Nothing Could Be Finer …

… than to be in Carolina? On a morning like this–70 degrees with dew dripping from the collards and a Carolina wren warbling his heart out overhead–I agree. I absolutely agree.

Dappled sun and shade on the garden beds at our new home in South Carolina.

Dappled sun and shade on the garden beds at our new home.

The long silence in Goddess of Gumbo-land has been due to the whirlwind of change that swept into my life with mama’s death in January. Two days after the funeral, I interviewed for a job. And not just any job–the dream job in my field that, six years into the Great Recession and limping recovery, I had just about given up hope of ever finding.

Four weeks later, job offer in hand, I found myself nearly overwhelmed–by packing, the painful tieing up of personal and professional relationships from a 20-year residence in Virginia, long distance house hunting, then, finally, the harrowingly complex move two states south involving four neurotic cats, Farm Boy’s nursery stock and associated carpentry and propagation equipment, and 100 boxes of books. (And that was about half of it.)

The change in lifestyle has been dramatic. We went from a living in the heart of a bustling college town full of hipsters and happenings…


Irish pubs…


… banging bistros …


… and of course, the Downtown Mall, all within walking distance of my house.

… to crickets. Quite literally crickets. (And peepers and plenty of birdsong, too.)

Our new city is more like a village, population 8,000. And, Farm Boy having endured four years of urban living for the sake of love, we made the choice to get as close to a farmstead lifestyle as we could on this move.

So we passed on living in town, and the quite literally palatial digs available near campus, opting instead for a sweet little brick cottage on six acres, about six miles out of town.

This, for example, is our front yard.


A view from about halfway down the driveway.

And this is the back forty.

Leading directly off the back yard is the first of three pastures.

Leading directly off the nursery is the first of three pastures.

This is our garden plot (!!!) …


It’s twice as wide as shown in this picture–a considerable upgrade over the 10’x10′ plot, shaded by neighboring houses, we made do with in Virginia.

… which we got installed just in time for fall gardening with the help of a tractor borrowed from a neighbor.


I want one.


Yes, our neighbors–even the retired professor neighbors–have tractors. And goats and burros and ponies and emus. They have flocks of geese that stop traffic as they meander back and forth across the road to get between their pond and their pen.

(They also have guns. Lots of them. I’m nearly used to the sound of blasts and pops in the distance. And it’s a good thing, too, now that deer season is here.)

So… No more tapas bars and Irish pubs and sushi within a five-minute drive of the house. Fresh pasta and bakery bread within a five-minute walk? Farewell to all that. And to Whole Foods, to Three-Buck Chuck, to homemade dolmas and tabouli at Integral Yoga. Farewell to the City Market, to foodies and the “locavore capital” competition, and, with deep sadness, to the monthly conversations at with Leni and Kip and the rest of the Indigo House gang.

Here in Carolina, the farm-to-table lifestyle has begun in earnest.

There’s so much to tell. Updates will be following fast and furious.

1 comment for “Nothing Could Be Finer …

  1. October 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I look forward to hearing more about your fabulous adventures. You are missed!

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