Monday, August 6, 2012

In my mind, I'm going to...

I didn't make my regular post last week, but it was because our lives got a lot more exciting in a very short time!  Todd has been looking for full-time work in his field for the past year while finishing up his dissertation.  After obtaining his Ph.D. at the end of last year, he started his job search with renewed vigor in 2012.  Two weeks ago, he received TWO job offers!  After much prayer, we now know and can announce...


We'll be settling in the Clemson area in the upcountry, the far northwest corner of the state.  It's a beautiful area in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by lakes, and we are beyond excited.  Todd will start work at Clemson University the second week of September. 

So, we took a little drive down there last week.

It's interesting to see how vegetation varies by region.  We saw a lot of the same trees that we have in Indiana, but we also saw quite a bit of cactus and bamboo.  Crepe myrtle trees were in bloom everywhere, and I saw several magnolia trees, too.  As a gardener, I'm especially excited.  Making the jump to Hardiness Zone 7 opens up a whole new world of gardening possibilities!

Did I mention...magnolia trees?!?

Clemson is a small town of about 12,000 people.  The university is beautiful, with a lovely landscaped campus bordered by large lakes on two sides.  There are several other small towns only 10 or 15 minutes away in each direction.  For someone who's used to concrete and traffic, this sort of town-to-town drive is very refreshing:

You can just see the mountains in the distance!  Just beyond the main streets and housing clusters of each small town is this:

Quiet, tree-lined streets.  A little further out, farms.  It's so pretty!

One of the reasons for our trip was to look at houses.  We looked at some more modern homes...

...but we mainly saw old-fashioned ones.

It doesn't look big from here, but this is a 5-bedroom farmhouse, built in the 1930s!

Oh, it's so green.  I've missed the grass.

This farmhouse is partially remodeled...

...but other areas need some work.

This is not the house, of course, but one of the two barns on the property.  Todd is imagining a place to store our business...while I'm more focused on the other barn, which would house animals.

It's a little ramshackle, but it is a barn with 4 stalls and plenty of room to move around.

A beekeeper must live nearby, because we saw these down the street:

They were full of very active bees!

It was fun to look at houses, but we wanted to see the natural beauty of the area, too.  We drove about 20 minutes north of the little town with the farmhouse, to the Jocassee Reservoir.  It's amazingly beautiful, and seemed so large.  I couldn't believe it when I looked on a map and saw that we were only at one tiny finger of a much, much larger body of water.

The water was so warm and inviting that we immediately peeled off our shoes and socks and went wading.

This is one body of water that Todd has agreed to snorkel in!  Scuba diving is very popular here too, as well as all types of boating, swimming, hiking, and bicycling.

It was great to take a break...

...but now we're home and in a flurry of activity.  We've patched and painted the interior of the house, hauled loads and loads of things to Goodwill, and filled a second storage unit with miscellaneous non-essentials.  We're putting our house up on the market this week and are then going to rush to get ready for a toy show we'll have a booth at later this month.  Then packing, finding a place around Clemson, and finally, hauling two cats and a very nervous dog on a pretty long drive!


We're ready for the challenge, though!  Todd and I are both excited about this opportunity and are really pleased about the area we'll be moving to.  Moving is never fun, but we've gotten a lot of great advice from friends and family and I think we'll be able to keep things pretty low-stress.

I think.

I'll be sure to post regular updates.  Have a great week!

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