It was a message from Grizzman asking if we had found a place live that has propped me to write this blog. The short answer is, “Yes”. In fact, tonight is our last night at Fish Pond. The movers came on Thursday, and we’ve spent the past two days cleaning the house, apartment, workshop, and garage to attract potential renters. We’re hoping to at just cover the cost of Fish Pond until the housing market improves. Does anyone out there with a good crystal ball? I guess we’ll do like we always have – trying to make the best decision and work to make the best of it.
We finally settled on western North Carolina around the Asheville area. More specifically, it’s in Horse Shoe, NC between Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard, right next to the Smokey Mountains with the Blue Ridge Parkway within minutes. We picked this area after visiting almost every state south of New England and east of Ohio, using very specific criteria – gardening zone 6 or 7, near good medical care, cost of housing and living, and general quality of life.
The house search and purchase process in today’s world was an interesting experience in itself.
Now for the best part – the house we chose has a winterized 16’x’20’ detached woodworking shop in the back yard! The seller’s late husband enjoyed woodworking. One of the thoughts I’ve had is that’s it’s kind of neat that another woodworker can continue his hobby and use the shop, while still infusing my own personality to it. My goal is to write an interesting blog about this effort. I’ll add some photos once we arrive there and figure out which box has the cable needed to upload the photos to the PC. The fact that several nationally known fly fishing spots close by was also a draw.
I’ve already scoped out Trout Unlimited, and the many wood working courses in the area.
Leaving Fish Pond is very difficult! I’ve been here 11 years now, rebuilt the house, and built the garage that has a workshop behind and a two bedroom apartment over it, taking my breaks to fish for trout in the pond that borders the front year. In addition to the carpentry and other building skills learned and added to, there has been a host of rural life skills learned, like how to fell a tree without destroying a porch or roof or pulling down a power line. And then there are the friends to be left behind. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Although difficult, it is also necessary as life here at Fish Pond requires a lot of work maintaining 20 acres and dealing with very long harsh winters, with each winter a little more trying than the last one as I age. In short, I’ve outgrown my “Jeremiah Johnson” stage in life.
When my son-in-law heard about our plans, he asked to buy my 30-ton wood splitter. I told him the price would be a toy(s) for a toy, so I’m expecting a new Grizzly band saw and lathe once we get settled. I had considered selling my cheap table and miter saws locally, but decided to take them until I can see how the finances are after the move (I also need to buy a new truck and a new PC, so we need to prioritize). I am leaving behind the workbench I built last summer, as I now know what I like and dislike about it and want to build another.
So here we go into a whole new stage of life with a little trepidation, but a whole lot of hope and excitement.
I’ll be interested in hearing your feedback about the blog, and will attempt to address all questions.
Thank you for reading.
-- John from Hampstead