Just look at that picture! No photoshopping at all! Indeed, that is just how green and lush it is in Kentucky. And, the image above is of my son Kyle walking toward the golf course that is directly beyond the rear yard of our new house in Bardstown. Yep! You read that right! This nearly-life-long California girl is in the midst of serious packing for a relocation to a whole new world. I do feel as if I am in a fairy tale at time. LOL!
If you visit Facebook and are my “friend” then you might have seen my many posted images, and been following my frequent updates. Those are all here: Sharon Lathan on Facebook. Alas I have been running, literally non-stop since before I left for the RWA National Conference in Atlanta in mid-July. Posting a long update on my blog since I returned has proven impossible. I have started to create posts a dozen times, but am always interrupted! Hopefully that won’t happen today.
Waayyy back on July 15 I posted a blog that explained what was going on in my life, and why my husband and I chose Kentucky as the place for our retirement years. I won’t repeat myself, so just scroll down or click this link: Golly Gee, Where has Sharon Been?
I did manage to post one report while in Atlanta at the RWA Conference. That was on July 18 and can be read HERE. So much happened when I left Atlanta, and very quickly, that it feels as if the conference was six months ago. Crazy! And, as exciting as my life has been, it is rather sad that the fabulous experiences at the RWA conference never had a chance to burrow deep into my heart before being crowded out by so much more. I had an absolutely fabulous time attending some workshops, social events, meeting new people, and learning the latest news within the publishing business. Most of all, the highlights were hanging out with dear friends: Sara Humphreys, Cheryl Brooks, Terry Spear, Amelia Grey, Sandy James, Tammy Falkner, Emery Lee/Victoria Vane, Katherine Bone, Carolyn Brown, Karen Erickson, Anne Barton, and so so many others. Truly, more and more I come to conferences to visit!
My perfect conference experience ended on July 20 with karaoke starring Sara Humphreys and Cheryl Brooks. Fun! I promised under pain of death not to post the videos, so shall comply, but to the right is one picture to prove the truth!
Early on the following day I flew off to Louisville, Kentucky. My husband and son had already flown in from California the day before, and were waiting in Bardstown. Let the house hunt begin! Fortunately, we had already connected with a marvelous realtor named Renee Wallace at the Century 21 in Elizabethtown, and she was waiting for us. I honestly cannot express how amazing, kind, and just plain delightful Renee has been. She dedicated the entire week to us, knowing we were on a time crunch. She not only provided excellent house-hunting expertise, she also served as a personal tour guide sharing local history, best places to eat and shop, and a wealth of insights that only a citizen of the area would know.
We immediately fell in love with Bardstown. It was everything our extensive research had revealed, and so much more. Bardstown was established in 1788 so is the second oldest town in Kentucky (after Harrodsburg), and the historical significance is evident everywhere you look. It was also named the Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally, has the fourth largest Civil War Museum in the world, and is the Bourbon Capitol of the World. Yes, bourbon was created in the Bardstown area, and it is still the central location for bourbon distilleries and the largest exporter. If interested, you can read more about Bardstown here: Visit Bardstown
Needless to say, we focused our initial house search there. God was definitely guiding us, because the fourth house we looked at was unquestionably The One we wanted. All three of us fell head-over-heels in love! We did look at the other prospects, just to be sure, and journeyed to Elizabethtown and a couple other small communities on a scouting mission. But there was never truly any doubt in our minds, so by the end of that Monday, we had placed an offer.
The next 24 hours were a bit hairy (there is always something, right?) but by Wednesday the offer was accepted. Whoot! Paperwork and appointments galore ensued. Thanks to a number of people as amazing as Renee, we got everything taken care of before we had to leave on Saturday, July 27. And if you were wondering exactly how awesome our new home is, here is a movie I created out of the 100+ pictures we snapped–
Isn’t it simply fabulous? If at any time I felt overwhelmed with the work and details, I open up my image folder of Kentucky, Bardstown, and our new home… staring at the photos usually while sifting through home decorating pins on Pinterest…. and gradually the stress is relieved.
With our California house scheduled to close escrow on August 30, that meant we had almost exactly one month, ie- THIRTY MEASLY DAYS! to get everything packed up in a home we have lived in for 17 years, and conclude all the technical arrangements. Yikes! Movers, packing, utilities on and off, paperwork for a house buy and sell, packing, yard sale, saying good-bye to friends, packing, packing, and more packing….. OMG! On the upside, we have cleaned out a LOT of junk no longer needed. LOL! In truth, the process has gone very well. We have done the hard physical work in spurts, resting our aching bodies in between. “Rest” periods are when we sit at the computer and/or get on the phone planning the logistical stuff. Or creating videos like the one above. Or watching the entire four seasons of The Tudors or start working my way through Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. Ha! Gotta have some fun. I have always been a list-maker, but for this momentous period I had to find a computer app – Wunderlist – rather than my usual sticky notes. And my BIG wall-calendar will be the last item boxed away, I assure you.
And that, more or less, in a nutshell, brings us up to today. It is Saturday, August 24, and in six days we will get behind the steering-wheels of our vehicles to begin the exodus from California. Am I sad? Well, no, to be honest. I have had my moments of wishing it hadn’t happened so fast so that we could have managed one more trip to Yosemite… and Disneyland… and the Pacific Coast… and… That is when I realize I have fifty years of incredible memories (and boxes upon boxes, and CD upon CD of pictures) of all the places I have been blessed to visit here in California and the West. I shed the occasional tear over saying good-bye to friends… and then I remind myself that with writer’s conferences and Facebook, I shall never truly be out of touch with those who are dear to me here.
Next I think of ALL the sites in the eastern portions of the USA that I have always longed to see, how beautiful Kentucky is (and cheaper), and my new home. But best of all, I thrill in knowing that my daughter and son-in-law will be much, much closer… and that my dad, aunt, brother and sister-in-law, and beloved cousins will all be within a day’s drive. I can spend Christmas or Thanksgiving in Mississippi with my family, which I never thought would happen in my lifetime! How astounding is that?
I suppose I have forever been a wee bit adventurous. Being able to fulfill this dream of living a simpler life in a lushly green location, with my Mr. Darcy at my side… well, that is a slice of heaven I embrace with joy. Now if I can survive a week or more without internet, I’ll be doing fabulous!
Next report will come to you from Bardstown, Kentucky. Whee!