Wednesday, March 24, 2021

From Broadway to the Grand Old Opry?

By Lois Winston

Two years ago my younger son, his wife, and their two little boys moved to Nashville when my daughter-in-law’s company decided to transfer their corporate headquarters from Manhattan to Nashville. When that happened, my husband and I no longer had any family we could rely on in the NY Metro area. What would we do if one of us became ill or infirmed? That was a sobering thought.

 

When I was in my thirties, I helped care for a good friend who had developed Lou Gehrig’s disease. I know all too well what it’s like to single-handedly maneuver a six-foot man from a wheelchair into a car. I could barely manage the feat back then. I’m quite a bit older now, and I know there’s no way I could do what I did back then at this stage in my life.

 

When we moved to our current downsized house twenty-three years ago, we thought we’d live out the remainder of our days here, but we were now confronted with the prospect of moving out of state. We have two sons—the one in Nashville and his older brother, who lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay area. Real estate dollars go much further in Tennessee than they do in California.

 

We had decided we’d put our home up for sale once we both had secured vaccinations and the pandemic was behind us. The universe laughs at me at lot, though, and this was one of those times. The first week in March saw multiple news stories about the booming real estate market in towns with good schools and an easy commute into Manhattan. We live in such a town. Demand is high, especially for smaller homes like ours, and inventory is extremely low. Multiple offers and bidding wars are now the norm. The next thing I knew, we were getting our home ready to put on the market.

 

I’m a Jersey Girl, born and bred. Other than a stint in Philadelphia and its suburbs, I’ve lived my entire life in the Garden State. I love Broadway theater and spending hours wandering through Manhattan’s many museums. I much prefer the Metropolitan Opera House to the Grand Old Opry. Don’t get me wrong, Nashville is very nice. We’ve visited quite often the last two years. But it’s just not where I’d prefer living if I had my druthers.

 

And then there’s Anastasia. What am I going to do about her? She’s also a Jersey girl. All of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries are set in New Jersey and Manhattan. Will she and her family make the move to Nashville? Personally, I think she’s going to dig in her heels and demand to stay put. However, I have time to figure that out. I’m not quite halfway through writing the tenth book in the series. For now, unlike her author, Anastasia doesn’t have to worry about becoming a southern transplant.

~*~

USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

 

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27 comments:

  1. It will be a bit of a culture shock, but I bet you'll love it as time moves on. We moved from a thriving beach community to a tiny village in the foothills of the Southern Sierra (Sierra means mountains) in the Central part of California. Very rural and so different, but we love it and it's where my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series was born.

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn! I hope I grow to love it. Best part of the move, though, will be living close to two of my grandsons again.

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  2. Good luck with your move! My friend and her husband retired to Kodak Tn, and really love it. They love the drive in the Smokies and the many attractions near there.

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    1. Thanks, Pat! We've driven through the Smokies many times now going back and forth to Nashville. It really is beautiful country.

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  3. I have another writer friend who moved to the Nashville area. I've visited a few times and found it nice. Your life will be different, but you get a new life adventure. Keep us posted!

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    1. Yes, Vicki, it is nice. Just quite different from what I'm used to.

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  4. You will come to love it, especially with the family there, Lois. A new adventure!! I was born and raised in NJ, too - took me quite a bit to adjust to "southern" life - but I love it now and it really is home! Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! I'm always up for a challenge. ;-)

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  5. See you at Killer Nashville, Lois! Best wishes to you in your new environment.

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  6. With everything that will be involved in the move, I doubt it will be this year, Saralyn, but I look forward to seeing you at Killer Nashville in 2022.

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  7. Best of luck Lois. I will miss you being so close. Please leave Anastasia in Jersey.

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    1. Thanks, Dru! Don't worry, Anastasia is definitely staying put in NJ.

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  8. Moving is never pretty, Lois, but once you're settled in Nashville you'll have blue skies. Cheers!

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    1. LOL, Barb. Blue skies when it's not raining. Nashville does seem to get quite a bit more rain than we do in NJ, but at least they don't get blizzards. I'll be very happy not to leave our snow shovels behind.

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  9. Being a Southern transplant isn't all that bad.... especially if you are willing to try it. Nashville has music, shows, etc. .... and an airport that can periodically take you back to NY for a Broadway weekend.

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    1. Debra, we used to do that during our years in Phila. We'd drive up to NY on a Saturday morning, catch a matinee, then an evening show, a Sunday matinee, and return home after dinner Sunday night. The commute from Nashville will be much more expensive, though!

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  10. Best of luck on your move, Lois. Hope you find many things to love about Nashville.

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    1. Thanks, Gay! I already have two special little guys to love in Nashville. So that makes it all worthwhile.

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  11. Lois - I'm from beautiful Sonoma County, CA (think wine country, redwoods and coastline all in one county). It's one hour from San Francisco and a reasonable drive to many of the other treasures of Northern California. Twenty-one years ago my husband and I relocated our manufacturing business to a tiny (too small for a stop light) town in rural Indiana. It turned out to be a great move in that it is the perfect place to grow our manufacturing business. From the outset I loved the beauty of the Ohio River valley but there is no question that the kinds of cultural resources available to me now are less than I was used to - but you know what, I discovered other things to love. These days I'll have the occasional twinge but I wouldn't go back. The Midwest offers much more than one could ever uncover during visits. My life now is very different than it was in California and I'm glad. I suspect that once you settle in, you will be too.

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    1. Arliss, I'm glad the move was so positive for you and your husband. I'm going to keep an open mind, but as Debra mentioned, there's always the option to fly back to NY for the occasional Broadway and museum fix.

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  12. Nashville is a fun city. I know you'll enjoy all it has to offer. Best of luck with #10!

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  13. Enjoy exploring Nashville. I've never been but it looks beautiful. NYC is one of my favourite cities!

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