Ok, that title says it all. I absolutely fell in LOVE with NC! It reminds me a lot of NH, at least the part my aunt lives in....minus snow. :) They do get snow from what I am told, about 6 inches each winter, but nothing that lasts long. I wasn't able to get a lot of photos of the scenery due to my aunt babysitting her grandbabies most days. But I do have a few photos to share.
These are both shots outside the plane on the way down. I was very fortunate on my first time on a plane, to be seated next to a nice young man (20's) from somewhere near Atlanta, where my connecting flight was. He was very kind, and gave me tips and pointed things out that I wouldn't have seen. Unfortunately, once we got over Maryland, it was nothing but overcast, so no photos from then on. On the flight back, I flew at night and the view of the lights as you looked down was amazing. But, my camera wouldn't get a decent shot due to the reflection on the window from the lights inside the plane.
This is my cousin Karla and I (I am on the right). I have seen her more than any other cousin over the last couple of years due to my grandmother getting ill and passing, but it was the first time in a year that I had seen her. She lives about 2 hours from my Aunt (not her mother), and I got to stay 2 days at her house at the beginning of my trip. We are only 11 days apart in age, she being born May 13th, and me on the 24th. Her mother and my mother are sisters. I loved getting to see her again, and while at her house, I made a giant (9x13) sour cream coffee cake for munching on. She is the owner of the two beagles I posted a pic of last week. Her son is grown and on his own, so those are her babies now.
This is Karla, my cousin David, and myself. I hadn't seen David since he was 3. When his parents got divorced, his mom moved them to California. They moved to NC about 3 years ago. It blows my mind how much he looks like his father. Sadly his father passed away back in 1996, and didn't get to see what an amazing man he turned out to be. I fell in love with his wife, and two little boys (who, by the way, look exactly like him). Funny thing is, Karla has been in NC for 5 years, and she hadn't seen him either since he was little. So this was a great thing for both of us.
He and his wife Angela welcomed me into their house with open arms and made me feel right at home. They are very excited about the possibility of me moving down there, as it will not only give them more of David's family close by, it will give the kids more relatives to grow up with. Angela's family is from there, but the rest of our side of the family is mostly in the Northeast.
This was the house my aunt took me to see while I was down there (that is her in front). It is a 3 bedroom, cement block house built in 1948, by the owner Johnny's parents. It is cute as all get out on the outside, but very rough on the inside. It needs major updating, as it hasn't been since the time it was built I don't think. But the bonus of it all, and what would make it worth it, is that it sits on 4 acres of land. The land would need to be cleared into useable areas for animals, but definitely doable. I could even make some money off the timber.
Sadly, Johnny wasn't willing to "hold" it, especially since I don't know what the next month or two will bring with my father's surgery. He did rent it that weekend, but is not opposed to selling it, so who knows. It is a little further from my aunt and cousin than I wanted, at about 30 minutes north of them, but not a bad drive. Straight shot up 401, easy drive, and shopping and such is 15 minutes away, which is about what I have here in NH.
I have been looking online, and found a couple places closer to my aunt and cousin, with a tad more land (5 acres), that are in the same price range as this one. They also look like they would need less updating to the home to make them workable, which is a huge thing. I will wait until my dad is through his surgery, and see how things go, and then my aunt offered to go look at places for me.
Yes, I have decided that I would be incredibly stupid not to make the move. Financially, it just makes sense. The electric is extremely inexpensive down there, even if you are using it for heat, compared to here (we have the 2nd highest electric rates in the country). The weather is more bearable in the winter months, although I would have to get used to warmer summers. Groceries and gas are about the same price as up here in the north, but with enough land, I would be growing most of my food. The only con to the decision, is being away from my parents, brother, and my daughter. I know she will not want to go right now, she is just starting to build her own life as an adult. She has a new job, her boyfriend, and her friends. Karla and I agree though, that eventually she would end up down there. She needs her Momma. :)
My middle kid, Joe, would not want to go, but it comes down to finances, and he will just have to accept it. He is 16, so if he truly didn't like it, when he turns 18, he could come back to NH. That isn't a long time. If I can do this during this summer, like I hope to, I will homeschool him for the rest of high school, rather than put him in a school down there. Technically he is a freshman right now, but by homeschooling, he can finish up by the time he is 18, which is an incentive for him. I think he would absolutely love my cousin David, and it would make it easier for him to be away from his dad. David is very much into handy man stuff, and that is right up Joe's alley.
Tom, while he loves NH, isn't totally opposed to moving to NC. He is curious, and I think he would do very well down there, especially if we can find a place where we can have animals. He is dying to start raising chickens and goats.
And this is what I came home to on Monday:
The Friday before I came home, NH got hit with a foot of snow, and temps back down in the 20's. Thankfully it has been warming up and the snow is melting quickly. Today will actually be near 60, before we drop back into the 30's for the weekend. I really cannot complain about this winter, it's been so much milder than last year. I used half the propane I did last year, as we didn't have an extended deep freeze for Jan/Feb. But this winter was rare.
My goal for the next month is to get some stuff cleaned up and done before the landlord's come back for the spring/summer. There is a lot to clean up. Shouldn't take too long, but I am going to make a running "to do" list. I will also be working on getting rid of stuff, to downsize. Whether I can move to NC in June/July like I want, or have to get another place here for now (all depends on my father's outcome), I need to get rid of a ton of stuff.
I have furniture stored in the basement that has to go. My daughter is hemming and hawing about getting an apartment, but if she and her friends don't make up their minds soon, I am not going to keep holding onto it. I will try to sell what I can, and give away what I can't. I know what we need to live on a daily basis, and we have way too much stuff that just sits and takes up space.
So that is where I am right now. I am definitely moving to NC, but my family doesn't know yet, especially my parents. I can't bring it up right now, not with what is going on with dad. Once things settle down, and we see how his recovery is, then I will broach the subject with them.
Have a great day!