a welcome thing

A new beginning is a welcome thing. A new week, a new job, a new term at school. Each brings the thrill of a clean slate, a shining start. The heart leaps up at the chance to try again, to do our best, to sow the seed of something that will grow. Autumn is when we plant the promises of spring, unsullied, pure and perfect.
~ Sally Abbott
(Call the Midwife, season 12: episode 6)

welcome center rose

We have successfully made the move from Connecticut to North Carolina! What a wild, hectic, chaotic and exciting time these past few weeks have been. But somehow, with lots of help from family and friends, we managed to pull it off.

passion flower, a new flower

One kink in our planning was Tim developing bouts of shortness of breath and chest pressure on exertion. He spent a morning in the emergency room before we left where they determined he wasn’t having a heart attack and advised him to follow up with his cardiologist. So Larisa and I did our best to keep his activity level as low as possible while we scrambled to tie up all the loose ends.

Kat checking her VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch

After we got down here we repeated the process, spending a morning in the emergency room which thankfully resulted in an appointment with a cardiologist the next day. We really like him. Through the magic of “My Chart” medical records he had thoroughly acquainted himself with Tim’s cardiac history. He suspects that 15+ years after Tim’s by-pass surgery scar tissue may have built up and is starting to block the flow of blood. So he has ordered an echocardiogram to see what is going on in there before he decides what needs to be done.

insect hotel

In the meantime our plans to go out walking in our new adopted home have been put on hold. But I am comforted with the feeling that he is in good hands medically, UNC Hospitals being highly ranked among the best in the country.

an olive egger chicken
(a chicken that lays green colored eggs)

Dima & Larisa have made us feel so comfortable and welcome and it is a delight having our grandchildren here to talk to and play with every day. Our real estate agent already has us under contract with a buyer for a selling price higher than we ever dreamed possible. Soon we will be able to find our own place down here. We’ve already started looking online.

Finn, lost in thought

I’ve gone out on a few short walks around this cohousing community with the little ones. (Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space.) This is a magical, nature-loving neighborhood with birds singing all day long. There is a very loud frog outside who has croaked us to sleep for a few nights. Deer are allowed everywhere and help themselves to the abundant greenery.

A new beginning… I love it here!

49 thoughts on “a welcome thing”

  1. So happy to see you’ve arrived without incident, despite Tim’s issues. I’m sure the med. team will fix him up in a jiffy. The kids are growing like weeds, it is good that you now can watch the process first hand. Congrats on the house sale… it is no surprise that it sold quickly, that area is hot. Best of all, you are happy in your new locale. Bon chance! Looking forward to hearing more about it.

    1. I’m glad you have moved some what smoothly, took each moment at time. Now are in the loving warm embrace of family, beautiful natural surroundings. Big ((hugs & healing)) 💖

      1. Thank you for stopping by, Jeff!! That’s what I keep telling myself, one step at a time. Much love and healing energy to you, too. ❤️

    2. Thank you, Eliza!! Having the little ones around has been the best medicine for Tim. He got a hug from Finn when he dropped him off at daycare yesterday. I hope I will have time to blog after the excitement dies down – we’re so busy now. 😉

  2. Sounds wonderful! Glad you are near UNC. So much interesting activity in that area.I lived in Chapel Hill (first as a student) 1974- 1987 before moving to Florida.

    1. We are pretty excited to be here and have been reading about all the cultural events, inside and outside, we are eager to sample. And I can’t wait to start exploring the NC Botanical Garden…

    1. It’s such a good feeling to know we’re welcomed and adored, especially by the little ones. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Susan!! I will have to keep an ear open for North Cackalacky. 🙂 I remember when I was in Norway how exciting it was to hear my first Norwegian exclaim “uff da” when they just missed a bus!

  3. Oh Barbara, I am so happy to hear you made the move, and despite the medical scares, you pushed forward. Your photos and words reflect beauty and life and love. I wish you the best in your new transition…congratulations.

    1. Thank you, Jet!! It’s been an incredible adventure, the most excitement we’ve had in a very long time. We’re looking forward to getting more settled and having many happy years to come here in our new home.

  4. Congrats on your successful move, Barbara! How nice, seeing more of the “grands.” Yes, I do believe your husband will be in good hands — medicine has advanced so much in the past few years, and the area where you are is toward the forefront. Happy “settling-in”!

    1. Thank you, Debbie!! Yup, seeing more of the little ones has been the icing on the cake for this whole adventure. 🙂 When Tim had his heart attack 15 years ago they had to fly him in a medical helicopter to Yale-New Haven Hospital to save his life. (Ten years later we had to drive for an hour to go there for my radiation treatments.) Now I feel like we are next door to an equivalent research hospital. What a relief!

