We’ve broken ground. More later.
The picture above is our view. “View of what?” you ask. Well, it’s the view from where Michael & I will be living by year’s end.
I’ve started & stopped this blog post several times, but I can’t bear to finish it. I feel a duty to report all that’s gone on for the last several months, for posterity, but it’s too painful. Too much has happened. I don’t want to be mysterious if you’re new here so I’ll just say my father died at 89 in March & our Kaela had to go away to get some help for some emotional trouble she was having. Dad, no doubt, is at peace with Mom in Heaven. And Kaela is coming along marvelously. So that’s that, I guess.
The trouble is, we’ve not yet been able to memorialize dad. This stupid virus hit within days of his death, or should I say, got serious around that time, and as a result, the church & funeral home are closed. I called last week and they are only doing gatherings of 10 and you all have to have masks on. Well, that ain’t gonna work. Dad’s life was too long, too eventful, too big to be contained to merely 10! It’s getting to the point where I honestly think we won’t be living here anymore by the time we can actually book it, and that brings me back to where I started.
I’m filled with so many emotions leaving this place. I’ve literally never lived anywhere longer than I have in this house. Not even growing up. I left home at 18 for college & never came back to Hatherly Road. I lived in the Bay Area for 5 years. Philly for 5 years. Then we bought this house in August 1998 and here we are. I was 7 months pregnant with the twins when we bought it, me, waddling around, thinking what a nice, big yard for the kids to play in, and what a magnificent view of the ocean, but at a very safe distance from harm, as we have the marsh, then the river, then Humarock buffering us from any wickedness Mother Nature may toss up.
It’s not that I’m not ready to leave. I am. So is Mike. We’ve done all we have to do here. We gave our kids a wonderful education in our public school system & wonderful memories of New England. We were able to help my parents as they grew older, what they would allow, anyway! The kids had the benefit of knowing their grandparents, which was great. Leigh has said she would like for me to be near when she has children someday because she treasured her relationship with her Nana so much. I can’t tell you what that means to me. It’s everything I could have hoped for.
Honestly, I’m the luckiest person I know. An absolute embarrassment of riches. I surely haven’t done a thing to deserve it, but I’m deeply, profoundly, everlastingly grateful.
So we’re preparing to leave. We’ve endured our last harsh New England winter, and this last one was pretty mild, thank God. I cannot even begin to describe how much I am looking forward to not freezing my noonie off this coming winter in North Carolina.
Mike is looking forward to the downward adjustment in the cost of living. (As I am too, of course!) I just happened to look up the cost of housing in both places the other day. Median price here is nearly $700,000. Median price where we are headed is $110,000. I mean… Come on. It’s unbelievable. We couldn’t possibly afford to build what we are building down there up here, and it’s not even that fancy or big. It’s smaller than our current house, just on more land. We’re not doing anything snazzy. The only place we’re spending money is in the kitchen, so we have solid surfaces & nice appliances. Other than that? very middle of the road choices. Oh, well, we’re upgrading the window choices! LOL. Mike didn’t like the windows the builder typically spec’d so we’re gonna go with the windows he used to sell, which, as it happens, are manufactured in North Carolina! Too funny.
We visited the kids in Texas recently. Talk about cost of living. Gas up here? Over $2/gal. Down there? Less than $1.50. Groceries? Easily 20% less. I can’t wait to not stroke out whenever I check out. Damn that will be nice.
But back to my original thesis: we’re leaving. I’m leaving. New England. For the last time. This is it for us. Our “sunset years.” This is the time we’ve talked about all our lives. “Mike ‘n Annie”! We so enjoy each other’s company. All we want to do is be together. After all this time, I still adore him. Just cherish him. He’s the brightest part of my day, everyday.
Like I said: luckiest person I know.
Ok. That’s it for now. Getting a bit weepy. (But in a good way!) I’ll write more soon, I hope.
UPDATE #2 ~ File Under: Not Crazy
Some months ago (Ok, a year & a half ago…) I excerpted a column I read on a coming Civil War in America. “Civil War 2.0” as it were. I entitled the post “File Under: Not Crazy” because I kept seeing pieces on it bubbling up from rational corners of the internet. (No, that’s not a contradiction in terms. Certain corners of the internet are far more rational than any random 10 minutes on CNN and you know it.)
Well, here’s another piece, from my digital travels, from my one of my very favorite websites, American Thinker.
Enjoy. ~~ Annie
UPDATE #2 Friday, June 12, 2020: Well, well well. What do we have here…
The Coming Schism
On June 16, 1858, 162 years ago next week, President Lincoln gave his famous “A House Divided” speech after his Republican nomination for the Senate.
We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Lincoln was of course correct in his prediction of a coming crisis, and 162 years later, we may be in the same situation.
…Today… (the) gulf between the left and right… is (also) impossible to imagine bridging.
Take the protests and rioting that have gripped the nation for two weeks. We witnessed a small but very influential group of people who were sympathizing, condoning, and even in some cases encouraging the complete mayhem and chaos on our streets. How can we compromise or have a debate with such thinking? When it comes to criminals vandalizing property, looting, committing arson, and assaulting and murdering innocent civilians, there is nothing to compromise or debate over.
The word “influential” above is very important. These are not just random everyday citizens offering radical opinions. These are politicians on the national stage, Hollywood celebrities, and media figures. In other words, they are the people who create bills and policies, and decide what will be on TV, in the movie theaters and newspapers, and on nearly all of the most popular websites. …
This is the same party that celebrates the murder of the unborn, that believes every country on Earth besides the United States can have borders, and now that the police are unnecessary and should be abolished.
