The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

A couple of days ago, I woke up with this thought in my head: we should move to Darien. I thought about it some more while I got ready for work, and by the time Lee was stirring, I was convinced.
“Lee, the wheels in my head have been turning.”
“Oh no (muffled into his pillow). Make them stop. What is it?”
“We should move to Darien.”
I think it was a little more than he was prepared to tackle before a cup of coffee.
A week ago, I wouldn’t have considered it. We love Savannah very much. But we’ve been growing increasingly restless about our living/working situation. We have a wonderful house, but regrettably, we’re already outgrowing it because we need a proper office space for Lee. Right now he’s set up behind a room divider in the living room, and it’s okay, but not ideal. And when we first moved in, we spent a lot of time, energy (and money) on a complete kitchen overhaul, which is fantastic. But now we’re out of time, energy (and especially money) to make some other needed improvements.
I really don’t think we’ll be moving anywhere anytime soon, but it’s fun to browse our options. Our long term goal is to live on the water – not the beach necessarily, but along one of coastal Georgia’s beautiful rivers framed by live oaks and marsh grass. We want a boat, and we want to launch from our dock and head downstream until we meet the Atlantic. We want a wrap-around porch where we can enjoy a summer breeze off the water. And we want it now.
As Lee browsed some real estate listings, he came across an ad for a waterfront lot on Tolomato Island, near Darien. The picture was beautiful. The lot sat right on a river, with the ocean just a few miles beyond. The price was high – but a fraction of what we’d pay in Chatham County.
I began to envision our dream house on that river. Camille could ride her bike up and down our street. We’d spend our summers on the water, or sitting on our wrap-around porch drinking sweet tea and reading books. Maybe I’d finally write a book! The image grew more and more grand. We’d be close to Savannah, but far enough away to enjoy some of the amenities of small-town life.
I became so hooked on the idea, we decided to pack Miss Camille into the car for the hour-long drive to Darien today to really see what the area is like. I’d been a few times with work, and remembered a really nice spot on a bluff where the locals said you can watch the dolphins swim.
We took the slower, scenic route, which was not nearly as scenic as I’d hoped. It was more like a long stretch of highway with some trees. Like most every stretch of rural highway.
Crossing into McIntosh County, I spotted the road that led to the bluff I’d visited before. But as we drove toward the water, my hopes started to fall a bit. I’d forgotten about all the trailer parks. I’d forgotten about the tiny houses that belonged on a movie set – they appeared too neglected to really be someone’s home.
When we finally reached the bluff, I realized we weren’t going to find the nice spot on the river that existed in my mind. The memory had been better than the reality. The water was pretty, the trees were nice, but the area wasn’t what I’d hoped.
We turned around and headed toward town to find somewhere to eat lunch. That’s when we passed it. There, on the side of the road, was a huge pile of trash bags. It was probably 2 stories tall, and jutting out of the top of the mound of garbage was a big American flag on a flagpole. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to stop and take a picture. Who on earth would think a pile of garbage would be a fitting place for our country’s flag? It was the final straw – Lee and I both agreed this was not the place for us.
We ended up finding a great restaurant and had a wonderful meal. We ate along the banks of a river, with shrimp boats docked along the water’s curving edge for as far as we could see. This was what I had pictured, but I knew it was still not meant for us. The geography was beautiful, and we’d only seen a small portion of the county – but being on the back roads of a rural community reminded me of how much I like living in or near the city.
But the day was not a waste. We finished our meal and took Camille to the dock to let her see the the crane and pigeons and boats, enjoying time spent as a family. Then, we headed home. When we drove into our neighborhood, I felt like I was seeing it with fresh eyes. It’s a wonderful neighborhood, and we are lucky to have a great house here. We still need to find a better office solution for Lee, but we can mark one thing off our list. We’re not moving to Darien.
I looked a little more at real estate tonight, and I found some nice waterfront lots here in Chatham County. There was one that looked perfect, for only $1.5 million… lottery, here I come.