Now What?

posted from Leland, NC

You will remember from our last post that during the first week after we returned from Grenada we spent less than two days in our house.  Finally we are here.

Now what?

We are trying to figure out how to live in our house.   OK, so we usually know how to turn the lights on and off (…but there are three wall switches that work that light and I can’t find any of them…), adjust the temperature in the shower, open and close the garage door, run the dishwasher, cook on the stove (at least Jackie does), play the stereo (more or less), etc., but it takes time to settle in to a rhythm.  Where do you sit and read (do we even have the right furniture)? How do you decide whether to eat dinner on the porch or at the island or at the dining table and who sits where at which place?

Probably the biggest is figuring out where to keep things – and then remembering where you moved it to when you decided the last place it was in wasn’t right.

This is serious stuff.   It can’t be taken lightly.

We tend to visit furniture stores at lot.  The people at the consignment store have us on speed dial in case certain things come in.

But we are managing despite not knowing where anything goes.  It feels like a Sisyphean effort sometimes, but the general clutter seems to be diminishing as more things find homes or at least temporary hiding places.

So what else do we do?


Alas, Jackie’s beloved iPad bit the dust.  It served her well, but it just wouldn’t work anymore, so she bought herself a new tablet.  We’ll see how she does with an Android.

We will soon embark on another adventure where it would be really nice to have a good underwater camera.  We have a camera with a waterproof housing, but it’s too clunky to travel with and besides it’s on the boat.  We started camera shopping and picked an Olympus TG-4 because it takes good pictures and it has a reputation for being rugged (we’ve drowned our share of cameras).  Many of the pictures in this blog posting were taken by me while getting used to the new camera.

Still trying to discover the secret of taking a good selfie



We are retired.  Sometimes we just relax on the screened in porch and read or watch the world march past.  One day we got energetic and went on a bird walk at Airlie Gardens.  Another day we went to a bird supply store for a presentation on raptors.  It seems we see a lot of birds.

A group of turkeys walk by at the back of our yard.

A group of turkeys walk by at the back of our yard.

This group of wild turkeys wandered through the back yard one afternoon.  There were at least three adults and quite a few young ones.  Later we saw the group crossing the entrance drive to the community.

We see a variety of birds in the trees and birdbath behind the house including cardinals, mocking birds, bluebirds, finches, thrashers, and a few other small species.

The birdbath is especially fun because it’s in the open and the birds usually hang out almost long enough to get the camera.

Here is a finch we saw at Airlie Gardens

Here is a finch in the birdbath

C'mon in, the water's fine. Not if it makes me look like that!

“C’mon in, the water’s fine.”
“Not if it makes me look like that!”

A dragonfly we saw at Airlie Gardens

The screech owl we got to pet at the Wild Bird Center's raptor presentation

The screech owl we got to pet at the Wild Bird Center’s raptor presentation

We hear a lot of insect noise in the evening.  One night we thought we heard an interesting bird, but when we described the call to our next door neighbors they told us it is a bobcat that lives in the area.  Previously we had seen some deer tracks and some other tracks that we couldn’t identify at the time, but now we are sure they were the bobcat’s


The community has a nice complex for sports and socializing.  There is “The Grand Lanai,” (Lanai is the trendy term for enclosed porch) a large open building used for all kinds of gatherings.  It has a kitchen, giant TV, and a local restaurateur is now running the bar in the evenings.  No cash accepted – credit cards only although I think they will put you on a subscription.

Behind the building is a nice pool.  To one side are tennis and basketball courts and to the other side is a fitness center.   Jackie likes to use the fitness center in the mornings and we often go to the pool and swim laps after dinner when it isn’t crowded and the sun is down.

Jackie tries out her new mask and snorkel

We also have the bicycles in working order and ride a little although it’s hot during the day.

BOTTEGA (1. the studio of a master artist, in which artists, apprentices, or students learn by participating in the work.)

Bottega Art and Wine is one of those places you might never wander into based on what you see from the street unless maybe you had an appliance you needed to get fixed.  It’s a rather plain, nondescript storefront with a few old portable black and white TVs in the window.  (It must be the block for places that aren’t what they seem.  Next door is Hell’s Kitchen, which turns out to be a big sports bar.)

Step inside and you find a long bar on one wall in the front half.  The back has couches, chairs, and small tables.  The walls are festooned with paintings and other artsy things.  It’s a bit reminiscent of college in the late 60’s/early 70’s.  We found that a drumming circle forms on Tuesday nights, so we stopped by.  It took a while for a quorum to form and for the drummers to settle in, but soon they were beating out African rhythms.

Drum circle

The drumming went on for a short time and then one of the women who was wandering around started belly dancing.  The drumming picked up and she danced for a while.  Finally she stopped and another woman started belly dancing.  Evidently they are regulars there and enjoy dancing to the drumming.

Sometime during the evening people started wandering through the drum circle and going out the back door into a little courtyard.  After it was dark someone started fire dancing.  When the first person stopped another started and about five or six people eventually took turns.  Nothing like beer, wine and flaming kerosene to get the party going.  The whole evening was quite a show and evidently it was a typical Tuesday night.  We will be back for sure.

One of the many fire dancers


OK, so it was only to Shallotte – less than an hour down the road. I found out that an old sailing friend, Captain Jim and his wife Debbie, have been spending time at a waterfront house not too far from us.  The house was Debbie’s grandfather’s and it (along with most of the houses on the street) is still in the family.  Jackie and I visited them recently and although we haven’t seen each other in eight years or so, it felt like we had just seen them yesterday.

The Intercoastal Waterway just around the corner from Captain Jim’s. We passed through here on our way south in 2019.

NEXT: Crossing the line.

2 Responses to “Now What?”

  1. katie Says:

    Jackie, terry wants to buy a tablet you will have to give us a review of yours. love the risqué bird pictures! sounds like you have a lot of wild life down there, people included!

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