Friends of ours on Facebook have seen a version of announcement already, but now it’s time to announce it to the rest of the world:
We are moving to Tennessee. Specifically, we are moving to the Smoky Mountain foothills outside Knoxville. By the end of March we will no longer be PA residents.
We are moving to fulfill a decades-long shared dream of having a secluded place in the mountains that we can call our own. Where we can let our kids run rampant and not worry about them being hit by a truck or yelled at by uptight neighbors.
Unlike past moves, there is nothing sudden about this one. It comes at the end of years of consideration, discussion, and soul-searching about of where we want to end up; years of working to have the means to make such a move; and months of searching for a house we could be happy to call “home”.
I think Stacey and I agreed that we wanted to live in the mountains since we met. The question was, where? We’re not the sort of people who like to pick up and move every few years. It had to be a place we could feel at home with for many years.
We considered many possible destinations, both inside the US and beyond.
Ultimately, we discovered that the answer had been between us all along. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from road trips down through the Blue Ridge, dreamily watching the mountains drift past the car windows. At least one of those trips took me all the way through the Smokies down into Tennessee. Meanwhile, Stacey grew up in Florida and relished family vacations to the north, staying in Gatlinburg and enjoying the change of scenery from her hot, flat home.
Last Spring we took a family vacation and stayed in a cabin in Gatlinburg. We decided that yes, we could see ourselves living in those mountains. Not in Gatlinburg itself, which is a bit of a tourist carnival. But in that region.
We’ve been cleaning house and packing for months now. Over the next month or so we’ll be moving down to our new house on top of a mountain. Well, on top of a foothill anyway.
I like to think of this as a return to Tennessee. Not many people know this, but I was born in Nashville. I lived there for perhaps a year and have no memories of it. Still, it is the land of my birth, and I am irrationally proud of this fact.
It is true that, having spent almost all of my life in the northeastern states, I have a northerner’s temperament. But I like to think that I can change.
I haven’t hated living in Maryland and Pennsylvania. I have many fond memories, and I’m going to miss a lot of wonderful friends. But the time has come to move on.
I look forward to meeting new friends in the Knoxville area. I’m especially looking forward to meeting the members of the programming community there. If you’re a hacker and you’re in the Knoxville area, look me up!