    1. Thank you, Janet!!! It’s a blessing that Tim likes his new cardiologist as much as his old one. Hugs to you, too! ❤️

  5. It all came together and sounds like you are in the right place. Enjoy your new adventures.
    Sending positive, healing energy to Tim and you.

    1. Thank you so much, Julie!! It does feel like the right place and worth all the effort, mental and physical, it took to get here. I will miss seeing you and your sweet goats, though… ❤️

  6. So so happy that you all landed well! This is all so lovely and I absolutely love the name of your new blog. The passion flower is a new flower for me too and I hope you will see the fruit. I love passion juice. And that chicken! The olive egger chicken is so colorful. I’ve seen so many ceramics that look like it and now I see it in real life. Your new subdivision is so lovely Barbara I hope you find a great home for you there too. Wouldn’t that be grand!

    You give me hope for my next move from tropical Corpus Christi TX to desert Roswell NM… soon, I can’t wait! 😊

    1. Thank you, TD!! I hope there will be some good wanderings soon after we get Tim back up to snuff. 😉 That passion flower in my daughter’s garden really caught my eye, so many new things to discover down south here. They have quite a collection of chickens in the community, I think six different kinds. Kind of tricky to photograph but I’ll try to get some of the others. It would be nice if there was a house available here, we’ll have to see… You’re moving to New Mexico?!? I’m so happy for you! What brings you there? My sister lived in Socorro, NM for almost a decade in the 1990s.

      1. It looks like I might be moving to Roswell NM in the next few months. I’m assigning a new power of attorney to care for my affairs, a younger friend who has lived there all of his life. And both of us agree that it would be easier on us both if I lived there. Looking into a low income senior independent living community that rent is based income. Since I’m poorer than poor, it might work for me. Filling out application. So we will see.

        As you know finding the right fit of so important. I’m glad you enjoy your new area!

        1. That sounds like a good plan for you, TD! I hope you will adjust well to the very different climate. Will Yorkie be going with you? I wish you the best of luck finding a good place to live and am happy you will be near someone you trust to look after your best interests. I imagine since you just moved that you won’t have too much to sort through when packing up again. May you be blessed on this new adventure, my friend!

          1. Yes! Yorkie will be going with me. I would not know what to do with out her. The property that we are applying for is not government but private business that allows small pets. There are several in NM but only this one in Roswell. They are building another one in Roswell but that might take 2-3 years. So we will see. It is all so scary for me! 😊

          2. I’m so glad to know that Yorkie will be making the move with you! Moving can be so scary, especially as we grow older and feel more and more vulnerable, at least that’s how it’s been for me. Even a desirable move is full of stress. Wishing you the best and keeping my fingers crossed that yours will go as smoothly as possible! 🙂

  7. Hi Barbara — I know a lot of us are watching you and wondering whether we too should make the move to join our kids across the country. I’m so glad to hear your move went so well and you’ve already got good medical care for Tim.
    Your last line “I love it here”.
    I also love the new name of your blog

    1. Thank you, Rosie!! You know, we’ve been contemplating this for years but Tim was put off by the subtropical climate here. After being separated for so long during the pandemic, though, and how difficult traveling back and forth became, his desire to be near his grandchildren grew stronger than his dislike of the climate. So we’ve come with open hearts and feel it was well worth the effort. Wishing you the best as you make a decision about moving. It’s a big one!

    1. I had never heard of an olive egger before either. There are certainly enough new things around here to keep us entertained for a good long time.

  8. New chapter, new loves of nature! And the best is the grandkids daily!!! 🥰 Oh my, what a time you’ve had in your last weeks upstate, so glad Tim’s in awesome hands medically now. Yay, the house is under contract! Best to you both on finding a wonderful new home. I haven’t mentioned any more about our ‘house building’ on my blog; even with our permit in hand, unfortunately we are not building and I’m seriously (daily!) looking for a home to buy too. Inventory is very low around my beloved Eastern Shore Maryland, I wish you the best for your area! Rick did say recently, let’s go to the Carolinas (or Florida) lol. Sounds tempting at this point, but I don’t want to move any further from my grandkids.

    1. Thank you, Donna! It’s a blessing being with the little ones on a daily basis, without the inevitable rushing around of a short visit. Lots of unhurried time to listen to them, play with them, and get to know them better. 🥰 The search for a new place continues and I’m glad we don’t have to make any hasty decisions now. My brain is tired of making decisions! Sorry to hear the house building plan didn’t work out but I wish you the best of luck on your search for a new place to call home. I guess low inventory makes it a seller’s market, which we benefitted from, but also makes it tough for buyers right now. I don’t blame you for not wanting to move away from your grandkids!!! It will be interesting to see what you wind up deciding to do.

