I was looking for a word this morning that would adequately describe how I’ve felt this week. Discombobulated, meaning disconnected and unbalanced, works pretty well – so I’ll go with that one.
Ted and I are exhausted – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Looking back, if we’d known last November (when we first began this process) what was ahead for the coming year, I’m fairly sure we may have laughed and said, “No way!” In the past 11 months we’ve experienced so many emotions – happiness, sadness, doubt, fear, anger, loss, acceptance . . . the list goes on. As I write today I feel as though I’ve bottomed out, and there’s nowhere to go but back up. Just being honest here.
It’s been a crazy year in so many ways. We’ve left homes we love and friends and family we love even more. It’s going to take a while to feel even remotely attached here – where everything is different and new. Having Julie, Matt, Jordan, and Matthew nearby will help a lot, but we’re truly starting from scratch. We need to find new doctors, a new dentist, a new veterinarian. We need to find a new church home. We will eventually have a new favorite grocery store, pharmacy, pet store, hair salon, restaurant, clothing store . . . . all things that will come with time and patience.
If all the above makes you think, “Well . . . this is a bummer of a blog post”, I honestly don’t mean it to be. I’ve always tried to be open and honest in my writing, and this is just how it is right now. I know with rest – and time – everything will work out. I’m still looking at the glass half-full – well, maybe 1/4 full right now.
A few things that have tried our patience:
1) Our two-car garage is actually a 1 and 1/2 car garage. Ted’s truck is too long for it. We knew it would be close width-wise, but never thought about length. Our bad.
2) We have a list of 15 or so items the builder still has to address to “complete” the house to our specifications – some minor (touch-up paint), some major (the front door has a wind tunnel blowing under it; the shutters on the outside of the house are missing; our screened slider doors are NOT screened; we’re missing the powder room mirror, AND they haven’t replaced one of the mirrors in the master bathroom that fell off the wall the first time I opened all the windows and the wind blew a door shut hard enough to shake the walls). Stuff like that is annoying when you’re at the top of your game. When you’re tired out – each one becomes overblown to the max.
3) Our movers left the rails for our king-size bed at their warehouse in Alabama. They did bring the mattress and box springs, which sleep better than the blow-up bed, and Bear loves that he can simply STEP onto the bed without jumping. I convinced Ted that going ahead and buying a new bed, dresser, and end tables was the perfect solution to missing bed rails, and they’re being delivered Tuesday. We were going to give each other new bedroom furniture as a Christmas gift, so all this did was move that purchase up a month.
Ok. Enough of me crying on your shoulder. Now . . . . for the good stuff!
OUR NEW TOWN – Flagler/Beverly Beach
Beverly Beach is a suburb of Flagler Beach. Flagler’s population is 4655, and Beverly Beach was at 366 until a few days ago when the Hortons upped it to 368. We share Flagler’s zip code, and for anyone who might want our address, here you go: 2731 Sunset Inlet Drive, Beverly Beach, FL 32136.
We visited the Flagler Beach Farmer’s Market for the first time Saturday morning. The market is open Friday and Saturday year-round, and . . . .
. . . I promptly filled a bowl with all the beautiful produce we brought home!
The Flagler Beach Pier is 2 miles from our house – an easy walk or bike ride, but so far we’ve gone by car. A few days ago all these colorful kites were flying at the pier – which reminded me, of course, of the kites at Windermere Point on Mackinac.
We’ve been trying out lots of new restaurants (because by the time we realize it’s suppertime, we’re too tired to cook). Finding some favorites already!
OUR NEW HOME
There’s still SO MUCH to do! I swear the moving boxes are having sex and multiplying each night. For every one I empty, two more seem to spring up in its place. We are rapidly realizing – even with all the donating and discarding we did before we left Georgia – that there will be more to donate and discard at the end of the unpacking phase. Even though this house is supposed to be about 300 ft. larger than our lake house, we haven’t figured out exactly where that 300 feet is!
One of the rooms that is almost totally “done” is the kitchen – although I’m still trying to decide about that backsplash – which to me is too busy with the granite. Can’t say what’s going to happen there in the future . . . .
