Thursday, October 15, 2015

On the Move Again


We’re on the move again. I only wish it was on this road to Provence with its beautiful old plane trees that welcome you into Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Don’t I wish, but actually by the time you read this we’ll be on is an interstate that runs through Georgia, taking us to our “what-was” winter home in southwest Florida. That winter home will now become our year-around dwelling. A few weeks ago our house here in the mountains sold and we’re off on a new adventure. This is the first time in almost 30 years that we’ll not own 2 houses.


But there comes a time in your life when you realize it’s time to get off of that merry-go-around full of adventures of owning second homes and simplify and get down to one. It’s not easy to admit you might be getting too old switch homes twice a year, open and close houses for the season, keep up maintenance and bare the expenses and headaches (yes there are headaches along the way) of two houses. But we have come to that stage in our lives.

So we’re off the southwest Florida for good, or at least we’re telling ourselves that. Who knows what life will bring. Meakin is still yearning to buy a petite place in Provence. What - is he crazy? Probably. We’ve both always been a bit crazy and impulsive. This one is in Saint-Remy-de-Provence and would be perfect don't you think?


You would think we would be used to moving. After all, we’ve owned 16 houses (and lived in even more) while we climbed up career ladders. We’ve moved around a lot in our 46 years of marriage. If you count the houses we never lived in but bought with the idea of remodeling and selling, there would be even more. We were flipping houses during the 70’s in the West University and Rice area near downtown Houston before the word “flipping” was invented. But I assure you that no move is easy, no matter whether you’re accustomed to it or not. Now we have the challenge of merging 2 houses and all of their furnishing into one and trust me, that’s not an easy thing to do. We have forty-six years worth of collections and antiques to sort out and decide “does it go or does it stay?”

And worst of all, we’ll be leaving behind family in the mountains. That makes it really, really hard. But they know our ways, they know we’ll return. However, the next time it will be in a vacation rental for a month or so and not buy something again, although the temptation is always there. I can just hear one of us saying, “This house could be so nice (or cute of whatever word we use to convince the other one) if we did this or that to it.” Perhaps when we return to the mountains next year we’ll stay in this adorable cabin near Mirror Lake in Highlands, NC. It looks perfect to me. Maybe it’s for sale……just kidding.




Or maybe next fall we’ll stay in the Trail's Inn cabin, high in the tree tops in Highlands. Who knows where we’ll land.


For now we’ll be trying our best to stay away from those impulses as we jump head first into remodeling our seriously out-of-date Florida kitchen. We’re currently on a kick of converting unattractive laundry rooms into butler’s pantries with more storage as we did in the condo we sold a couple of years ago. That project will also happen at the same time as the kitchen project. But that remodeling will take place most likely next summer.

I’ll think of you when I’m knee deep unpacking the zillions of boxes, re-arranging furniture (poor Meakin), moving pictures about to find just-the-right spot and all of the other decorating joys and frustrations of a new place. The nice part about this house is that it’s in a well established neighborhood with mature trees and close to everything. After living in the mountains with only a Walmart, which is definitely better than nothing that’s for sure, I’m looking forward to “real stores.” Two of my old stomping grounds, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macys, are practically around the corner. I’m not much of a shopper, but I do like nice things. Plus Fresh Market and a wonderful little French bakery owned by a real Frenchman from Lyon are close by and Naples (SW Florida’s version of the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach, only smaller) and its fine dining and shopping, isn’t that far away, so I know we’ll be happy there.

Coincidentally My Carolina Kitchen’s 7th anniversary is this month. Seven years is a long time to blog on a continuous basis, but I’ve enjoyed every minute. I am also so pleased that Meakin and I have gotten the chance to meet quite a few of you and I look forward to the opportunity to meet even more of you.

I know the timing is a bit off, but with all the packing and unpacking that I will be doing, I must take a short break. When I return, we’ll take up where we left off and celebrate the start of My Carolina Kitchen’s 8th year.

See you soon.
Sam & Meakin 



42 comments:

  1. Wishing you the very best, take good care of yourself, hopefully take some rest in between shlepping furniture and such!

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  2. Congrats on the sale of your house Sam! No doubt you'll be settled and comfortable in no time-take care:@)

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  3. Hope this new adventure brings lots of wonderful times and experiences Sam. I have to laugh at how much you two sounds like us :)

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  4. I know a bit of what you'll be going through! We've been in our new "cottage" for three months are we're still moving things about--especially the art. I love Highlands and that B&B looks perfect. I'll look forward to catching up later in the fall.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Congrats on 7 years of blogging. Time zips by when you are having fun.

