Never Say Never

Written By: Julie  Joy

The renovations were finished, the house was perfect, and I was never moving again. Our expanded ranch had a three car garage, where I worked on my outdoor sculptures, a huge walk out basement where our kids could entertain, and a master suite with his and her bathrooms on the main floor.  We wouldn’t even have to ascend the circular staircase when we got old. This was it. We thought of everything.

It was a beautiful August Day, almost five years since we moved into our new home.  My husband asked if I felt like going to the Mary O’Fritchie Art Show.  I had completely forgotten about the date, since it had been mentioned by friend, Ellen.  I had been in art shows with her before, and months prior, she had suggested that I apply to enter a show in Westhampton Beach.  I told her I’d have to check it out first.  After years of summering at the Jersey Shore, we decided to take a break, and go for a drive.

Upon arriving in the charming town, we were taken aback by its beauty.  There were quaint shops, restaurants, and colorful flower baskets hanging from the lamp posts.  The art show was on the green, speckled with white tents and filled with paintings, sculptures, and of course, artists!  The scene itself was out of painting… Women in light summer dresses or cover-ups, and men in golf or beach attire meandered around, chatting, while admiring the art.

The sun was still shining brightly and the sky was a color blue that I don’t think we had ever seen before.  After the show, it was way too nice to go back to New Jersey, so, we went to some of the lovely shops and purchased bathing suits and towels.  The drive along Dune Road was breathtaking and it only took a few minutes to find Tianna Beach, where a day tripper was able to spend some quality time on the sand, or in my case, in the water.  As I was floating in the waves and breathing in the fresh sea air, I thought to myself, “It really doesn’t get much better than this.” My husband was enjoying the summer breeze, a good book, and the sound of the waves rolling in.  When the sun was just beginning to set, we had to pack it up and head back.  On a scale of 1 – 10, this day was a 10, for sure!

As we started to drive west along Dune Road, we spotted Dockers Restaurant.  We decided to pull in and have a bite to eat, before hitting the highway.  We shook off the sand and in we went.  There was a table right on the bay, with a view that was breathtaking.  As the sun went down, colors burst out of the sky.  We had Bloody Marys and peel and eat shrimp.  I said to my husband, “I really see no reason to leave.  Let’s move here…” And he agreed. 10 + !

From the restaurant, I called my mother, a NJ Realtor, to tell her of our plan.  After all the work we did on that house, she couldn’t believe it.  My husband figured that if we didn’t find a house right away, we would buy a boat and keep it at Westhampton Bath and Tennis for the summer.  But, living on a boat was not exactly what I had in mind.

Over the next few weekends we spent our time looking at homes in the Westhampton area.  I’ve got to say though, it’s a bit of a task looking for houses in The Hamptons, because each realtor has different listings, and they don’t all share what they have.  We had a house at the Jersey Shore, on Beaver Dam Creek.  It had a pool and a dock, and it was on a natural lagoon, but it was small.  The renovated house in North Jersey was big, but it was completely landlocked.  Our neighbors, Patti and Steve, had become great friends and we would be sad to leave them… They would definitely have to visit!  We had always said that if we could combine the two houses, it would be just perfect.

A month after our search began, we walked into a house in Westhampton that had a pool and a dock (tattered, though it was).  It had an open floor plan and overlooked the water.  It had a broken down shed that could easily be fixed up for an artist studio. Oddly enough, it was the same number as our house in North Jersey, was on Beaver Dam Creek, like our Jersey Shore house, and our new neighbors were also named Patti and Steve.  We had finally merged the two houses!

Our kids have moved on, and have begun their own lives as adults.  We sold the New Jersey houses and have started our own new chapter.   Still pinching ourselves, we are constantly amazed by the sprawling beauty of The East End.  The beaches, farm stands, and boutiques are a far cry from The Mall At Short Hills, and life is good!!!