        1. House hunting is so exhausting! Wishing you the best of luck, Donna! (I think we’ve found a place and will be signing a lease soon…)

  9. Barbara, in conjunction with the new blog title, you have already made discoveries and that’s great. I especially like the deer and the rose and the kids joining you on a nature hike. I hope Tim had his follow-up appointment and everything is looking good. New beginnings for you and Tim were a good choice!

    1. The echocardiogram is scheduled for June 28th and he’s on a waiting list if there are any cancellations sooner. In the meantime, he’s caught a nasty head cold, but thankfully, this time I didn’t catch it! We’re busy with the grandchildren and looking for a place of our own while we wait for that appointment. I’ve finally got back to my yoga but am still waiting for a walk in the woods!

      1. Well I hope Tim gets in sooner so you learn what is bothering him with his heart. It is too soon to get a new pacemaker battery. My friend’s husband just had his battery replaced and he got the pacemaker in December 2014. It was a routine procedure. Glad you didn’t get the head cold too and you are covered with your recent bivalent shots. When I went for mine the pharmacist told me I was overdue for a tetanus shot, so I got that. Then she said I should start my Hepatitis series (two shots, six months apart) – I said three shots in one day and she said I could have five or six if need be. Glad you got back to yoga – now to find a house and get settled in ….

        1. Yeah, whatever is going on with Tim’s heart disease has nothing to do with the pacemaker. They did say the battery would last a decade or more. He did take a covid test when he came down with the cold and it was negative, thankfully. Your arm must have been plenty sore with all those shots in one day! The hunt for a house or apartment has been pretty frustrating so far, we keep whittling down our “must-have” list! I’m glad we can stay here for as long as we need to so that we don’t rush and settle for something we couldn’t live with. Going out today to look some more…

          1. It might be something as simple as change in weather conditions, humidity, maybe pollen, although I think the heavy pollen season is over. I know there is lots of pollen in Spring. I have seen pictures. They split the shots into two arms, but one arm was very stiff and swollen Yes, it is good you don’t have to rush and settle and no one is going to kick you out. 🙂 I hope you can find something soon. You may get out of Summer yardwork if it takes much longer.

          2. That would be a plus for sure. You are narrowing down your options more and more. 🙂 The American dream of a house in the suburbs and a white picket fence sometimes becomes tiresome with the never-ending work in Spring through Fall … and your growing season would be longer and more yardwork than before. I can see many advantages and look how you have already downsized.

          3. I think we may have found an ideal place, a one-story townhouse on a cul-de-sac nestled into a woodsy lot. No yard work. Only a six minute drive from Larisa’s. I’m looking forward to living in a quiet neighborhood without motorcycles and other noisemakers. We’re slowly getting our bearings here.

          4. That’s great news Barbara – as I read this comment a loud motorcycle zoomed down my street. I am seven houses from a main street thru the City so ambulances, fire trucks, police … all those noises from first responders is noisy at times. No yard work is a plus as well. And six minutes from Larisa’s house is perfect … you have made great progress. I am happy you have found a place.

          5. Thank you, Linda. I’m sorry you have to put up with all that noise pollution — it can be so stressful, I know. Maybe after you retire you can find a quieter place and get a fresh start somewhere new. 💙

          6. I thought about that this time last year Barbara when I was deciding about the whole-house generator and whether to invest in buying one … should I move to a safer city, a quieter city? From the crime reports in the area, even Wyandotte and Dearborn, both nice cities as long as I can remember and 5-10 miles from me respectively, are now filled with crime. I read the local crime blotters and just shake my head. Between crime, the way people drive and climate change, the world becomes a little scarier every day.

          7. Years ago my mom and I visited Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina (Asheville and Cherokee … a fun day trip to the latter town and a meet-and-greet-and-pose with Chief Henry). I wanted to move to Kentucky or Tennessee – people were so friendly and I had worked with Southerners at the diner. Every older employee was from the Deep South as were many of our customers. I told my mom the weather would be better for her arthritis and no worries about Winter and getting out … she was reluctant to start anew after what happened with my father. I pushed and pushed … she would not budge. I should have taken that initiative after my mom passed away in January 2010. You made a big change. Thank you for the list. It was interesting to see Michigan was on the list. I had no idea that Midland was considered one of the safes cities. I still hope to visit there one day to see their beautiful botanical gardens. I liked Appleton, Wisconsin for a quaint town, but their weather would be too cold and snowy I think. A fellow blogger writes about her Wisconsin weather all the time. I am envious of you making such a big change in your life Barbara – you had a big incentive to do so.

  10. Congratulations on your move, Barbara! I’ve heard they have a great medical system in that area and hope they get Tim fixed up soon.

    1. Thank you, Robin! We’re keeping our fingers crossed while waiting for an echocardiogram on the 28th…

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