Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Rest of the Story (So Far)

I knew when I found my new home. There have been way too many coincidences to ignore; as a matter of fact, a few too many to believe, but I suppose sometimes those omnipotent beings need to hit us upside the head before we accept what's staring us in the face, you know?
I visited all four of my finalist cities twice, looking at houses each time. I had ruled out the Pennsylvania towns and was concentrating on Hannibal and Ste Genevieve, Missouri. I let my head lead my heart and had decided to settle in Hannibal because the arts community there was, by far, the most organized, progressive and successful of all that I had researched. So, off I drove to Hannibal again to find a house (I had only seen one on my first visit, and it was haunted, but not in a bad way). I revisited the haunted house (the ghost only showed herself on major holidays and then just as vision coming down the stairs as if to join the festivities) and a few others. They were all over my $100,000 limit, and I wasn't loving any of them. Honestly, the haunted one came closest...what does that tell you. It was 107 degrees when I got back to my motel room. I looked around at the shabby room in a town that was touching my head but not my heart and said out loud, "I HATE Hannibal." What a relief to admit it. I got back in my car and drove 3 hours south to Ste Genevieve, calling on the way to make an appointment to see "my" house again Sunday morning.

I had done a little more research and found an Episcopal mission (meaning no full time priest). Turns out there is a full time congregation and they meet in the cutest historic building that had been moved from somewhere to the grounds of Chaumette Winery. You gotta love the Episcopalians, we will get as close to alcohol as possible! So...

9:00 am: I walk in this house and all I can think is, why have I been looking anywhere else? Truly, I felt as if I could breathe for the first time in a month. It was as if the house, like a puppy, jumped up and said, "Where have you been? I have missed you!" Well crap! Just typing that has brought tears to my eyes. I still didn't write a contract because I still needed to be hit over the head, remember?

11:00: I drive out in the beautiful rolling hills to the sweetest little church.

Sidebar***I don't think I told you, but my realtor (another coincidental story for another day) on my first trip had arranged for me to have lunch with several of the local artists. It was perfect! Four vibrant, interesting, well spoken and welcoming women.*** Well, back to church; the service was nice and I decided I was going to have to go to coffee hour. I'm shy in that particular situation for some reason (maybe someone dropped a coffeepot on my head as a child?), but this was important, so off I the WINE TASTING ROOM! Hot diggity dog (refer to the previous note about Episcopalians and alcohol)! Wait, there's more. Lunch is served, prepared by the winery's fantastic chef. Wait, there's more (do you hear the pounding on my head yet?)...At this communal meal, everyone is as pleasant and welcoming as can be and they tell me I must talk to Barbara, who knows everything about Ste Gen's historic district. So, I wander around to find Barbara. Also a lovely lady. A woman joined our conversation, asking where I was from. "Kentucky," I said. Barbara asks, "Are you an artist?" "Yes, why?" I've heard all about you; you had lunch with my good friend Lulu a few weeks ago!"

Let's go back to that first checklist: 1. Community (Arts...check; church...check...small town...double check!) 

I know, this is long, but I'm on a roll. Sooo...wait, there's just a little more...When I returned home, I cranked up the computer and turned on Pandora. The first song I heard was by a group, Son Volt (never heard of them before I started this quest), singing a song titled "Tear Stained Eye" - here are some of the lyrics:

We'll hit the road, never looking behind
Can you deny, there's nothing greater
Nothing more than the traveling hands of time?
Sainte Genevieve can hold back the water
But saints don't bother with a tear stained eye

Cross my heart, it's true. Spooky and blessed at the same time, right?

“Coincidences” like these are why I know that if you open yourself up to the improbable, and listen to that "still, small voice" or, in my case, the bullhorn blaring in my ear, the answers do come. You just have to listen and believe what you think you hear. 

Okay, that's my story. I hope there weren't so many typos that this rambling story didn't make sense. It's the story of my little miracle. Since I've moved, every day holds another and when I go to bed at night all I can think is, Thank You.

And, oh yeah, thank you for these pictures because they're just so darn funny!

1 comment:

  1. So great to catch up with all the details of your move.
    So sorry I have been a bit out of touch.....
    too much going on around here
    but so glad things are working out in your new home.
    Post photos!