One thing you should know about me is that I really do NOT like driving. I mean, I’m fine driving around familiar places and it doesn’t stress me out to take the kids to activities and stuff right around here, but I loathe the highway, adverse conditions, and, well, most driving.
If we’re going any kind of distance whatsoever? My husband is behind the wheel. We don’t “take turns”, we don’t “switch off”, we don’t alternate– he drives, I ride shotgun. It’s been that way since college and, honestly, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Part of this might be that we both grew up in homes with the same dynamic, but some is just personality and it totally works for us.
So, when faced with a move from Florida to Virginia and two cars to get there, my husband did what any sweet, indulgent husband would do– he arranged to have his car professionally moved so he could drive my mine and I wouldn’t have to stress out over the drive. (I am well-loved. That much I’m pretty sure you’ve gathered, by now. )
So, his car was being transported and we were taking mine. We still didn’t have actual jobs lined up. We’d never seen the town.
We printed directions off Mapquest, went and closed on our condo, and headed off. Honestly, we had planned a lot and organized a lot, but it still amazes me to think of how fearless we were, in many ways.
Our goal that night was a town called Florence, South Carolina. I will always remember staying there at the Plantation Inn when I was in high school. It was a lovely place and, at the time, I think the room was about $29 a night, which tickled my New England soul to no end– even in the 90s, there’s no way you’d find a place to stay for that little back home.
We wound up driving right past Florence and up into North Carolina. By then, it was pushing 11 PM and we decided to stop for the night. We rested up and got a decent start the next day.
We took the exit for Chesapeake, Virginia right before noon.
Honestly, there’s something incredibly strange about arriving in a brand new town and realizing it’s to be your new home. I couldn’t get enough of looking around and trying to imagine myself there. Because I do tend to acclimate well to most places, I was more eager than nervous and couldn’t wait to see our place.
We wound up with a little one bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the third floor. That hike up and down the steps never bothered me, except for when we had lots of groceries. Then, it was a pain. Otherwise, I happily pranced up and down those flights of outdoor stairs.
It was the very beginning of October and South Florida had still been incredibly hot. Southeast Virginia turned out to be warm at that time of year, but the evenings and nights cooled beautifully. We slept with the windows open that first night and, though the air mattress sank as the night wore on and I found myself pretty much on the floor, I slept deeply, with a smile of my face– I had missed that. I had missed fresh, cool night breezes.
The next day, I had to go in to work, actually, but they hadn’t found a permanent home for me. They decided to send me to teller school in the interim, which was good because they used a different computer system there. It was also kind of funny because, since I’d been a teller manager for years for the same company already, I knew a lot of what they were teaching. By the end of the first day, they’d given me supervisor override and were cutting me loose early.
They hadn’t found a job for my husband, yet, so he was back at the apartment, awaiting both our stuff and his car– they were both due to arrive that day.
The stuff got there.
The car did not…
to be cont. (of course!)
The rest of this story can be found here:
Part 1: Itchy Feet
Part 2: Looking Northward
Part 3: Picking a Town
Part 4: The Job “Search”
Part 5: Selling Our First Home (at 25)
Part 6: Sold!