“I’m at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont. Which way do I go? Quick the light’s about to turn green.” This is how many of my frantic cell phone calls to my husband went when I first moved to Atlanta in 1997, before GPS. Atlanta was his hometown so he understood that there were over 70 streets in Atlanta with the name Peachtree in it. He understood that there was no rhyme or reason to the naming of the streets. Basically you just have to know the city in order to get around it. I grew up in Miami where the streets and avenues were on a number grid and in North, South, East and West quadrants. Even if I had never been to a certain area, I knew instantly in my head how to get there, or at least which direction to head. Easy! Finally my husband, Frank, sat me down with a map of Atlanta and told me I needed to study the map so I could get a clear picture in my head. What? OK, so maybe that makes sense to some of you “map people”, but I am not a “map person”. What I learned to do in the next year of driving around this foreign and confusing city was to trust my instincts. I was rarely quite certain if I was going the right way or not, but through trial and error, I always made it to my destination.
So when Frank and I were at a crossroad in our lives 18 months ago, we decided we did not need to know exactly where we were going, we just needed to know which direction. Frank had recently sold his company, we had just moved into a new home that we had spent 12 months designing and one day, out of the blue, as we were discussing our future, we decided to leave Atlanta, and move to Beaufort, SC. Seriously, just as quickly as that we were changing the destiny of our family. We discovered Beaufort the year earlier while attending a friend’s funeral. We had been talking for years about moving to the “coast”. Immediately upon arrival into this beautiful small seaside town, we knew this would one day be the place we called home. So here we were, standing in our beautiful kitchen in our new home in Atlanta and we started this crazy talk about picking up our lives and the lives of our three teenage children and starting over, from scratch, in a place where we had only been once. And so began our new lives, just the five us, and of course our instinct that we would quickly fall in love with this magical place called the low country.