We're homeowners! Even though our lawyer is not allowed to practice law for the time being, he lined up a replacement to take over our closing at the eleventh hour, and everything went smoothly. That is, we signed all the papers that were shuffled over to us. I guess we'll know how well it went after we get around to reading them.
To paraphrase Mr. Chalmers, owning, so far, is just like renting, except you give them all the money you have in the bank, pay a lot more every month, pay property taxes and insurance, and do all the repairs and upkeep yourself. Which is kind of scary. But then we remind ourselves that the first thing we plan to do is dig a huge pit in the yard and cook a goat in it (or a sheep; more on the meat issue later: our negotiations with a carniceria in Gainesville have been confused somewhat due to a language barrier). Most landlords would frown on that, I imagine, even in Georgia.
After closing ceremonies we went straight out to the house. We hadn't owned the place for half an hour before we'd been invited to church by three different people—the woman who sold us hamburgers in Comer on the way out to the house, and our next-door neighbors (who, incidentally, are under the mistaken impression that the property line between our houses runs from this pecan tree to that pecan tree; we'll see if they make a fuss when I start planting large bushes in what they thought was their yard). I'm relearning how to sidestep the religion question, a skill I'd let slide since I moved from Georgia to northern Virginia in seventh grade. The hamburger-lady exchange went something like this: "You'll like Carlton. Nice little town. The church is nice too." "Wha—which church is that?" "The Baptist one there." "Oh. Yes . . . Carlton does seem like a nice place to live."
So we're moving from Athens to Carlton gradually, carload by carload. When the TV makes the trip we'll consider ourselves Carltonians.