We’re the ‘stuck Americans’, as our wonderful host Tania introduces us, happily stuck, since our April Auckland to Honolulu flight was cancelled. Alas, our lovely lark as resident artists at Wharepuke, in the Northland region of New Zealand, one of the safest places on the planet is timing out. We return to our troubled homeland on July 11.
By an odd and retrograde quirk of fate, Drask is returning to his former IT job at the medical school in Lewisburg, WV and we’ll live in the Greenbrier County house we left in 2014.
On May 11, 2020, an email from Kelly, the tenant in the house we built and sold, shared her July plans to move into her own handmade house. Over the years, we hear from her with house /land appreciations and technical questions. On reading her note, a tiny thought formed, in answer to our present question: where to go when we have to leave the shelter of New Zealand, when our visa extension times out in September, where is safe in this time out of time? A long shot, I contact the house owner, who I knew had returned to a great job in Texas. And the next day, another long shot hit the mark; Drask is invited to interview for his former job at WV Osteopathic School of Medicine.
in July, we close on the Teaberry Road property and Drask starts at WVSOM. Part of my mind repeats the wisdom of a refrigerator magnet, a wedding present from my dear pal Caroline Smith, ‘why do I have to get married? I didn’t do anything wrong’, updated to ‘why do I have to go to America?‘… And although everyone here, even the Air New Zealand Representative who spent two hours on the phone arranging flights with us, suggests we just stay in New Zealand, ‘at least until after the election’, we love it in Greenbrier County, maybe as much as Wharepuke, and feel remarkably fortunate to be returning to our beloved community and favorite little holler in the world.