I took the puppies downtown this morning for a walk around Forsyth Park. Other than our typical twice-daily walks around the block, they hadn't been anywhere in awhile and I was sensing their boredom (although, really, dogs must either not know any different or just be bored almost all of the time). I guess it's nice to have new trees to pee on and new other dogs to smell from time to time.
But this typical walk around the park ended up being one of those life moments for me -- a moment of realization that this is all real, that this is my life, that this is normal. 75 degrees and sunny in mid-November is normal. Hoards of tourists -- on foot, in tour buses, on trolleys -- pointing and clicking and aw-ing at all the things around you when you're just walking your dogs is normal. Breath-taking architecture and a strange feeling of incredibly fascinating and yet often incredibly tragic history around every block is normal.
I've had a few of those moments -- Oprah calls them "a-ha moments," I believe -- since I moved here three and a half months ago, but something about today's perfect weather and the realization that it's not going to disappear and start snowing in a few weeks and my good mood after a great weekend outdoors with Gearry and my anticipation of getting to see family next week when we return to Indiana for Thanksgiving and the sun coming through the live oaks with all of their Spanish moss and kids and dogs playing in the park and a hot cup of coffee all added up for a massive "a-ha." This is where I live. Not temporarily, but likely for a long time.
Despite the surroundings, life is not all rainbows and butterflies -- the stresses of work, financial goals, trying desperately to sell our condo, "meaning of life" type stuff is still here -- but I never expected any different. What I didn't expect was feeling so satisfied with a decision that was so hard to make.
I miss family and friends more than I can attempt to put into words here, but every time Gearry and I are able to do something we love together, I remember why we made this decision, and I am thankful.
On Friday, Gearry and I had had a couple of neat experiences. Extreme Makeover Home Edition is here building and filming in town and the Culinary Institute elected to make and donate food for the crew and volunteers on Friday evening. Gearry worked hard all day Thursday making the food, finished it up on Friday, and was nice enough to let me tag along for the delivery on Friday night. It only took us about five minutes to drop everything off and since it was already dark we didn't see much other than lots of volunteers, tents, and production equipment -- in other words, no Ty Pennington sightings -- but it was kind of a cool experience nonetheless.
After the drop-off, we had to swing by the Telfair Museum "Arty Party" fundraiser on Telfair Square. Now, originally before the Extreme Makeover thing got scheduled, we were supposed to attend the Arty Party (courtesy of Gearry's school, at $100 a ticket) but instead we just had to swing by to help Chef Jean move a sugar sculpture he created for the event from one of the tents to inside the museum. However, when we arrived Chef Jean had decided to keep the sculpture where it was in the main tent and so we just ended up socializing for a bit. Since we technically didn't have tickets -- we never actually received them since Gearry got re-assigned to the Extreme Makeover delivery duty instead -- I didn't feel comfortable sticking around for long. Although we blended right in, the guilty conscious part of me was waiting for a security guard to ask to see our tickets the whole time. Nevertheless, it was a neat experience being part of the sights and sounds of the festival, if only for 30 minutes.
On Saturday, there were more "neat" things to be enjoyed. Breakfast at Sunrise on Tybee was delicious (our first time out to breakfast since the move... We used to go out to breakfast in Bloomington at least every other week) and was followed by a walk on the beach, during which we happened upon a little surfing competition hosted by an area surf club. The waves are pretty decent right now for the east coast (nothing like west coast, of course) and it was especially neat seeing the younger kids go at it, so we nestled ourselves in the sand with our cups of coffee and watched for awhile. It re-inspired me to want to learn to surf (watching "Blue Crush" for the thousandth time also does the trick). Later in the afternoon, we took a bike ride around Wilmington Island just to explore some neighborhoods we hadn't been in and check out some houses for sale. We found a couple in our price range that we are currently salivating over, but we can't do anything until our condo sells, so it was a fun and yet incredibly frustrating venture. Incredibly. Frustrating.
On Sunday, it was another perfect weather day with flat water conditions, which meant kayaking was in order. We rode our bikes to my school head's house, where our kayaks are kept, and enjoyed a few hours of paddling around, with more salivating over all of the houses and intricate private docks and boats -- and a couple of "alligator" scares, of course, also known as marsh reeds and/or wood floating in the water.
Weekends rock, but throughout the week we are generally quite boring -- work is taxing and it gets dark really early, so other than a short run or bike ride or a walk around the neighborhood in the evenings, most of our time is spent making dinner, watching a bit of television, and then turning in early. This week, however, I am looking forward to Wednesday, on which we're attending the Extreme Extravaganza at Grayson Stadium, a fundaiser to pay off the mortgage of the Extreme Makeover family. Gearry's school is a sponsor, so they invited us to attend (another $100 a person event free of charge). It will be my first in-person Paula Deen sighting, as she is scheduled to be there, and should be a good time with live and silent auctions, live entertainment, and lots of food, including ice cream from Leopolds... yum!
And then, a week from Wednesday... INDIANA! Can't wait.