With the countdown to Empty Nest at just four years, my husband and I have been doing a lot of thinking, talking and writing about what we want from a place to live once the local school system and other kid-friendly criteria are no longer the driving forces behind our choices. It’s not that we don’t love having our kids around or that we would have changed the parenting plans we made, but we have been at this parenting thing for a long time now (almost 31 years) and we’re ready to look forward to what lifestyle we want once it’s just the two of us. (Yes, I know, grown kids still come back from time to time, but having an older child in the house is not the same as the under-18 age group that requires active parenting.) So, we’ve been trying to list the most important considerations for our future home and lifestyle. We haven’t come up with many definitive points yet. Brian mentioned to friends a few nights ago that it would probably take us the entire four years to complete this list. That seems mind-boggling to me – a person who typically makes quick decisions, but this topic is tough. Other than making the initial decision to be parents, which influenced all of our decisions thereafter, this is one of the biggest decisions of our lives. We’re planning for where and how we want to live as two grown-up, active, educated people. We’re tossing around a lot of ideas: water, outdoor activities, social opportunities, proximity of friends, walkability… So far, the only definitive item on the list is that we want to be there together.