Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We're Home

We’re home.

The journey to this place began the day I decided that enjoying life was more important than earning more money. It might sound like an easy decision, but, six years ago, at the tender age of fifty, it took some thought. But that’s a story for another time. This is about our new place.

When the decision to retire early was made, we began looking for land. Our first thought was to find a parcel in the North Carolina mountains – preferably near some sweet little trout stream - and build. And not just build, but build for good, for green, for as much energy independence as we could. To that end, we began attending “green design” classes at the local community college and taking advantage of the various green building tours offered in our area.

One weekend, while in South Carolina at a soccer tournament, I received an excited call from my wife who, in my absence, had been visiting a few houses on another builders tour. She had fallen in love with a home.

It had all she wanted. Designed to maximize passive solar utilization – exposure, overhangs, thermal masses, hot water panels, and a floor plan to die for. Built with an intelligent combination of natural materials and high tech componentry. Situated in a luscious natural environment, but within reasonable access to the excellent healthcare and cultural opportunities that the North Carolina Piedmont offered. Okay, trout were still a few hours away, but a beautiful bass river bordered the neighborhood. It was perfect.

Perfect, that is, except that it was not for sale. A nice young couple had just built it and expected to grow old there. Good for them.

But the community within which the house stood also captured our heart. I retired and we watched for a year for a suitable home to become available - jumping when it did. Wouldn’t you know, it was next door – in country terms – to the home that brought us to the area. There, we have spent the most wonderful four years, well documented, I hope, within this blog, and became fast friends with Abby and Juan.

Those fast friends came to us nine months ago with the sad news that family needs must take them north, to Maine, and that they would be selling their home. Knowing that it was this place that brought us into the neighborhood in the beginning, they asked if we would be interested. The answer was easy. Yes.

To make a long – very long - real estate story short, we sold our lovely place and bought theirs. We’re still pinching ourselves that we’re here.

I told you we were moving to someplace good. Someplace really good.

We’ve moved next door.

We're finally home.

Note: Thanks for your patience while we made the move. I hope you enjoyed the reruns and look forward to getting back to “live broadcasts”. It’s definitely time to get back on the water. Moving - even to such a fantastic and nearby place - simply sucks.


Steve Zakur said...

Congratulations on both the retirement and finding the ideal home so close to home.

We're starting to think about the same thing - retirement and an ideal home - and our thinking isn't far from yours re: a sustainable model. We're also thinking about floor plans that will be easy on ourselves as we grow older. So much to consider if one takes the time to overthink it. :)

Look forward to new fishing reports.

Chris said...

Congrats... I moved next door once. It was the toughest move EVER. But worth it. Enjoy the new digs... and, most importantly, is there a guest room?

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks, Steve!

Chris, yes indeed, there's a guest room. Come see.

Jay said...

Congrats on the move! Patience pays off, and it looks like you have a really great home there. I'm envious, but I guess I still have some time.

cofisher said...

Congratulations Mike! I sincerely mean it. I had a similar plan when I retired, but it didn't pan out. Enjoy your dream home.

e.m.b. said...

I so glad you finally moved home, and into a dream from which you can't be pinched awake...smiled my way through this post. It's real.

Dean K Miller said...

Nothing is better than coming home...especially when there's water nearby. Welcome home.

Ken G said...

I have this image in my head of a United Van Lines semi parked in your driveway getting loaded up. Then leaves, drives 200 yards and backs into the other driveway.

They charge by the mile, don't they?

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks everyone. We're lovin' being here.

And Ken, your image doesn't stray far from reality. The only variation is that is wasn't a semi... just a bloody big truck. And 200 yards is just about right.

Dan Short said...

Nice Mike. I'm glad things worked out with the dream home. I'm hoping to move a little closer to trout water before the end of the year too. Looking forward to the live broadcasts.

Matt Smythe said...

Most excellent. Congratulations, Mike.