So, I own a house in New Orleans now. This is getting real.
Lots I could say about this part of our adventure, but I’ll focus on a few key things:
- Moving out-of-state isn’t easy, but totally manageable if you go with the flow. A lot of things didn’t go as exactly as planned in our whirlwind of buying a house and getting it set-up to rent on Airbnb until we move south for good this summer. Check out links here and here for more on this adventurous part of our tale. The process is definitely more fun if you accept what the universe is offering rather than insisting on your plan being the only way to get there. I’ve tried the latter approach before and don’t recommend it!
- All the little things point to something that was meant to be. The link above about how crazy day of “oops-we’re-not-buying-this-house-let’s-buy-this-one-instead” has a lot of that. We ended up with a better home because of it. Here’s a couple more examples of how this was meant to be:
- Everything has come together with the myriad appointments at the house we’ve had to have in handful of days between getting our keys at leaving town: cable, gas, alarm, housekeeper (for Airbnb turnover), handyman for some additional repairs we wanted done, etc. All not easy to coordinate, let alone in a way that didn’t have us trapped at the house waiting for people, but the pieces of the puzzle came together because we let things happen, and didn’t freak out when something went awry.
- Many of my books we brought to help decorate the house are so inadvertently fitting of what we’re doing in New Orleans. There are copious books on Civil War history…because it’s in the South! There are books on our Founding Fathers…who bought Louisiana! There are books on the Napoleonic era…because New Orleans has deep French roots (to the point there are streets named after famous French victories in the Napoloenic era, such as Marengo, Jena, and Austerlitz). These are all areas of history I have loved through the years. They all happen to fit perfectly in New Orleans. Coincidence? Probably not.
- Then there is our real estate agent. Yes, our real estate agent, Karon Reese. I grew up in a home where the residential real estate business was my parents’ primary income. I can tell the BS artists from the real McCoy. And my God, is our agent legit.
- We found her on a seemingly random referral from the owner of a yoga studio where we took a class on an earlier trip to NOLA. The studio is in a splendid, old walk-up apartment converted into a combined yoga studio & living space. The owner is Karon’s daughter. Karon helped her find that space, and obviously came highly recommended. There are indeed no coincidences, because Karon helped guide us through every step of our home-buying roller coaster (including details I haven’t taken the time to list on the blog). It wouldn’t have all worked out, especially on the timing we needed, without her…and with way more work than she could have been reasonably expected to do for a rather modest home purchase.
- Here’s the deal: for all that, I love her for more he genuine authenticity in welcoming us to New Orleans than anything else. There’s “thanks for being my client” and there’s “I’m thrilled you’re joining our community!” The latter is what we got from Karon, to the point I kinda teared up when I read the card that accompanied her gift to us when we closed on the house, and why we now consider her a friend.
- Karon’s also a symbol of the genuine warmth with which we’ve been greeted in New Orleans. Yep, the weird, hippie Seattleites already feel at home in NOLA because people are so friendly and welcoming.
- Here’s the biggest thing I noticed: we come alive in New Orleans. A co-worker and Facebook friend commented on a photo I posted from New Orleans noting how “alive” I look. Then there was this Facebook post from my bride:
Up at 4 am, sitting on my porch listening to the thunder after a Deep, quality, dreamless sleep. The sleep that’s eluded me most of my life.
My feet are filthy from stomping around in my backyard barefoot. I found some old cinder blocks back there, and decided to paint them and build a bookshelf out of them.
I forgot to put on a bra or change my clothes yesterday.
I couldn’t find a picture I liked for my bedroom, so I painted one.
I’ve barely been on social media. I’ve been cooking. I’ve been cleaning, creating, decorating. Living.
My brain works differently down here. It works better. Way better.
Yes, this has been an interesting adventure. And that’s cool. But, our move is about something different.
People ask why we’re moving to New Orleans when they hear they news.
The answer is that post from my wife.
Because finding the place you can be alive and be the person/people you were meant to be is so very worth it.
I realized on this trip to the Big Easy, after reflecting on being there and my time at school in Virginia that I’m meant to be in the South. It’s where I feel most comfortable. I’m still not normal. I still don’t fit a stereotype, but it’s where I belong.
That’s why we couldn’t be more happy with both the home and the community that is waiting for us in New Orleans now.
You don’t know me at all, but I follow your blog due to a post on facebook I found.
You have made the best decision of your life moving to New Orleans. I travel there several times a year and not only adore the city, but the community and people who call this city home. Let me tell my story if you don’t mind. I have a friend of over 30 years that moved to New Orleans but was hit hard with Katrina. She evacuated to Florida where she lives today, but has deep roots and friends in New Orleans. Several years ago I went to Florida to celebrate both of our birthdays and all her friends from New Orleans were there as well. This is where I connected to the true spirit of the people. It was an immediate connection with their warmth and welcome attitude. I have never met people so friendly and willing to do so much for me…..someone they barely knew. Now I have the most amazing friends in New Orleans that I visit. I just returned from Mardi Gras which you will soon see the city come alive during this amazing time. I am on my way back in 3 weeks. I just can’t get enough of these amazing people and city. And you are right, the history is to die for.
I would love to move there just like you have done. I’m sick of the PNW – weather, traffic and the change in the demographics of the people. I’ve been here for over 25 years and it’s just not the same place. You may ask “why don’t you go”. I have one main reason. My grown daughter lives here and she has a medical condition that could turn serious at any time – so here I stay. But don’t feel sorry for me as I am so fortunate to able to travel to this special place anytime I want and spend time with the most amazing people.
That’s incredible, Heidi. Thanks for reading and sharing your story. We identify with so much of what you’re saying! Best wishes on your own journey, wherever it takes you, and good health to your daughter!
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