Sunday 1st August 2021

Well, we made it. After all the pre-move pitfalls (read June's BLOG if you're interested in the details) we made the trip from the UK to the USA. Halfway through our BA flight, the air hostess handed us a slip of paper from the New York Center for Disease Control telling us regardless of having had to take a Zoom Covid test conducted with a doctor and having the signed paperwork to prove it and having proof of having been fully vaccinated we still needed to quarantine for 10 days. Yikes! We were meeting family in Maine the very next day after landing at JFK. Family we hadn't seen for 20 months. With a fear of the unknown we made our way (after a good 1-hour wait in line I might add) up to one of the two immigration agents on duty for our full BA flight and for an Iberian flight, and handed over our passports. The agent was very nice and was quite interested in the fact that our dog had accompanied us on our flight and we would be collecting her shortly. Not one word was uttered anywhere by anyone about Covid. No one asked for our papers. No one even mentioned the word 'quarantine'. With great relief, we tossed the CDC paperwork into the bin as soon as we were through customs.

After a wonderful week in Maine with family and friends, we were off to Maryland. Our first view of both Maryland and our house was next and we weren't disappointed. The Eastern Shore countryside, once you depart the stream of traffic going from DC, Philly, and Baltimore to the Delaware and Maryland Atlantic beaches, is wonderfully bucolic. Corn and soy fields, old farmhouses with huge, and I mean golf-course sized lawns, deciduous flowering trees (I've since found out they are Crepe myrtles, native to India and SE Asia and invasively beautiful in MD), gorgeous gardens, and water. Easton is a lovely historic town that could be a movie set for any time period between 1700s and early 1900s. Steeply gabled colorful houses with front porches, picket fences, and lush gardens on narrow tree-lined streets, colonial brick houses and buildings on brick sidewalks. Independent restaurants, antique shops, and boutiques. It is quaint in the nicest way.

I will reflect on our neighborhood at another time. Suffice it to say it is lovely and we are still pinching ourselves that we live here. BUT—and this is a pretty big one—our load of stuff (furniture, clothing, books, tools, kitchen, dining...) is still sitting in a warehouse about 4 miles from where we lived in the UK. Once we got the dreadful news from our moving company that 1. Containers were in short supply, 2. Ships were in short supply, and 3. Shipping and dock staff were in short supply, we knew we were in for a spot of bother. Over a month later and info is still iffy—our mover MIGHT be able to score a container for us in mid-August. This means we MIGHT have our stuff in about 2 months. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Knowing there was going to be a lengthy delay we bought a couch, a bed, and a TV. A quick trip to the shops and we have 2 plates, 4 bowls, 2 cups, silverware, bedding, and a few tools to make a meal. We are basically glamping (what the British call glamorous camping). We have been getting on with work on the house, which as you might imagine is a breeze to clean. And we've been enjoying the use of the community swimming pool, especially as we acclimate to the heat!

Now I'm feeling the urge to get cracking with another book. I keep getting asked if I will use our latest venture in my next book. I doubt it—not while it is still unfolding. But I'm sure bits and pieces will eventually find their way onto my pages—there is so much material to choose from. Even getting a bed became a comedy of errors that took 3 deliveries to sort.

My next book is about ready to go—plot, characters, locations, research on Switzerland, antique letters, American Airmen volunteering to serve in Britain before the USA declared war, state Supreme Courts, 1950 fallout plot is thickening with detail. I can't wait to get going on Judging from a Distance.

We also bought a cot for our doggie--she seems to enjoy it!