We're here in Asheville at last. Our computer setup is still incomplete, so I can't post any pics yet. They will be great when I get to them though.
Our trip across the country was amazing. Lots of miles on that red Subaru covering lots of western geology: Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Carlsbad Caverns, cool rock shops, alien remains (plastic ones in Roswell!). Carlsbad Caverns was everyone's favorite - highly recommended.
The landscape changed dramatically after Houston. New Orleans was fascinating. We stayed with some old Highland Park friends there, the Fitzgerald's. We saw the devastated lower 9th ward, the touristy but beautiful French District, and made a good Organic Armor connection there. We will definitely go back, not for Mardi Gras this year, but maybe next.
In Atlanta we stayed with the Carsons, some homeschooling friends from LA that moved east a year ago. They were SO nice - waiting up for us till midnight and feeding us real food after a grueling drive. We also went to the MLK jr. Center in Atlanta, which is a part of the National Park system. It includes the house Dr. King was born in, the church he first preached at, and his tomb. The exhibit was quite powerful and had me in tears.
I am so grateful for the National Park System after this trip, what an amazing job they do. Let's ditch a few stealth bombers and give them another 10 billion bucks.
Another cool thing about the trip was couchsurfing.org. Patti W. told us about this organization which connects travelers and hosts from all over the world, reinvigorating the ancient tradition of hospitality to strangers, via the power of the internet. We surfed in Flagstaff, AZ, near the Grand Canyon, with a 20 year old student of nutritional anthropology (who knew there was such a thing?). She had just come back from working for a month on an organic farm in India. And she loves Chico bags too! There were 2 other couchsurfers there that night from Montreal Quebec, so we had a little party. In Houston we surfed with a homeschooling family. They were Burning Man folks and welcomed us with delicious pizza and great conversation even though they were sleep deprived with a 3 month old baby. Couchsurfing is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. Check it out.
So now we're in Asheville, 3009 miles later. There was snow on the ground when we got here but it's been in 50s and 60s since. Bob and the truck arrived on time with everything intact. We rented 2 storage lockers and stuffed it all in. We're staying in Rod and Gina's cozy basement with heated floors and our own bathroom. Flame and Chompsky, our kitties, are so glad we're here.
I've been looking at AV real estate online for a year. I couldn't wait to drive around and see the actual houses. Many didn't look nearly as inviting IRL. I looked at about 40 houses over a couple of days and then - holy cow - we found the perfect one and bought it! It happened so fast.
The house had just gone on the market the night before and it happened to be on Elizabeth's (our realtor) street so she saw the freshly posted sign. It never even made it to the MLS. But there was a developer looking at it already the next morning when we got there. It's on a double lot and was under priced. The owners were selling off several properties from their parent's estate. They just wanted to move it fast. We tried to guess what the developer would offer and raised our offer a bit over that and we got it! We offered 230,000 which is coincidently thesame amount we paid for our house in LA, 6 years ago.
It's in a great neighborhood, full of pretty houses, kids on bikes, wide open yards without fences, and lots of trees to climb. It's a 3 bd/2 ba with a .41 acre yard. It was built in 1923. The kitchen needs an overhaul. It has beautiful knotty pine panelling in the living room, just like the old house in Brimfield. We close escrow on super tuesday/mardi gras.
Now we are looking for a studio for Organic Armor. I think we've found one, but it won't be confirmed until Monday. It's 1200 square feet, a bit "rustic", and is in the groovy River District, in a building with many other artists.
We've got orders stacking up and we've been spending money like water so I'm looking forward to getting OA going again.
It's been wonderful staying with the Asheville Murphys. Connor loves playing with his cousins and they with him. Paul's been hanging out at the pub a lot. We've met some very nice people. I went to a lovely yoga class within walking distance of Rod's house. I plan to go back twice a week. It helped me feel human for the1st time in a couple of months.
My email situation is pretty clunky. I can't access any of my old emails or my address book. I can't get online every day. Also my email@example.com seems to have been refusing all mail since 12/28. So if you want to write to me use firstname.lastname@example.org
We miss our dear friends in LA. It's good but weird starting new life at 45.
lots of love,