Monday, May 14, 2012

Calling TN Home

We've moved . . . finally . . . from the Pittsburgh, PA area to Piney Flats, TN just outside Johnson City on Boone Lake.  We're not lakefront, but you can see the lake (river actually) from our house.  We live on a peninsula with the river winding around both sides of the house about a block away on either side and in front of the house about 1/4 mile down the road.  No through traffic . . . just local residents and, of course boats!

 Our TN house

You can't imagine how excited I am to finally have a front porch (there's actually a back porch as well).  I bought a white oak porch swing back in 1979 when I was single and living in Blowing Rock, NC (in the mountains).  I lived in a tiny house with a small front porch and really used and enjoyed my swing.  We have been dragging this swing around since then . . . never having a covered porch to hang it on . . . until NOW!  Can't wait to get that baby hung up!!!!  I will sit and listen to the birds . . . and boats . . . and enjoy the glistening water in the distance . . . with my glass of wine . . . wrapped in my "porch quilt" I'm making . . . when I find it . . . it's in one of the many boxes I haven't unpacked yet . . . oh, the boxes . . . and boxes . . . and boxes.

I have actually unpacked a tremendous amount of boxes (we have a tremendous amount of stuff) but the weather has been so nice that I've been visiting greenhouses buying plants (flowers as well as veggies) and weeding and planting and cutting grass.  Guess we won't get settled unless it rains!  (Actually I think I hear thunder in the distance.)

We closed on the house here in Piney Flats, TN, on Thursday morning, April 19 (our 26th wedding anniversary).  We became great friends with our realtor and she was so sweet to give us a gift certificate to a local restaurant in Jonesborough that she had taken us to lunch to when we were looking at houses.  Jonesborough is a cute town south of us (the oldest town in TN . . . and was once the capitol of the lost state of Franklin; look it up, very interesting).  You'll be hearing a lot more about Jonesborough.  The International Story Telling Festival is held every year in October; 10,000+ people converge on Jonesborough to tell stories for three days and nights.  Friday nights from May through October, Main street is closed for Music on the Square (we went this past Friday night and had a great time.  It was a little chilly so we left a little early).

Anyway . . . we wanted to do a little celebrating Thursday evening for the closing and our anniversary.  When we arrived at the restaurant "The Dining Room", we were told that there would be a 45 minute wait.  The place is no bigger than our family room.  They had a group of 12 that had turned into a party of 20, and then they received a HUGE take out order.  Yes, the place has great food.  They could serve us soup and bread . . . not quite the celebration we were looking for.  So, we walked a block or so over to another place, The Creekside Grill.

Very good local food at the Creekside as well . . . still not quite the celebration we were looking for, but it was relatively quick.  When we had finished,  a lady was walking around and looking at various paintings and prints on the wall.  We started talking with her and pretty soon she sat down and we had a little mini Christian witness session.  I don't know if she was physic or what, but she told us we were going to have the most amazing next 3 years and we were right where we were supposed to be!  She had been sitting with a group of  7 or 8 people a few tables away; they were a meeting of the local Tea Party.  We went over to talk with them and they invited us to a local Republican group dinner meeting for Thursday night.  At THAT dinner, we were talking with a couple that were sitting near us, exchanged telephone numbers (they know some folks that are into model trains . . . you know the hubs and his trains). They called the next day to invite us to join a Friday night dinner group of about 50 people (only about 20 make it to any given dinner), so we went to dinner Friday night as well.  So, we had barely been here a week and are now part of at least a couple informal groups that meet every week!

The following week, we went to Clarksburg WV for a dear friend's wedding on Saturday, April 28th.  And, since there was a TCA train show in the Pittsburgh area the next day, Sunday . . . and only a couple hours from Clarksburg . . . we drove up.  The hubs had a chance to pick up a some O gauge track and a Standard Gauge 22 degree cross-over (very necessary items for a train guy) and see some of his train buddies.  We drove back to Piney Flats that afternoon and got home about 9 p.m.

The next day we drove to Mt. Airy, NC to visit my Mom and Dad and to see their new place, a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in a retirement community called Ridgecrest.  They have breakfast and dinner in a large dining room with the other residents each day.  They select meals from a menu and are served on real china with real silverware at their table!  They have a small kitchen in their apartment with small refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, etc. where they usually eat their leftovers from the night before for lunch!  There's also a full size washer and dryer in the apartment.  Housekeeping comes daily to do whatever they want done.  Our daughter said it sounds like living in a dorm without having to go to classes.
That afternoon we drove to Charlotte, NC to visit with the hub's Mom and Dad and to celebrate his mother's 80th birthday . . . and, to pick up some more train stuff that had been in their garage (there's still more to get . . .).  We stayed a couple of days (to rest) and then back to TN.

Our daughter is a senior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden CT . . . a film and media studies major.  For her senior project she and a group of 5 other kids made a documentary on a rock and roll bar called "Toad's" in New Haven CT, right next to Yale (lots of big name bands have played there over the years).  We drove up to Hamden CT on Friday, May 4th, to see the screening of their project.  As we were watching this, we couldn't help but think we were watching a show on the Biography channel . . . it is  OUTSTANDING!!  Her group was told they should send it to the local public TV station and to film festivals.  These kids did such great work and we are very proud. The link to the documentary video they filmed is below:

Link to the Toad's documentary:

We drove part way back to TN and stayed in Carlisle PA overnight getting home last Monday . . . it's a long drive from CT to TN!  And guess what??  We go back up to CT the end of the month to help our daughter  move from her house to an apartment to finish her senior year . . . graduating in December!

Enough for now . . . stay tuned for the continual unpacking updates!!!  Have a great week y'all!!!!

Bon  ~*

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