Post # 290 Home on the Shore

October 1, 2014 at 7:13 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

So when last I posted, I told you that we were moving cross country.  The weeks since then have been busy, hectic, but exciting.  Packing up before the move; saying goodbye a bazillion times; loading up the truck; four days of driving and eating and taking care of the dogs; arriving; unloading the truck (we had help); unpacking; acclimatizing.  It’s been a whirlwind.  There have been both ups and downs, but we’ve adjusted to small town, seashore life pretty well so far.  And some amazing things have happened.  So I’ll start at the beginning.

For various reasons I won’t go into just now, we found ourselves in a situation where we could pretty much select where we wanted to live, almost anywhere in the world.  Once the PhD was bestowed, job offers from everywhere started coming in, and we had to look at what our ultimate goals were.  The two years we spent in Arizona were great, and we accomplished the goals we set for ourselves.  But we knew that it didn’t tic all our boxes and we had a nagging ache to “go home.”  We just had to figure out where that was.

We’d always dreamed of living abroad and there were job offers from the UK as well as Europe.  But we weren’t sure we wanted to start at ground zero in a completely different country.  We’d not only have to learn local customs, but also an entirely new medical system for partner/spouse.  So, after daydreaming for a couple of days about it, we quietly checked those off our list.  So then, we went about it logically and methodically.  There were certain things that were must haves.  It took some time, but we narrowed it down to the eastern U.S., and ultimately to the eastern seaboard.  Then came a long round of interviews and culling through job descriptions until we had two primary candidates.  After a week long trip to the two hospitals, we sat and talked about the towns, the jobs, the desires, and finally made the choice of which one to pursue.  The offer came in, but with a catch.

We only had three weeks to get there.  We selected an area close to our old stomping grounds of Virginia.  We chose a hospital on the Delmarva Peninsula.  For those not familiar with it, right across from Washington, D.C. is a large peninsula which holds the entire state of Delaware on its northeast section; a large chunk of Maryland known as the Eastern Shore for most of it; and the southern tip holds a small piece of Virginia.  Hence, Del(aware)Mar(yland)VirginiA; Delmarva.  Took me a couple of years living in Virginia before I figured that one out.  You get it for free.  Our town is literally less than a mile from the Chesapeake Bay, that huge body of water that is the world’s largest estuary and which the Potomac River empties into.  Many other rivers empty into, too, but the Potomac is the most famous since that’s the river the nation’s Capital sits on.  So there we were trying to figure out all the details.

The most important was finding a place to live that would take the dogs.  No question, the dogs came with us.  We went on Zillow and found the “perfect” house, close to the historic section and the water.  When we called the realtor, she told us she’d rented the house that day.  When we talked about our needs, she said she had the perfect house for us.  We’d actually already looked at it on Zillow and it was our second or third choice.  So we decided to take it.  It’s in a relatively new development and only seven minutes from the hospital.  With that out of the way, we also needed to figure out how we were going to get here.  We immediately ruled out having movers come in and box us up and move for a couple of reasons.  First, it was waaaaay too expensive.  Second, we would be at the mercy of the moving company as to when our stuff would arrive.  So we decided to go with the option we’d used to get to Arizona.   We packed ourselves up, rented a UHaul, drove it ourselves, and hired a couple of people to unload it once we got to the new house.  That way, we’d have our stuff on our schedule when we needed it, and we could to the final culling of our stuff.  For those who haven’t followed this blog from the beginning, Partner/Spouse and I have been together for over 7 years.  At the beginning, we had to blend 4 households full of stuff (ie, junk.)  We’ve been whittling it all down, tossing, donating, giving away.  This move finished all that.  Four truckloads of stuff went to donation sites in Arizona and one truckload came with us.  We even managed to get the number of boxes of books to less than 30, and that included our cookbooks!

Then, it was just a matter of scheduling the trip, and packing up.  It was a little poignant to leave Arizona again.  I’d grown up in a small town on the western border of Arizona.  I’d graduated from college in the city we were living in.  I’d been able to reconnect with friends from high school; see old and familiar hiking trails; and most important, re-establish family relationships that had grown distant through distance and time.  But it was also exciting to be moving again.  This time is was just us and the dogs.  One night, we were talking to my sister and telling her, amongst the glasses of wine, all the things we would be doing once we arrived.  She listened for several minutes then said, “You’re going home.”  I was surprised at her perceptiveness.  But that was true.  It was where we met; where we fell in love; where we had our commitment ceremony.

One thing bothered me, though.  What’s your favorite condiment?  Most people say ketchup.  Almost as popular is mayonnaise.  I like mustard.  Good, yellow, tangy mustard.  There’s no other flavor like it.  And my favorite brand of mustard is called Plochman’s.  You can get it in the west, but not in the east.  I went for 22 years looking for it and never was successful.  As soon as we crossed the Mississippi River (did not need spell check for that, btw), I started looking for it.  So in the two or so weeks before we left, I started buying it whenever we went grocery shopping.  Here’s my haul.  It’s meant to last me looong time.


Except for one thing.  Guess what we found here the first time we went grocery shopping?  Yup, my favorite brand.  So I’m gonna be eating mustard for a long time to go with that egg on my face.

I’ll talk more about the trip in the next post, but for now I’ll close with a shot of my new kitchen.  It’s a little old style, but it has room to move and grow, and both of us can be in there at the same time.  We’re still shooing the dogs from underfoot, but I think we’ll be doing that when we’re senile, the dogs are gone, and we’re just imaging them (or wishing them) to be underfoot.


new kitchen



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