Scout is loving his new yard - it’s much quieter than the streets of Newburgh, though he is learning how not to bark at the strange new crane and loon that have taken residence in the lagoon behind our house. I try to explain to him that they are just like the ducks and geese we had across our street in our previous residence but, you know dogs – they tend to be much more specific than we might be ;-) And when walking through our community, we’ve had a new opportunity to practice “leave it” and “drop it” – it turns out in Pooler you don’t have to worry about your dog picking up trash on the sidewalks, but you DO have to worry about him wanting to pick up dead baby turtles that have been carried off by those cranes and then dropped before they reached their destination (see below right with the tiny turtle next to the stick)!
When attracting people to the area, the locals have a slogan here that says, “It’s Cooler in Pooler.” Life here in Pooler really is looking to be pretty cool so far. Not in the sense of the low temperatures and snow – we have been very lucky to escape all that! But cool as in the atmosphere. So far we’ve been blessed with many days of sunshine, blue skies and temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. Everyone we meet is pleasant. No matter what store we go into to buy whatever supplies we (or if you ask my husband, I) decide are needed to make the house a home, or whatever restaurant we eat at, workers are genuinely happy to be doing their jobs and always provide you great service with a smile!
Many of them actually get a kick out of it when we tell them we are from New York – “funny, you don’t have a strong accent!”, they say. Many of them do – whether they have lived in the Savannah area all their lives or have moved here in more recent years. “Sir”, “Ma’am” and “y’all” are politely included in nearly every vocal exchange. I wonder how long it’ll take me to get over being called “Ma’am” or “Mrs. Huntoon” without feeling old!
Given the nice March weather, I am making it my mission to find all the dog-friendly walking and hiking trails in the Pooler and Greater Savannah area. Now, there aren’t hills here like in New York - and certainly no mountains to climb - but there are some scenic treks with lovely views of the marshes. If we venture into Downtown Savannah, there are peaceful squares - complete with benches under large Live Oak trees drenched in Spanish moss - every few blocks (literally, the smallish downtown has 24 of them). Savannah is known for these squares and they are a great place to relax and take in the city. Downtown also has a large park called Forsyth Park – like Savannah’s equivalent to NYC’s Central Park, if you will. I haven’t taken Scout there yet but I look forward to doing that soon! The beach at Tybee Island is also about 50 minutes away and is open year-round (though some of the touristy shops have limited hours until April).
We don’t have internet or cable hooked up in our home yet – it turns out that there’s only one cable company with a monopoly over the whole complex where we live so it’s a bit of a process! Needless to say, I’ve been spending some time at the local Starbucks to sponge off their WiFi – and drinking quite a few macchiatos in the process. We hope to have this sorted out in the next week – that way I can delve into the new world of Skyping!
In spite of the technology woes, I am already meeting some fabulous people and starting to see new clients down here, and I couldn’t be happier! I do already miss my family, friends and clients in New York. This is where I am most grateful for social media – in the age of technology, we can still be connected even when there’s physical distance between us. And of course, I can always pick up the phone and call.
The first few days, it was still surreal to me that this was my new HOME and I wasn’t just in town for a visit. At the same time, I really am feeling so blessed to be here. It has been my dream to move south for many years – like the weather and way of life just seem to fit me. I love our house, our neighborhood, how it’s quiet but still close to all the major thoroughfares and any store we would need, and I truly think this move was a fabulous thing for us! I look forward to continuing to meet more people in the area, grow my business and make new friends. And let’s not forget all the food, architecture and culture that is to be experienced down here. Speaking of which – Savannah supposedly has the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the country, second only to New York City. Will I be brave enough to try it out this week??? I guess we’ll see! After all, when you’re a local – do like the locals do!! (Or maybe not, haha)
Maria Huntoon, CBCC-KA