Writing Toward Home

Writing , Ideas, and Encouragement

Month: August 2017

Coming Home At Last Part 2

 

 

Home At Last Part 2

 

Last week I began to relate the saga of our move to the mountains of Northwest North Carolina. Here is part 2.

 

Over the spring my husband and I discussed how our plan to one day move permanently to our cabin in Ashe County could be accomplished sooner rather than later. The more time we spent in the beautiful, peaceful mountains the more we longed to become “full-timers.”

 

There were a couple of important factors to consider:

-We had a house back home to sell. We had attempted to sell it three years ago with no offers after 6 months on the market. That had been a dispiriting experience that we were not eager to repeat.

 

-My elderly mother, who requires some assisted-living type support lived with us. We could not bring her to live with us in our 850 square foot cabin, which is cozy and comfortable for two, but not big enough for three. We also did not want her to move to a retirement facility in our current city since the distance would make it difficult to visit and to make sure her needs were being met.

 

We discussed both of these considerations at length and decided to pray about them. The results can only be chalked up to God’s timing and provision.

 

One weekend in late April when we were at the cabin, the older couple who owned the house down below us came up to introduce themselves. They used their place as a vacation home and had arrived to open the house for the season. They also mentioned that they were interested in selling it after almost twenty years as they were finding it more difficult to maintain a second home. The wife mentioned that they had prayed for a buyer to come forward quickly as her husband’s health was deteriorating rapidly.

 

My husband and I exchanged “light bulb moment” looks that conveyed an entire conversation in a second. We told the couple that we might know someone who was interested in buying their cabin. We asked if we could take a look at it and were invited down immediately.

 

We walked the 200 yards down the gravel road to the tiny, but well-maintained cabin that was being sold fully furnished right down to the dishes and kitchen utensils. At 500 square feet it was the perfect size for one person to live comfortably. We knew right away we had found a place for my mother IF we could sell our house. The first prayer concern had been answered. We made a tentative offer to purchase the cabin contingent on selling our house.

 

When we returned to our home in the city the next day, the other piece of the puzzle fell into place. While we were gone a young woman from a local real estate agency had knocked on our front door and asked if our house was for sale. She had left her card with my mother and we immediately called her.

 

The agent said that she could sell our house in ten days. We were dubious after our previous experience, but decided that she was our answer to prayer. We had a week to get our house ready to go on the market and we worked furiously.

 

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend our house went under contract for full asking price, only eleven days after going on the market. We decided not to quibble with the agent over the one extra day it took. The family who purchased our house had been looking for a home that fit their needs for over a year. They, too, had been praying for the right house to come along. Our home met all of their requirements and was less than a mile from where they were currently living. Their child would not even have to change schools. They put their  home on the market after making an offer on ours. It sold in less than a day.

 

God had answered the prayers of three families in a win-win-win manner. That all of those improbable scenarios came together in less than two weeks’  was all His timing.  Soli Deo Gloria.

 

Once the house sold, the fun really started! We had thirty days to take 28 years and 2400 square feet ( plus attic, basement and garage space) worth of belongings and determine their future. Most of the furniture and household goods were destined for donation since both mountain homes were already well-stocked. We made numerous trips with our pickup truck to Goodwill and the dump. Habitat for Humanity sent their largest truck and a crew of four guys to remove sofas, dressers, TVs, tables, desks and more.

 

There were hard decisions to be made quickly as we packed up boxes of books, clothing, knickknacks, artwork, piles of family photos, old toys, sewing and craft materials, exercise equipment, and more. This was down-sizing taken to a whole new level! We did not have time to be overly sentimental. If a question came up about a certain item we would ask ourselves: “Where will we put it if we take it with us?” If no answer was readily forthcoming, out it went.

 

At the end of June we backed down the driveway of our city home for the last time and headed for our new lives. It has taken a while to get settled, but know we are in Ashe County because God wanted us here. He is gradually revealing His purpose for our lives here as we get to know the community and get involved in church and other activities. We are grateful and blessed for the opportunities He is bringing about. Soli Deo Gloria.

 

 

Our Home from the front of the yard. That is my husband’s workshop in the foreground.

 

View from the back porch. The New River is down below.

 

 

View from the front porch

My mom’s cabin as seen from  our front yard.

 

The sign by our front door.

Coming Home At Last: Part 1

Coming Home At Last: Part 1

  Our Home in Ashe County

 

Three months ago my husband and I began a whirlwind and ( mostly) unplanned transition into a totally different lifestyle. I had hoped to document the adventure along the way, but time and circumstances did not allow for that to happen. The dust has finally settled and I am now reasonably able to construct meaningful and sequential sentences again. The story with all its answered prayers and serendipitous events can now be shared.

 

Last summer, my husband and I began to consider purchasing a second home in the mountains or foothills of North Carolina. Our desire was to have a place to escape the crowds, noise, traffic congestion, and heat of our city of residence. After some research, exploring, and talking with friends and acquaintances, we centered our search in Ashe County late last fall.

 

We fell in love with the area right away. Beautiful scenery, a lovely town filled with art galleries and antique shops, a thriving writing and arts community, and kind, friendly people.

 

Our goals for a mountain home were a bit of acreage, long-range mountain views, and a small home that would be easy to maintain. I was adamant about not spending my “get-away” time cleaning a large house. I had one of those already. We also had a definite budget in mind.

 

By mid-December, after spending month and a half looking at houses that did not fit the bill, we decided to take a hiatus on our search. We were a bit weary and discouraged at our lack of success. We told our agent we would resume house-hunting in the spring when there might be more inventory.

 

A couple of days later he called and told us we needed to come up right away. A cabin that fit our criteria had just come on the market. We headed back to Ashe County and followed him down a winding mountain road to an area called Grassy Creek near the Virginia border.

 Side view from the porch swing

Upon exiting the car at the log cabin of our daydreams, we turned to see the most spectacular views one can imagine. My exact words were “ Wow, wow, wow!” ( not my most eloquent moment!) I knew the house was destined to be ours before we even went inside: land, both mountain and river views, and a huge front porch just made for a porch swing. The inside only confirmed it. It was everything we had hoped for including a studio space for me to write in and a workshop for my husband. On January 23rd of this year it became ours. That first night we slept on a memory foam mattress in front of the kerosene heater in an otherwise empty house.

 

We had a marvelous time outfitting the cabin from scratch. We were like a betrothed couple, choosing dishes, linens, pots and pans, and furniture. After several major shopping sprees we were ready to settle in.

 

We began coming up every weekend, decorating, exploring the area, and relaxing. As winter gave way to spring, we began to lament having to return home to the noise and crush of city life. We started trying to figure out how to make Ashe County our new full-time home.

 

There were several obstacles that needed to be overcome in order for our dream to become a reality. The amazing events that transpired will be shared in Part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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