Ever since their honeymoon in Killington, Phyllis and Steven Ershowsky have loved Vermont. In 1993, they moved from their native New York to Florida to pursue their careers, Phyllis in public relations, Steven as a certified financial planner, but the idea of life in Vermont never quite left their minds as their Florida county’s population grew.
“We had been talking about moving back to the northeast from Florida to be closer to family, and always had Vermont in mind…A move to Vermont would bring us closer to our New York and New Jersey relatives, and allow us to fulfill a dream of buying land and having a small farm. As this thought process was taking place, both of our adult children independently sent us links to Vermont’s Stay-to-Stay program,” said Phyllis Ershowsky.
The couple selected a weekend in Manchester, where they were introduced to area real estate agents and chamber of commerce professionals who offered support through the relocation process.
“We had been thinking seriously about the move, but meeting these fabulous people really confirmed our plans,” Ershowsky said.
They moved to Pittsford in April 2020, and said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, their Realtor gave them a warm welcome, though they didn’t get to know the rest of the community until later. When they did, they learned just how interconnected and close a Vermont community can be.
“In our area, almost everyone is related in some way and there are generations of Vermonters going back 100 to 200 years. This was both surprising and delightful – so interesting to hear the stories of people we meet,” Ershowsky said.
Ershowsky’s husband works remotely as a financial planner, so his job was secure when the couple moved; Ershowsky has continued to work with some of her public relations clients in Florida and has also taken a role as a marketing consultant with a Vermont firm.
“Although we only meet via Zoom at this point, meeting this amazing, professional, inspiring team of people has been an extraordinary, professionally fulfilling experience. This work is extremely meaningful and has made the transition to Vermont a most positive life event,” she said.
She’s also a first-time children’s author and plans to hold book signings around the state when it’s safe.
Life in Vermont has lived up to the hopes they had, Phyllis said, ticking off the reasons they love Green Mountain life.
“My work. Being outside more. The views. The quiet. The land. Learning new things about starting a little farm, raising chickens, with sheep on the way in the spring. Our nice neighbors. The ‘Dream Team’ of local Pittsford people working to make Pittsford Village Farm a community gathering place – they have welcomed me to their committee with warmth, good humor, and a collaborative spirit. Being able to ski nearby and be back at my desk by lunchtime,” she said.
Comparing life in Vermont to the life the couple enjoyed for so long in Florida, Ershowsky says Vermont life fits more closely with their dreams.
“Living and working in Florida was great for us when our children were growing up and our careers were taking off. Although we will miss our Florida people, we hope they will consider Vermont a great place to visit when the pandemic is over,” Ershowsky said.
“Life in Southwest Florida was as different to life in Vermont as you can imagine. The weather is the most obvious – but we are welcoming the seasons and cooler weather again. Everything in Florida is new and while the water, sunshine and foliage are beautiful, Vermont offers a welcome change and a rich history around every corner. The nature and wildlife here are providing new discoveries. When we moved to Southwest Florida in 1993 it was still in its infancy as far as population growth. Lee County now has more people than the entire State of Vermont,” and the Ershowskys like it a little less crowded, she said.
“Now it is time for our next chapter, time for a new adventure, and we are very happy to make Vermont our home.”