Ye Wee Blogger

What a Hell of a State We're in

Ye Wee Blogger

What a Hell of a State We're in

Right to the Heart of Dixie

Alabama – The Yel­low­ham­mer State

  Mov­ing to the South Land

Splen­did News

Last sum­mer, the US Gov told Kar­en that they wanted to pro­mote her and move her to Hunts­ville in Alabama. It was splen­did news! We had been keen to get away from the DC Metro area for years. In many ways, it’s a great place. But, we loathed the wretched com­mute and the awful traffic, Karen’s work­place was 24 miles away, but the drive took her 90 minutes each way on a good day. Every­one has to aim off for the awful traffic dur­ing the com­mute’ whatever the des­tin­a­tion and pur­pose of the trip. It impinged on all aspects of one’s life. Eight­een years of that is enough.

Get­ting a Move On

We got the green light to relo­cate dur­ing the first week of Novem­ber. Dur­ing the next five hec­tic weeks, we were to:

  • Mar­ket and sell our home in Lake Ridge, Virginia.
  • Drive to and from Hunts­ville to look for, find and buy a new home. It’s a 680-mile drive each way, and we took the dogs along.
  • Organ­ise some essen­tial work on the old house to ready it for its new own­ers. The aim was to close with them in 30 days from their offer – on 10th December.
  • Have Kar­en fly down to Hunts­ville and back for the buy­ers’ inspec­tion of the new house.
  • Get our goods and chat­tel packed up and moved.
  • While they were en route, we drove back down to Alabama and closed on our new house on 11th December.

Mov­ing house at any time is nev­er fun. Doing it dur­ing the COV­ID 19 scen­ario is scary. A Gov­ern­ment Relo­ca­tion Group man­aged our move. They did the admin­is­trat­ive and pro­ced­ur­al heavy lift­ing along with our Realtors at each end.

Sweet Home Alabama

Our new home is in Owens Cross Roads, a small town­ship about 8 miles SE of Hunts­ville. It lies over the Monte Sano Moun­tain from Hunts­ville in the Hamp­ton Cove divi­sion. We are in a com­munity called The Mead­ows”. It has a gate­way, i.e. one way in and out, but there is no gate or gatehouse.

Prop­erty prices are sig­ni­fic­antly lower here than NOVA. So is the cost of liv­ing in gen­er­al. So our house is bet­ter, and our dol­lars go farther.

It’s a brand new house, we bought it from the builder.

  • There were no win­dow treat­ments of any type. We have some on order, but we are in plain sight for a few weeks more for any­one to see. That is except for bed­room win­dows where we have pinned up a sheet for the sake of decency and pub­lic order.
  • There are no tow­el rails, door hooks, toi­let roll hold­ers etc. any place. These are on order too and in trans­it from Ore­gon with the US Postal Service.
  • The back yard is water­logged by nat­ur­al run­off from the massive ridge behind us. Muddy dog paw prints are being mopped con­tinu­ously from the floor. We are get­ting some res­tor­at­ive land­scap­ing under­way that will address this and oth­er shortcomings.

But, in gen­er­al, we are thor­oughly enjoy­ing our new sur­round­ings. And frus­trated too because bloody COV­ID 19 stands in the way of becom­ing more acquain­ted with them.

Liv­ing in Hamp­ton Cove

A loc­al real estate agent makes these videos about relo­cat­ing to Hunts­ville. Bor­der­line pre­ten­tious, but nev­er­the­less he gives a good idea of the scene. The new guy in it bought a house in a neigh­bour­ing sub­di­vi­sion. Like most around here, the right schools for his kids is the main driver. For us, it’s a good score on the dog-friend­li­ness index.

A Super­i­or Commute

Karen’s com­mute to her office in Red­stone Arsen­al is about 15 to 20 minutes. She takes a scen­ic back road up and through Blev­ins Gap, down into Jones Val­ley and then on to the Arsen­al. There’s still has a couple of miles to go once she gets through the gate.

A Bet­ter Work­place Too

Red­stone is nom­in­ally a US Army install­a­tion. For instance, I went to the US Army Mis­sile and Muni­tions Cen­ter and School in 1975 to train on a par­tic­u­lar mis­sile. It has anoth­er but sim­il­ar title these days. NASA, the FBI and oth­er Fed­er­al Agen­cies have long been housed in there. Just the oth­er day, they announced that Space Force would be headquartered there in due course.