Yep, we’re finally saying it. The packers are here, and though it will shortly be in boxes, my studio now looks like this:
Yes, I know, this doesn’t look much different from the last time I checked in with all of you readers oh, so many months ago (if any of you are still here after months of radio silence). But you’ll just have to trust me that it did look different in the interim because I did organize and arrange my studio so that I could use it, though it was never really “home.” How could it be, when it was a sardine can compared to what I had before? Sure, there was a very small bit of quilting going on in the last few months, but my heart wasn’t in it for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons was that I had a hard time finding anything when I needed it, and I’d get irritated when creativity stopped because I couldn’t find whatever it was I needed at the time, and I’d turn the lights off and head down the stairs to do something else. There’s only so much organization you can do in a sardine can with low slanted ceilings…
Anyway, enough about the past few months and onward to the exciting part! We are finally moving back to the United States! Honestly, it’s well past the time that we should have been headed for the next chapter of our lives. ITMan has a new job in Augusta, Georgia, and we’ll be there in less than a month. Things happen fast when they finally happen, especially when the Army is involved.
I was in Augusta a couple of weeks ago, and I bought a fabulous house. I had a HUGE amount of help with the house hunting; Dawn met me in Atlanta, and we drove to Augusta for a week of house hunting and shopping, eating out and getting to know the Augusta area. It’s a good thing Dawn lives fairly close to Georgia; I shudder to think about how this would have gone had she not been there for me. I’ve never bought a house in my life, and ITMan hasn’t bought one in 25+ years, so we’re clueless! Dawn knows how to do this stuff since she’s moved with the military many more times than I have. And for her to take a week out of her life to come and help me buy a house is just way above and beyond the call of duty for a friend, even a really good one. Dawn is the most awesome friend in the world!
I also had the help of two of the most fabulous realtors in the Augusta area, Drew and Christine May. When we got the word that ITMan had the job, I started looking at real estate in Augusta, and I spent a day and a half searching the listings at Drew and Christine’s site, which I randomly clicked on from a Google search for “Augusta Real Estate”. I finally decided to see who was behind this website, so I read Christine’s About page, and saw that she was German! Now, I believe in signs, and I took this as a sign that I should call and talk to Christine about helping us find a new home in Augusta. Truly, that was the best decision I could have made!
Christine’s husband Drew drove Dawn and I all over to look at houses in the Evans, Martinez and Grovetown areas near Augusta for eighteen hours over two entire days. Christine was in the office directing us by phone to even more houses when we found an area that I liked. Drew gave me a priceless crash course in house hunting, construction and finishing styles, and the Augusta area in general. The end of the second day led us to a small quiet neighborhood that I really liked, but the house wasn’t quite perfect. We drove around the neighborhood a bit more, and saw another house for sale, so we stopped in to take a look. After much looking and discussion, emails and phone calls with ITMan back in Germany, and lots of thinking overnight, we decided that was the one!
I have lots of pictures of the house (thanks to Drew for taking about 150 pictures over two days!), but for now, I’ll tease you with this one:
It’s up on a hill, and by the time I see it again, it won’t be yellow. The builder is painting the outside for us, since I didn’t like the yellow! I think the rocking chairs come with the house, and I know that this double swing in the back does, since it’s the builder’s trademark to put one in the yard of every house he builds.
There have been more of those signs I believe in throughout this whole process. The builder lives four houses down from our house, and he owns a Shelby Mustang! He even offered to let me drive it into the driveway of the house, because I was a little concerned about the slope of the driveway where it meets the street and how it would be with our cars. Since he had his Shelby up and down the driveway during construction of the house, I figured I didn’t really need to test it personally.
When I went to Verizon Wireless to buy a cell phone (since taking my Blackberry to the States was just going to be painful, and T-Mobile’s coverage in the Augusta area isn’t great anyway), the young man who helped me with all of the various issues we had with getting phones—ITMan and GuitarGirl not there to pick out phones, need a family plan but only the bare minimum right now since we won’t be there for a month, and how the heck does all of this stuff work in the States anyway?— was truly a gem. We finally got down to the contract part, and he asked me my birth date. Who would have ever guessed that his birthday would be the same day as mine, March 22? Another sign, I tell ya’!
I can’t wait to get on the ground over there, though the hard part is still coming before I can get there. We’re flying in three separate stages: first LittleOne and I will go, then the cats will fly (THAT’s the part that worries me the most!) and I’ll pick them up in Atlanta, then ITMan and GuitarGirl will fly last and I’ll pick them up in Augusta. Our furniture and household goods will take 45 to 60 days to get there, which will be interesting of course. Stay tuned for more pictures when I get a chance, but I’ll sign off for now, and say “See you on the other side!”