Family room. A couple of days ago we had men come out to mount the TVs on the walls and hide all the wires and cable boxes. When they got to the last one – the family room, they took our brand new TV out of the box . . . and the screen was shattered. Ted returned it and brought home this one, but it will be sitting on the mantle until they return to mount it in two weeks. Other than that, the bookcases need knick-knacks, and we are missing our coffeetable and two ottomans (shipping in December). Definitely a work in progress, but we love our new chairs, the sofa, the bookcases, and the fireplace! (Bear’s cone of shame – next to the stairs – is not part of the décor, but unfortunately part of our lives right now again.)
The flex room is pretty much done except for art over the sofa and another lamp. That’s a sofa sleeper, so we can turn it into bedroom #3 when needed. I’ll share more pics of house as things get a little more “placed”.
How to plant a grown palm tree!
Ted took the kayak out this morning for his first trip up the canal to the Intracoastal . . .
. . . he took this from the kayak (still wearing my Shepler volunteer shirt)!
This is from the kayak also. That big boat almost swamped him with its wake. He didn’t turn over, but he sure got wet!
This is a manatee that was swimming just off our seawall this week. These gentle creatures are migrating to warmer water now, and our little canal seemed to fit the bill for this one. There are places along the Intracoastal where they spend the winter in groups of 200-300 in one area. Quite the sight to see I’ve been told, and we’re hoping to spot one of those groups once we get our boat.
Just across the street from the house . . .
. . . awaits waves and sand. We’ve been too busy to go over there too often yet, but we’ve taken the dogs on a couple of walks, and they’ve given their stamp of approval.
Speaking of our two spoiled pooches, they were sure happy to be back with their mom and dad after almost a week at Lily’s, our wonderful pet sitter. Bear – bless his heart – is still having some skin issues and has an appointment with a new vet tomorrow. Maddie, of course, is a perfect diva.
All in all, it’s hard to believe we’ve only been here a week today. We’ve been so busy there have been many days we’ve skipped lunch and not realized it until 2:30 or 3:00. Not good, but soon this transition will be over, and we can settle down and begin to really enjoy our new home!
AS PROMISED – MACKINAC ISLAND!
Since I last wrote about the island, winter has arrived, and this weekend they are getting their first significant snowfall!
A view across Marquette Park to the fort – this morning. (Photo: Greg Main)
Windermere Point snow. (Photo: Doud’s Market)
An earlier light snowfall. (Photo: Josh Carley)
Also pre-snow. A gorgeous photo of fall on Mackinac from the fort. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)
The Grand Hotel – last night of the season. (Photo: Patrick Conlon)
As we end our first week here, there are already special moments beginning to take root in my heart. One of our neighbors brought over home-made soup one evening, and another neighbor was waiting to help Ted unload the truck when we arrived from Georgia last Sunday. We’ve met several more neighbors already, and we’re looking forward to becoming good friends with many of them in the years ahead. Most are our age – some a little younger, some a little older – and for most this community will be their forever home also. It will take time to nurture these new friendships, but we know a few years from now we’ll be as close to many of these new folks as we are to friends in Georgia and Michigan.
A few days ago we went out to the mailbox (one of those where you have to have a key to open it, and everyone who lives here has a box in the same place). Opening it revealed another key, with instructions to use it to open a larger box beneath. Inside was a “Welcome Home” gift from two dear Michigan friends – Jill and Sue. It was filled with several little mementos of Michigan – a Mackinac 2015 calendar, several bath goodies from Little Luxuries, a “My Happy Place is Michigan” plaque (now hanging beside my mirror in the bathroom), magazine articles on decorating a beach house – cut out over the summer by Jill whenever she’d see something she thought I’d like), and several more sweet items. When Ted came up the stairs, he found me standing over the box with tears running down my face. The last item in the box was a keyring, which was also a compass. And on the note attached to the compass were these words: “So you’ll always be able to find your way North.”
No worries, my friends. Whether north to Georgia or north to Michigan . . . . my heart knows the way.