The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

It's the first day of the month of April...no foolin'!  Also, it's the first day that we are no longer residents of North Carolina. 

And, as that 60's saying attributed to Charles Dederich goes: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Truth be told, I'm still in recovery mode from the last 365+ days of my life. 

After the marathon of moving activities that began in earnest a little over a year ago, yesterday's closing on our HPNC house seemed, well, almost anticlimactic. We had made a trip to GA at the beginning of the week, using the opportunity to take a carload of "stuff" (meaning some of the odds and ends that didn't make it onto the movers truck and into storage) to Missy M's. On our return to Casa 3917, we packed the rest of the "stuff" either in one of our cars or in the garbage cans.

And then we took a final walk around the yard and into the Way Back. The pink dogwood (pictured) is just beginning to bloom in front, and everything is looking green and lush after the recent rains. Of course, there is a long list of garden chores...getting longer as the days and nights lengthen...but we won't be doing them this year. Not in HPNC at least. 



Even though we have taken divisions of almost every known plant we have (that constituted the majority of the load we took to M's in the 16' Budget Truck 2 weeks ago), I imagine it's no secret that this is the answer to the question: "so, what will you miss the most about High Point?"  The Way Back, hands down. Oh sure, we will miss many elements about the house (all the beautiful wood floors, crown molding and chair railing in every room; and the kitchen and morning room with the fireplace and windows on our Way Back world); we'll miss living side-by-side with Oak Hollow reservoir in the Sailing Point neighborhood, especially that drive into it which was so relaxing; we'll miss living in a 15-minute college town...you can get anywhere you need to be in 15 minutes or less, and you benefit from being in the orbit of a university; and I'll especially miss living in an Amtrak train stop town (see depot photo below) and all the friends I made through Master Gardening. But, the memories of our garden oasis that we created from a wasteland will leave us with the keenest sense of loss.



[Certainly, there are some things that we will happily say buh-bye to: the Skeet Club and North Main Street road construction headaches, along with the lack of much cultural identity for a city which has a heritage other than socks and sofas (see photo below)...made much worse by the overwhelming focus by the powers-that-be on the Furniture Market, which creates a void of vibrant and interesting shopping and dining opportunities in what can only be described as a generally boring and lackluster downtown...*yawn*...except twice a year. I can honestly say I shall not miss Market!]



Anyway...

I couldn't help but recall what it looked like when we moved into the house nearly 8 years ago (actually 7 years, 10 months...a record for us, by the way!). The original owners had both had debilitating health problems for over a year prior to their putting the house on the market and had moved to senior care facilities. The house and property were well maintained, but both were...sterile and...cold and...almost unloved-looking. I know that must sound silly, but that was my first impression, and it took me a long time to shake those feelings off. We have loved living at Casa 3917, and I wanted the new owners to have a different first impression of their new home.

When we were leaving the house for the last time on Thursday night just before the couple was to come over for their final walk through, I gathered the remaining Spring flowers (some paperwhites were still blooming) along with cuttings of rosemary ("rosemary is for remembrance") to make a bouquet in a Mason jar...which I left on the counter along with all the warranty booklets, the original house plans and lawn sprinkler layout, a Shutterfly book* of pictures of the property in bloom, and a couple notes of welcome to their new home. I moved two of the garden chairs that weren't going with us onto the screen porch, along with a small plant stand for a table, to create a quiet spot for them to relax during the hectic move-in period. I hoped that I could convey comfort and...warmth and...a sense that "you will love living here...we did!"

It must have worked because when we met the new owners on Friday morning, they were both smiling ear-to-ear, and the wife said "we loved your notes you left! Thank you!"

Ahhhh...my work here is done!

So, closing went off without a hitch and we headed our cars down I-85 to our temporary quarters with Missy M. Somewhere around Charlotte, we got the call from our realtor saying that the deed had been recorded electronically, which meant that it was officially a "done deal!" More importantly, it meant we could deposit the check we had received...and promised not to cash or deposit until we got the word it was official (it's a North Carolina thing...go ahead and roll your eyes...we certainly have...;-). To make it all official-official, I posted on Facebook that we were officially homeless...yippee! 

Next steps? Well, I had planned to sleep for a week...or at least until noon today...but, of course I did neither. Probably because I was too darn excited about it being the first day of the rest of my life!

We do need some R & R from the tyranny that "the move" had become, so we plan on restoring our equilibrium, so to speak, here with Missy M over the next few weeks. The garden here is calling out, and there is plenty to keep us busy and happy.  It's definitely going to take time, though, as I discovered last night: I found myself thinking "now, when we drive home to NC on Sunday..."  Umm, no. There will be no more of that. We are no longer residents of NC.

We already have a realtor here (just like we found our HPNC realtor, we are using the American Airlines Miles From Home program...which earns us airline miles when we use their services), so if we decide that "here" is where we want to be, we can find our next abode.

That is the Big Question we will be mulling: where exactly is our new "here?"

As always...stay tuned!

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* Here's a link to that Shutterfly book I mentioned. Fingers crossed it works when you click on it!

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