I've been a lot less present on the interweb for a while. We've been busy. In early October, we went to Beaufort and looked at houses. We found one we all liked and made an offer.
On Friday morning, December 18th, we got word from our Realtor that we could move in and began packing. Four days later, the movers arrived on Tuesday morning and we took down our Christmas tree. They were fast and efficient and we had everything pretty well packed, so the moving van was on the road before noon and we spent our first night in Beaufort in our new home, after a 250 mile drive. With three dogs. And six parakeets. The next morning, I went out and bought a new Christmas tree and celebrated Christmas in our new home two days later.
I had to go back about a week later, because the movers couldn't transport live plants and to pick up my motorcycle, which they didn't have room for. I rented a U-Haul trailer and got my bike and all the plants aboard, plus a bunch of other little things we didn't get packed, then did a thorough cleaning of the old house. It's for sale and the price is low, if anyone's interested. I'll even knock a little more off, if need be.
We now live on one of the sea islands on the coast of South Carolina. Lady's Island is east and south of Beaufort and across Port Royal Sound from Port Royal, with Parris Island just beyond. To the southeast is St. Helena Island, then Hunting Island, then the Atlantic Ocean. The boat ramp three miles from the house is only about seven miles from open water.
So, I bought a boat. Nothing big or flashy, just a good solid used 1995 Grady-White center console. It's one year newer than my pickup, which will be pulling it. I've wanted a Grady ever since I was a kid and within about ten days, it'll be parked in my driveway. It's in really good shape for a twenty year old boat and the engine is a 140 HP 2002 Suzuki, with very low hours. My youngest daughter and I took it out for a sea trial this morning. It was 35* and the wind was out of the north at 20 mph, creating white caps in the creek where we launched. Out on the river, seas were 2-3 feet and choppy. The boat handled it smoothly and we didn't get wet. Well, except for the occasional snowflake. Yes, I chose the worst possible day for a sea trial. It hadn't snowed here since the Grady was new.
I made an offer before the sea trial was over. It's on consignment with Butler Marine in Beaufort and if the owner accepts my offer, the dealer is sending it to their larger shop in Charleston to have a T-top and some new electronics installed. It should be back by the first of February. By the time it gets back, temperatures will be in the upper 60s and we'll be out on the Sound enjoying our time aboard "Gravity Storm".
Up in northern Greenville County, where we moved from, they got a half inch of freezing rain the night before last and four inches of snow yesterday. Power is out at our old home and not expected to be restored until Sunday.
So, what's all this got to do with writing? Well, I'm paying cash for the boat, just like I did my pickup, and the new home is a huge step up from where we lived. None of this would have been possible if it weren't for Jesse McDermitt.
The old man has returned to the sea. I think I'm gonna like it here.