I bought a new project. After some serious deliberation and discussions, we bought a house in Maine, and have moved there at least temporarily, and possibly for good.
In spring, our daughter decided to attend NYU, and while heartbreaking that she'd be so far away, she is thrilled with the opportunity. Fast forward to this summer, and we flew back with her to see NYC and get her all set in her dorm at NYU. 2 weeks of quarantine showed that they were not really able to accommodate her vegetarian diet. In addition there was some serious fear that they'd close campus again and kick everyone out of the dorms.
So, I flew back to NYC late this summer on 1 day notice and moved her to an apartment. She's now there with her best friend. For the first time, I really enjoyed NYC. It wasn't as crowded, there were great places to eat (and you could get in), walking around was easy and fun.
As my daughter was talking about the east coast, my wife and I started having serious discussions about what was "next" - was California where we wanted to live out the later stages of our lives? The cost structure for staying was just not in our favor. So just for fun, we started looking at other places. Requirements: along a coast, not too hot. North Carolina had some attraction as my older sister lives there and that might have been fun, but wayyyyy too hot. We looked all over - Oregon, Washington and a bit in New England.
Then the fires hit. Clearly the west coast was not a good option - my wife has bad asthma. This was the 5th year in a row of bad fires. I left for my second trip to NYC to move my daughter into the apartment.
Just before I returned to California, my wife and son got on a phone call and asked if they could go to Maine - they had found a house and wanted to see it, and get a feel for the area. Of course, I love New England, and we had all been cooped up too much, so I said yes. I got home, the next day they left.
My wife and son were having a blast and on the second day I got "the call". Cay called and said "oh my god, sell the house, sell my things, sell the cars, we need to move here" Needless to say this was concerning. She had never lived anywhere colder than Pacific Grove, CA. My son, wife and I got on a facetime call and talked for a while about what it would mean. I thought my son would object, but as he put it, there was not much to look forward to in Pacific Grove. All classes were remote, and as the area supports a lot of military families, over time many of my son's friends had moved to the east coast and other far flung places. Liam felt he'd have new opportunities and was not only willing but WANTED to move, and the sooner the better.
I put in an offer which was accepted (thank goodness) and we bought the James Merrill house in Falmouth, Maine.
The house was built in 1738 and has a storied past. It was remodeled in 1770 and again in 1970. Any other remodels are lost to the annals of time. It is really interesting, but of course needs some updating.
I'm hoping to blog a bit about the journey here. Hopefully I won't bore you too much!