Next month the postman delivers the renewal agreement for our cottage… for the 7th time.

bang head against the front door.

But this week, he returned my passport with a UK permanent residence card enclosed.

bang head against the front door (again), and pour a glass of wine.

The questions swim in my head and I feel my heart beating faster. Should we stay or should we go? Is there greener grass or just different grass? Is England home or a temporary homebase?

In six years, the cottage’s front door has welcomed our firstborn home from the hospital, and greeted visiting family and friends. Its walls have echoed cheers celebrating birthdays and holidays.  The chimney has kept our family cozy on cold nights, and the conservatory is a perfect nook for watching the rain or sunset.

Last spring, the garden helped our daughter find her stride. And when bathed in sunshine, it is the perfect backdrop for a barbecue with friends.

 An 800-year old English oak is the guardian of our house. Over its life it has seen houses built and destroyed, survived wars, fires, and drought. And in its recent years it has patiently listened to me lament, laugh, scream and sing.
 
I do love our cottage. But of late, I am feeling anxious.
We are stuck at a fork in the road, with the parking brake on. Face it, some routes are easier to navigate than others. As a driven individual, a wife, and a mother, I consider how each road offers different hills, valleys, blind turns, and scenic views. And I do not know which one to take.
 If I could map my perfect route it would be somewhere peaceful and scenic. We would enjoy living around the four seasons and have the option of sunning on a beach and skiing in the mountains. Off the main route we would have our home with our custom fitted kitchen. Our neighbours would be close friends and family.
Ouisie would have great schooling and unique travel experiences. Chef would plant his dream garden and have a work shed for practicing all his culinary hobbies. And of course, there would be great fly fishing and golf nearby. Carib, too, would enjoy the garden and going for walks in the surrounding forests. I would have a studio for writing and doing arts n’ crafts. There would be great shopping, cute cafes, and a great yoga studio within walking distance. The fine arts and city buzz would not be too far away.
We would be a part of a thriving community with good healthcare, and we would all be safe. Along this route, I can envision our roots thriving and growing strong like the old oak tree.
 The renewal agreement is on its way. And though I am antsy, I know we need more time to find our little utopia. I keep faith that the correct turn signal will eventually illuminate. And when it does, we will release the brake and accelerate.