Updated: Aug 8
This month marks an important milestone for me and my family. My parents, after a lifetime in New York are packing it up and joining me, my husband and son here in North Carolina. This is really good news, am thrilled to have them live here, and know that the move will be great for them. Yet, I often worry that they will have the difficult adjustment of moving out of New York, and moving to another part of the country. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. However, they are more outgoing than I ever will be, so the worry is completely unnecessary. It is comforting to know that I can be available when needed, and that my family will once again have the support system of having parents living close by. While this is all good, I am hit with the reality that I won’t have, once again, that familiar place to go back to, the home base for when I visit New York, where I act like a tornado, squeezing in as much as I can, in short periods of time. Of course, selfishly so, it always comes back to me and how I’m affected! Woe is me, as I can no longer say that I will summer in the Hamptons. I know, I really sound dreadful. I mourn the loss of saying goodbye to a significant part of my life and what that represented – my youth. Whenever I am visiting, I am reminded of the share houses I bought into many moons ago. Or my dating years of when my husband and I would go out there for the weekends or last and most importantly of my son’s early years – of him having his first sleepover at Grandma and Poppy’s Hamptons House and of course learning how to swim in their pool, sunsets at Towd Beach, or buying veggies or giant sunflowers at the farm stand down the road. Every time, including this past summer, I would drive onto their street, with familiar ease, immediately notice the purple mailbox of their neighbors, as I pull into their driveway, and then the whale affixed to the tree indicating their driveway, a symbol my parents used frequently. That white whale, now yellowing, was once hung in my childhood bedroom. The entrance to their house has a newly painted boulder with the whale painted on it, marking their entrance. I hope that boulder remains as it was a welcome addition, thanks to my talented son’s artistic abilities. The house, perched up on a hill, is hidden from the street, even in winter, with all the trees surrounding it, making it feel private and secluded and a perfect place to unwind. It is walking distance to the sound, and just down the road is a general store, The Whale Bone, where penny candy still exists, and an independently owned old-fashioned grocery story, Cromers. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the fried chicken, one of their specialties, that inevitably would be left lingering on my clothing, and permanently affixed in my mind. If you haven’t gotten the gist yet, I think the house and being out in Sag Harbor, is pretty darn special. Walking through the streets of Sag Harbor, with such ease, I am reminded of all the time that I spent there. And that was plentiful. I mourn my previous life of carefree summers (and winters when the citidiots aren’t as abundant). One would think that after 4 years of being in North Carolina, I would have gotten past these hurdles of missing New York, and my former self. As I have said before, I am a SLOW learner. I will continue to miss those parts of my past that brought me such joy, and being out at my parent’s house, did just that. The ease of being by the water, walking along Main Street, the sailing camp my son attended the last few summers, visiting the familiar T-Shirt Shops, Galleries, dining at LT Burgers, or IL Cappuccino (our favorite haunts out in Sag Harbor) will surely be missed not only by me, but my son, who walks through town as if he grew up there, my husband, who, while he doesn’t want to admit it, enjoys the calmness it provides, my siblings, who enjoy being out there as much as I do and most importantly my parents. I hate to say it but I know what they must be going through – the joy of moving, the fear of the unknown, and the loss of saying goodbye. We were incredibly fortunate for 20+ years to have a place to park my bags, take long walks at Long Beach, and a place to call home. My parents built that home. A lot of love, consideration and milestones happened there. When the decision was made to put the house up for sale, it was wrought with mixed feelings. It became personal, not only for me, but for the rest of my family as it is the end of something so special. That house was my parents, as odd as it sounds. From the built-ins that had my father’s handiwork written all over it, to the multitude of décor my mother created or acquired, it was the embodiment of them. While we might say they weren’t completely ready to let go, the house and location was becoming too much for all concerned. The house and location became an albatross; we loved how far out east it is and then became problematic. Secretly though, there was still a part of me that was hoping that it wouldn’t sell so I would continue to have a that special place to visit.
Acknowledging that it is time to move, under any circumstance, isn’t easy. It’s hard. This journey that my parents decided to take, will be filled with many ups and downs, as we have already learned with the sale of the house, and purchasing of another here in North Carolina. While I’ve demonstrated that I have a real problem with saying goodbye, I love embracing new traditions and saying Hello! I never thought that it would happen – that more family would move south and can’t wait to get them and their dog, Sherman, down here. For that I am grateful. I can speak from experience, that they will grow to love the lifestyle, the ease, the friendliness of their neighbors, and will love their new neighborhood.
Watch out Brier Creek, here they come!
To Mom & Dad – Thanks for the memories! XOXO