entry to The Clade but now that you mention it, maybe I will.

For every moment given to remembering the past, another opens to a future of yet untold possibilities...

Félicitations pour la vente de votre maison! Je comprends que ce soit pour vous deux un sentiment doux-amer mais pour nous, ça veut dire que nous vous verrons plus souvent à Montréal et nous nous en réjouissons.

Five years ago, Ed and I were one of these excited (but scared!) couples who bought a house from people who had built it and lived in it for 20 years. I wished that I could have had a sense of them passing on the house to us - and their love of it - but they arranged to not be at the notary's office at the same time as us and didn't talk to us at all, except through the agents. Your buyers will feel a lot of good vibes from your place. I'm really happy I got to see it before you move. And if you need help with the move, let us know!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.