We moved to Vermont twenty years go yesterday — we pulled up in the driveway of our rental house in Essex Junction on May 16, 1998. I started work at what was then IDX Systems Corporation two days later, on May 18 — and despite it technically being a different company now as a result of the acquisition in the mid-2000s by GE Healthcare, I’m still in the same job (and technically, the same position).
We got married in September of 1997 and by midwinter we had decided it was time to relocate. North Carolina traffic was just getting to us and we couldn’t begin to afford a house given the central NC real estate market at that time. I happened to make a business trip to Massachusetts in February of 1998 or so and had time to drive through Vermont one afternoon. I called Carole that night and said “We’re moving to Vermont.” Carole said “OK.” A couple of months later we both had jobs and a rental house and thanks to the help of our friends loading the truck up, we got out of NC and to Vermont without too much pain or difficulty.
Our rental house in Essex Junction was nice and all, but it had a tiny lot and a landlord who thought nothing of walking around the backyard whenever the mood struck him. So, we bought a house in April of 2002 and are still there. I know it sounds blithe to say “so we bought a house” but we were extraordinarily fortunate: we found the house we wound up buying on our first day of our search and we knew right away it was the one for us. The owners were selling it themselves and, frankly, were selling it for a good bit below market value. It was located out in the country, in the woods, not far from the Winooski River and the Long Trail, with three acres of lawn around it and beautiful views of the Green Mountains out the dining room and living room windows.
Carole and I always sort of planned on having kids, but it just never came to pass. I work in a job that’s sometimes 75-80% travel, and Carole works as an accountant. Without some serious career changes, it would have been hard to be good parents. We acquired cats instead. Much less overhead, and they rarely if ever get into trouble at school or traffic accidents.
Long story short: Time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was starting at IDX, and now it’s been twenty years.