How do we bridge these divides? These are non-negotiable issues. Men cannot become women. A fetus is not a tumor-like clump of cells, it is a human being. A country requires borders for cohesion and security. A civilized society needs law enforcement to keep from slipping into anarchy (the entire world recently received a lesson in this, or at least, most of the world.)
It seems we have come to the point where the left and right are living in completely separate realities. …
In order to have a united country, everyone has to be united around something. What do we have in common? …
In Lincoln’s day, there were obvious divides in the country. But Americans then, no matter their opinions on slavery, still had a sense of shared values, and what it meant to be an American. (Annie’s emphasis.) … This is a concept that is utterly foreign to (the) America(n Left) today, and whether that means we split apart violently or amicably, our house is being torn down before our eyes. We cannot stay inside.
UPDATE #1 Friday, March 1, 2019: Well, well well. What do we have here…
Is a Second Civil War Coming?
February 28, 2019, via American Thinker, by Jeff Lukens. (Excerpt. Original here.)
The Left’s reach is broad. Leftists have been able to take over schools and indoctrinate our young people. They have taken over nearly all the news and entertainment media. The conservative side, conversely, has lost in these areas because it never fights back with the ruthlessness of the Left.
Lawlessness is now reaching across the United States, which the news almost totally ignores. The same networks that spent two years with wall-to-wall coverage to push the Russia collusion hoax are now refusing to report the documented attempt to remove our duly elected president by means of a Deep State silent coup.
This is not crazy.
I’ve recommended American Thinker to you on more than one occasion and here’s another example why. The writing is cogent, thoughtful, not hysterical. Yes, the idea of another Civil War in America may sound hysterical on its face but a cool, clinical look at the facts & forces operating on the ground will lead you to at least consider the possibility – if not the probability.
It’s not crazy.
I am not willing to concede probability – yet – but…
You can read the entire article here.
Update to “2 Miles & 5 Decades Apart“
Ok, first of all, yes, half-brother Michael is ridiculously tall. He also takes his teasing well, as any “little” brother should. Half-sister Jamie, being his (full!) older sister, obviously “raised” him well. She also is incredibly charming and we had a lovely, LOVELY lunch. We all met at the Scarlett Oak in Hingham, MA and lunched w/Mike & Dad. Dad went on his merry way after about an hour & a half, but the rest of us lingered for another hour & a half. (I had told the Scarlett Oak what was going on and that we’d stay a while. I’d asked for a corner table so we didn’t bother anyone.)
As I write this, it’s a few weeks later, actually about a month later! But I wanted to be sure to memorialize it. It’s early, pre-dawn in fact, on a Sunday morning, so I’m going to go now. I’ll come back for a later installment to flesh out some more details, but for now? We met! It happened! And we are all delighted to know each of us is out there in the world!
2 Miles & 5 Decades Apart
I am 54 years old and today I will meet my sister for the first time. Until last winter, I had no idea she existed. More dramatically, she had no idea *I* existed, having grown up with her biological parents, she, understandably, never gave a thought to even the possibility that there may be unknown siblings running around, but here we are and the day has come!
Now, about this “2 miles apart” thing: unbeknownst to anyone involved at the time, she & I lived literally a few miles from one another while we were little weeble people. For about 4 years, from 1966-1970, when Jamie was a newborn and I was just one year older, we both lived in Hingham, MA. Our families attended the same Catholic Church. Our fathers drank at the same watering hole, what is now The Liberty Grille, in Hingham Harbor. In fact, we think there is a reasonable chance they may have been there at the same time, on more than one occasion and who knows? They may have even spoken, both utterly unaware that one was raising the other one’s child.
The whole thing is really quite mind-blowing.
Today, all our parents are dead, save one, my dad, who will be taking us all out to lunch in, you guessed it, Hingham! We won’t be gathering at the Liberty Grille, but in Hingham none-the-less! I will get to meet my half-sister, Jamie, and my half-brother Michael (another Michael!).
This brings my grand total of siblings to six now: two adopted, and four half-siblings, 2 from my birth mother, and 2 from my birth father. I’m a regular Brady Bunch! LOL.
I’m actually kind of nervous, and not in the way I am usually nervous about social occasions, which is to say dreading them. I’m actually looking forward to it, which is unusual for me, but I’m nervous like a first date nervous! I want very much to make a good impression. Unfortunately for me, when I feel like this, I tend to make an ass out of myself, so I’m going to try to be aware of that and not, for once in my life, make an ass out of myself. That would be refreshing – for all involved, I’m sure.
See, my problem is, I really like Jamie. A lot. She’s been a GAS to talk to and I SERIOUSLY don’t want to screw this up. I’ve never spoken to Michael but he’s a boy and whatever. LOL. We’ll do fine, I’m sure! It’s Jamie I worry about because neither she nor I have ever had a sister! Half or full or adopted or at all! So it’s important to me to not screw this up. Not just for me, but for her. It’s like when you marry and/or have children: it’s not just you anymore. You have someone else’s heart to take care of, and for her sake, if not my own, I want to not f*ck this up. See? I’m doing it again. I’m so worried about f*cking this all up I’m gonna f*ck it all up! LOL. Well, thank GOD I’ll have Michael (my husband!) with me. He’s a very calming influence on me and will help me not go full Thelma & Louise off the cliff.
I hope! LOL.