    May your condensing of belongings and your merging of two houses into one and the move be 'smooth'.

    I look forward to reading and seeing pictures of your remodeling and redecorating projects.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  6. You are full of surprises!

    And funny:)

    Can't believe all the moves you have had.
    And I like Meakin's dream of a small place in Provence.

    Happy blog anniversary..and happiness to you in your permanent home:)

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  7. I am sure you will soon settle but a small house in France sounds good :-) We have moved 9 times since we have been married (coming up to 35 years) and 4 countries all together. It never gets easier! I have said the only way I leave this house permanently is in a box! Mind you I said that 5 houses back!!!!!

    Congrats on 7 years of blogging quite a feat. Keep well Diane

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  8. I wish I was as energetic as you! Have lots of fun, Sam!
    Happy blog anniversary!
    Angie

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  9. I can definitely envision you living in France, Sam! Here's wishing you the best with your move and merging! If there's one thing I've learned as I age, it's that the "less is more" rule rules! Take care and take time to relax! And Happy Blogoversary! Cheers!

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  10. By the way, just curious----will it still be My Carolina Kitchen? :-)

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  11. Sam and Meakin, so happy you have sold your beautiful home in the Mountains. Someone will be very fortunate. Be safe on this next journey. Renting in the Highlands sounds absolutely perfect. A lot less work than maintaining and worrying about 2 homes. Hope someday to see you again...perhaps in Provence. Hugs to you both. Salut!

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  12. We do live parallel lives Sam. But we are selling our Florida home this Winter and settling in NC with rental trips to Florida. Enjoy this new adventure and hopefully we can get together some time in Florida or while you are visiting in NC. I have the same dream that Meakin has. Have fun!

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  13. Congrats on the sale of your mountain home! We did the two home thing for a while and I know how hard it can be. We are seriously considering moving back to Naples in a year or two. Where in Ft. Myers is your new home?

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  14. Sam, Having lived in well over 30 homes during my lifetime, I can fully appreciate your desire to stop moving! Laurie would move again...but I told her that this is it! No more packing, unpacking, etc. I"ll spend our money on travel... Congratulations on blogging for 7 years! It takes some dedication, that's for sure. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  15. A wonderful adventure you're on! I'd be hard-pressed to choose between the mountains and Florida. After the winters we've been having (and more of the same predicted) I'm ready for a move myself. For the time being, it's twice yearly visits to see a daughter in Tampa. Best of luck in your move . . . you will keep writing, of course!

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  16. Congrats on selling the house and I hope your new life in FL is just what you're looking for, but if not, I know you know what to do about it. Counting my childhood, I've lived in well over five homes in my life - six actually.

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  17. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Tell me it ain't true. Florida? You are way too young in heart and spirit. Have you considered Cuba? Things are opening up ....

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  18. Wonderful Sam. As I read I was so afraid you were done with us. :) Have a good time and can't wait to see all you have done.

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  19. You have certainly been adventurous over the years! It sounds as though you are ready to settle in....kind of.....one never knows what waits around the corner. You may just end up with two houses and two continents! Happy Blogging Anniversary. It has been a joy to spend time with you on the blog. And....careful lifting and emptying those boxes!

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  20. Would you believe my husband and I are still in our first home after 41 years? You certainly have had lots of adventures and somehow I doubt that they're over :) Good luck with the move and getting everything consolidated! I'm sure you and your husband will do a wonderful job of it together.

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  21. Congratulations on your blog and moving to one home. Sounds like you have been very busy.

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  22. Good luck Sam, wishing you all the best.

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  23. Happy anniversary! This is a new adventure for you! Paring down can also be fun. I have actually enjoyed going through every item in my home and deciding if I love/need/cherish it or if it is time for someone else to enjoy its charms. Best of luck with the move. It's a huge one!

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  24. Sounds like you are looking forward to the move, Sam. I haven't seen you in a while, but with your blog, I feel I have kept up with you. Enjoy your new life in Florida, but remember you have friends in NC.

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  25. Congratulations on everything I've read here! Bitter sweet but I'm sure you'll find the simplicity welcome. We moved and downsized to a maintenance free community one year ago and I had such worries ... and very soon realized that I loved everything about our new place. My blog will be 7 in May. Just think about all the hours we've put in on this labor of love. Hugs Sam.

