by Roy Parvin It wasn’t our plan to move throughout the best wide-scale human health crisis in 100 years. We– my partner, Janet, me and our pet dogs– were just trying to get away California, where, for 2 out of the last 3 years, wildfire had actually swept within a quarter-mile of our doorstep in Sonoma County.
“I think we must transfer to Asheville,” Janet suggested in the wake of the Kincade wildfire that scorched almost 80,000 acres in our neighborhood last fall. “The worst they have is thundershowers.”
To establish our severity, we flew here in early February. Despite the fact that it drizzled or sleeted our whole go to, we liked every minute. Asheville appeared as if it had found out the alchemy of being both town and nation at the very same time.
Correctly smitten, we put our California home on the market quickly after returning to San Francisco and by mid-March, right before coronavirus ended up being a nationwide panic, we were in escrow.
Then, suddenly, it wasn’t safe to venture to the grocery store, let alone cross-country. Each state in between California and North Carolina had individual lockdown policies. But a death-defying journey to North Carolina was only one facet of the difficulty. We still needed to find a house in Asheville to buy and move into.
Luckily, the world didn’t end. In mid-May, we filled ourselves into our SUV and drove cross-country without occurrence, staying in hotels where we had the floor to ourselves and eating food we brought with us in a cooler.
By some terrific stroke of luck, at the other end of the journey was a house awaiting us that we ‘d never enter. Really, not luck, but thanks to an Asheville real estate representative called Tracy. Your house was ours. We bought it off the internet, sight hidden, shelling out well over half a million dollars, the real estate variation of running with scissors.
From 2,600 miles away, the location looked dandy, however to assuage our doubts, we ‘d transformed the idea of the open house. Like MacGyver, we used what tools we had, which thankfully didn’t involve chewing gum. Initially, Tracy acquired the essential to the home. Not long after we began to carry out numerous FaceTime video sessions.
Along the way, we got key insider ideas on fitting in. We learned the correct method to pronounce Appalachia. The suitable plural second individual term was y’ all however not you’ins. From the other end of the continent, I took massive notes.
Therefore this is the rare happy pandemic story. Since 10 weeks back, we officially became Southerners. Our new home is even much better face to face than on screen. Exact same for Asheville.
Much of our brand-new life here stays a plot waiting to take place. On the plus side, our anonymity has actually made social distancing a snap. For now, we have actually put such things fresh friends in a box, like a present to be opened at a later date.
Roy Parvin is the author of 2 books of fiction and more recently an amusing yoga book, Yoga for the Inflexible Male. His work has been granted the Katherine Anne Porter Reward and a National Endowment for the Arts grant in literature.
This article belongs to COVID Conversations, a series of short functions based upon interviews with members of our neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic in Western North Carolina. If you or somebody you know has an unique story you believe must be included in a future problem of Xpress, please let us understand at firstname.lastname@example.org.