We found it--the perfect 3-acre layout with a decent little house and an already cultivated garden plot. It might even be within our financial reach. The clincher is this: it's a three-minute drive from our current house. That's the good news and bad news rolled into one.
See, when it comes to location, CP and I keep vacillating between two schools of thought:
1) Let's put down roots in our current area. CP is happily employed, we have a few friends, I have connections for possible future employment, we like being part of our small church, and there are plenty of opportunities (educational, social, cultural) for NS when she gets older. Plus we're about as equidistant as possible from our various family members, which brings us to...
2) Let's settle in the area about sixty miles from here, where 3/8 of our immediate families' households are currently located, and where maybe--just maybe--our parents could be enticed to settle in their retirement. We have some college friends nearby, too. Moving there could be an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a closer network of family and friends. In some ways, though, it would mean starting over.
We know what we want, but not where we want it (or whether we can have it all in one place).