Musings of a New England Transplant
It’s August. We are fast approaching our two-year anniversary of moving to Hilton Head Island from New England. Joe and I had talked for years of retiring to the “Island.” It’s paradise! How could we go wrong? Look around you; isn’t it heaven?
We started coming to the Island twenty years ago as vacation golfers with hordes of friends. An annual adventure that we all looked forward to. We would have parties to plan the parties we would have while we were here. What a wonderful crew of folks who made this trek with us. Everyone game for everything; mostly golf, but still allowing people the space to do their own thing. The camaraderie has always been unmatched. It still is; however, I digress.
We would come during April, accommodating the teachers in our group. Massachusetts and New Hampshire have spring vacations during that month. No wonder we thought it was paradise here! April is one of the best months of the year to visit the Lowcountry, but we didn’t know that. We just lucked into that choice. After the long bitter New England winter, we would be embraced by the Lowcountry’s warm spring sun and blooming azaleas.
Walking on the beach one morning, my husband Joe and I mused, “Let’s retire here. What do you think? We’ve worked long and hard. Our kids won’t need us anymore. This is paradise. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every day and have the beach in our backyard and no snow in the winter?” This soon became our goal.
For years and years, we talked and planned and planned and talked. Soon, retirement loomed in front of us and it was time to make the move to paradise. We bought a small condo on Hilton Head, downsizing from our home which at one time housed my two kids, parents, us and a variety of pets. In August 2015, we loaded up two cars, one with a trailer, hired a moving van and made the move.
Many of you may not remember September of 2015. It rained almost every day the entire month. I don’t mean off and on rain. I mean deluge rain. I frequently looked out our slider for Noah and his ark to float by. To say I was homesick does not do justice to how I was feeling.
What happened to paradise? The wonderful weather? The camaraderie? The parties? The jubilation? Oh wait! That’s right! We don’t know anyone here, it’s September and it’s raining. I guess you can tell that I have not moved around much in my life. I was horrified. I wanted to go home. But again, wait! I am home. Gracious sakes alive! What am I going to do?
Radical Thinking – a new term in my lexicon. Embrace your situation because you have to. So, I started to learn about the Lowcountry. I began making friends by joining civic groups and a church. I learned what it meant to be “In the Lowcountry.” I even started checking out the strange flora and fauna never seen by this “Woman of a Certain Age” born and bred in New England.
In the coming weeks, I hope to continue to share the Lowcountry from a New Englander’s point of view. There might quite possibly be things you take for granted that strike awe in my heart and make me so happy to live in the Lowcountry.