Looking back over the last three years I remember times when we felt like giving up our dream. The 'cowboy' builders, the endless list of renovation work. The vast quantities of forms and the sometimes contradictory 'help notes' that accompanied them. The moments of panic. Those 'what if' moments when contemplating leaving behind good jobs, pensions, financial safety. Thoughts of leaving family and friends, even though day to day living allowed so little time to spend with them. Yes, there were times when it would have been easy to give up and stay put.
There are moments still when we waiver. Moments when we miss everyone so much. Moments of panic, wanting to pack our suitcase and jump on the next flight back.
But there are also times when we count our blessings. Like when we walk down the hill into town, the sun shining down on us, the air is clean and the views of the mountains, forest and lakes spread out before us. Or when we sit quietly watching the sun go down behind the trees each evening. Or when Chippie scampers about our feet waiting patiently for peanuts.
These are the times when I reflect and feel grateful. Grateful for the courage and strength we were given to carry on when it would have been so much easier to give up. For family and friends who, putting aside their own feelings, encouraged and supported us when it would have been easier to ask us to stay. For the opportunity to experience a different life, one which for many exists only in dreams. To see bears in the back yard. To have snow in the winter some six feet deep. To be surrounded by nature and, for a while at least, the luxury of time to enjoy it all.