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  26. Happy happy blog-iversary! that's an incredible achievement. I think you should get that cabin in Highlands...we visit there every year to see my dad and have fallen in love with the area --- maybe we could be neighbors ;)

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  27. Thinking about you and wishing you safe travels and a happy transition time! We will look forward to your return!
    Miz Helen

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  28. I know what you are going through Sam. This is our first time of only having one home back in Florida. I'm still trying to find spots in our new home for what I couldn't live without from our cottage in Maine and the farmhouse in New Hampshire. I think in the long run we will all be happy with the freedom one home will give us. Congratulations on 7 years…you deserve a break with all the two of you have ahead. Enjoy and we will enjoy be waiting for your return.

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  29. I know what you are going through Sam. This is our first time of only having one home back in Florida. I'm still trying to find spots in our new home for what I couldn't live without from our cottage in Maine and the farmhouse in New Hampshire. I think in the long run we will all be happy with the freedom one home will give us. Congratulations on 7 years…you deserve a break with all the two of you have ahead. Enjoy and we will enjoy be waiting for your return.

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  30. Hmmm just had a BBQ couple friends of ours retire and move to the mountains, would be funny if they bought your house but I think they landed in Brevard. I can't imagine having two houses, I can't find everything that I have in this one!

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  31. All best wishes on the new move! It sounds as if you've made a reasonable decision but I wouldn't cross that cottage in Provence of the list of possibilities just yet!

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  32. You have a lot of work ahead of you, Sam. It's hard to consolidate years of accumulating things we love into a much smaller space, but it really does feel wonderful once you get through it. I felt less encumbered and freer to make decisions that were better for me. It is nice not to be tied down to so many material things. Congrats on your seven years of blogging. Time certainly flies by doesn't it. I have enjoyed our friendship so much and look forward to many more years of your great recipes and stunning photos.

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  33. I hope you and Meakin have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Sam.

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  34. Sam, a new journey awaits you. Moving is tough. There is an old saying that goes like this " Tis better to have your house burn down twice, than to move it once" Laugh. There are days in that move it would seem easier. Now, you will enjoy the sunshine all year round. You can still enjoy the mountains without having to maintain a home. Welcome to the Sunshine state permanently.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Velva
    P.S. Happy 7th Blog Anniversary.

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  35. I think that when you wrote this post we were staying in Cashiers, NC, to take a look at the fall colors – and they were gorgeous. You have owned 16 houses in 46 years of marriage? You must have so much energy. We have moved 6 times and owned 2 houses in 48 years of marriage and we have much stuff to show for it. We bought a house in Nashville last year and had to rent it because I could not see us move in it yet. With my husband’s Alzheimer he cannot help me at all, so it’s up to me to decide on our 39 years of accumulation in our current home, and it is going super slowly. I wish I had some tips on how to get on with all this moving. Southwest Florida sounds wonderful for y’all - much sun and many new places to visit. Congratulations on your 7 year of blogging with such great posts and Meakin’s superb photos.

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  36. Am I posting twice? Just stopped by to wish you and Meakin a wonderful 2016! Hope your Christmas was filled with joy.

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  37. Just checking in to wish you a Happy New Year! Hope you're getting settled---and wishing you the best in 2016!

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  38. oh I bet this is hard all the best for moving full time to florida and if you ever want to visit this part of NC come and stay with us :-) happy new year

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  39. Happy New Year to you and Meakin, Sam. Those kitchen remodels do take some time but I'm sure it will be everything you two need in preparing those wonderful dishes and well worth the effort.

    We have been in the beginning process of selling our home of over 20 years_ going through closets and drawers over the past year. Getting rid of and deciding what 'stays or goes' has actually been a comforting thing for us.

    Best of luck and we look forward to hearing about the progress.

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  40. happily discovered your blog tonight, savored the moments and enjoyed a few of your recent posts and recipes. ty so much for sharing the pleasures, my fave was the french bakery. hope you're nicely settled on the gulf. our trip to the gulf is in feb, can't get here soon enough. wishing you a lovely weekend...

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  41. Sam, I am just now catching up with all of the blogs that I follow and read since October, 2015 when life just got so crazy busy with end of semester demands, prepping for my class in Germany, triplet grandsons birth, and oh just life itself! I was wondering why no email posts were coming to me, so I just dropped by to see what has been going on in your life! Wow! I am so surprised to hear that you made a move from the mountains. I hope that your memories will always be wonderful of such a beautiful place in the Carolina's! And yes, you're right it is hard to come to new realizations when another age stage appears! I am like Meakin, looking at places in Italy, but everyone says I'm crazy. Oh well, that's OK! Enjoy your new home and the warmth and sunshine!

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