After we had first moved to Nederland, I was out walking one day and met some of our neighbors down the road. Turns out they were one of the first people to build a house in the neighborhood, and had been living her for almost thirty years. They have a lot of insight into the kind of people that choose to live here, and stay here for the long term. One of the things they shared with me, is that when people move to the neighborhood, especially from the city, they normally last on average, three years. On the one hand, this seems somewhat surprising. I love where we live, the relaxed way of living, the private dirt roads, the cool weather, and the living among nature. On the other hand, when you consider where people are moving from, and what their motivations are, it isn’t really all that unexpected.
Even though we are only 17 miles from Boulder, in terms of the culture, Nederland might as well be on Mars. What’s interesting though, is the frequently new people who move into the neighborhood come from Boulder or other nearby towns. Some people take to Nederland’s lifestyle, and some don’t, which explains the three-year turnaround. The winters are too snowy, and more commonly the culture is too different. This became apparent to me recently watching our neighbor “walking” her dog. I first noticed her this winter, when an SUV went down the street with a dog chasing it. Then it happened again one night while talking to the people next door, and he told me that is how she “walks” her dog. At the time, I thought it was only because of the cold, snowy weather. But then the other day as I was driving up the road, there was the dog again running alongside her vehicle. The strangest thing is, I could make some sense out of it, if she was elderly or handicapped, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either. The weirdest thing about it, is if she lived anywhere else with a paved road, she obviously could never do that. And most of us our treasure our “back roads” because we can walk with our dogs in the road. It’s just another strange oddity of new people to the neighborhood.