On June 18th, I wrote a post called The Mixed Blessing of our Last Home. That seems like ages ago. Now we are a month away from closing on our new home, and we are eager to do that. We will miss our Sonoran Desert sunsets, and the nearness of the mountain ranges that surround Tucson, but we are happy that we have buyers who seem to see the goodness in this Arizona home and we are ready to step aside and let them create what they want in this spot. Soon they will live in this home and make it theirs.
Soon Ron and I will take off on our new adventure. Our move will be striking. We will be driving from Arizona to Ohio. We are moving away from a pleasant modern house, built in 2006 in a community of similar homes, to an 1855 Victorian lady in a small town just a few miles from the eldest of my three brothers. I am excited to be near my family again, and I am excited to have a house with a wrap around front porch and a formal dining room!
My husband has visited my family in Ohio, and when he was a little boy, he and his mother rode the train between Tucson and Delaware several times across the northern part of Ohio. I haven’t lived in Ohio since the summer of 1982, and I haven’t lived in a place with a noticeable winter since the early months of 1988. We have had a lot of fun talking about the Ohio adventure that is our last house.
Ron loves to garden, and we have had long talks about what we want to plant in the front and back yards. We have talked of planting roses, tulips, crocus, and some of the wildflowers that my Dad loved: Bloodroot, Lily-of-the-valley, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Solomon’s Seal; and then more roses, tulips, and crocus. We have talked about trees we might like to plant, like the white Dogwood that was in our front yard when I was growing up and, perhaps, to remind me of my 24 years in Columbia, South Carolina, even a Magnolia.
We are leaving our Arizona small town, ten miles southeast of Tucson, which has required us to drive up to Tucson every time we want to buy groceries, go to the bank, church, or library. We are moving to a small town where many of those things are less than a half mile walk from our new home. This will be a culture shock – albeit a culture shock that we are excited to embrace!
We are looking forward to inviting family and friends to visit us; in fact, we have already issued quite a few advance invitations. I look forward to getting reacquainted with old school chums and friends with whom I used to work while making new friends as we learn more about our new town. To make up for the amount of packing and bone-tired-weariness we have lived through in preparation for this move, we have promised each other that we will unpack at whatever still-life-leisurely pace we choose.
We are excited about having a basement which we can turn into studio space. Actually, into several studio spaces! For many years, when I lived in South Carolina, I had a part-time jewelry business called Uncommon Adornments which I later turned into a full-time venture after attending a medieval goldsmithing course and adding a division called Phos Hilarion which featured individually handcrafted pectoral crosses. After Ron came into my life, he helped me with this venture and made the beautiful crosses you see in the pages below. Both of us are looking forward to making jewelry again. I closed the business years ago when we were getting ready to move to Arizona. So the website is no more – but I created a Facebook page. You can find it here:
be sure to check out the studio, jewelry and cross photos here:
Facebook Phos Hilarion – Photos
In addition to the jewelry studio, we are carving out a dedicated space for Ron to paint. In Arizona, when he wanted to paint, he took over the kitchen. In Ohio, we will have plenty of space. There already exists a regular workshop space in the basement which we may just use as a fix-it workshop, and in the remaining space, I plan to create a dedicated sewing area where projects don’t need to be put away before anyone can start to make dinner. I used to have fun creating items for my SC houses – valances, curtains, cushions. With our 1855 Victorian I am sure there will be such projects again!
I think I mentioned earlier that this move was Ron’s idea. He got the idea that it might be good to move closer to my family. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that he thought to do this! To celebrate, Ron & I plan on getting into mischief, enjoying our new town, exploring some favorite old haunts of mine and discovering new ones of ours.
I look forward to taking Ron to see some of my favorite places. I think of Hocking Hills, Amish country which was always a favorite of my Dad’s (truth told, he loved the interesting old-time hardware stores and the restaurants with a fantastic choice of freshly made pies), Lake Hope, Lakeside, Dover and New Philadelphia. We both look forward to luring our friends & family from near and far away to visit us in our last and best home.
To be honest, there were times I doubted this move would ever come to fruition. We had such a short window of time to find a buyer before we would lose the house in Ohio. But friends and family joined their prayers and hopes with ours, and this dream is finally coming to fruition. I told friends on Facebook that we might need a miracle and it seems a miracle is what we are getting. We sure have had a bundle of folks praying for us.
I haven’t written too much of late. I’ve had little time to do anything that isn’t related to our house showing, moving, selling or buying. It may be that time for writing will be scarce in the weeks to come as well. But I hope that you will stay with us, follow my blog, and give me your thoughts on our move or on our best, last home.
What flowers would you plant to adorn a Victorian lady like this?
Do you believe in naming homes and if so, do you have a suggestion for this home?
Do you have thoughts regarding our studio spaces or that incredible wrap-around porch?
I am so delighted to hear that you and Ron are moving 2000 miles closer! Well done! As for plantings: don’t forget the northern Ohio staples of azaleas, rhododenrons, and hostas. I could imagine a border of hostas ringing the shrubs that hug the porch in your photo. I must say that I loved seeing your Arizona home and habitat, and treasure the mental photos from that visit, but I am very happy that you will be living much nearer the east coast soon. As for that porch: don’t forget a swing and a hammock! Love, Ellen
Thank you, Ellen! I had no idea that Azaleas could flourish in Ohio. We came to love them in South Carolina, but your news is very welcomed indeed! We hope that we can persuade you to visit again, perhaps this time at a time when Kath could join us as well. Guest accommodations will be at the ready! We promise we won’t forget the front porch! Love you too — Ann