Some of my friends already know that my daughter and her family are moving this week from a winter rental in Sag Harbor to the Rattray family house here in East Hampton Village, while my husband and I pack up and head, gulp, to Greenport and the North Fork, where a spiffy cottage awaits us at Peconic Landing.
Actually, I will only be a resident of the North Fork half the time. For the first time in my life, I will become a commuter of sorts, dividing my time between Peconic Landing and the old place in East Hampton. I will be continuing my weekly routine — work, choral society rehearsals, and yoga classes — while on the South Fork, and relaxing with Chris while on the North.
The retirement community called Peconic Landing is only about a minute east of Greenport proper. Greenport is a swell, unspoiled village that reminds me of the South Fork in times gone by. One of my big concerns about the move was the time it would take to drive home. And how often would I be able to make pitstops at my favorite places in Bridgehampton (the restaurant called Almond and its L & W Market next door)? On Monday and Tuesday, we made our first trial-run round trip via the Shelter Island ferries and found it surprisingly pleasant. Easy-peasy.
You will understand what a huge leap this is for me, after so many happy decades in my house and with so much to be arranged and moved. But my daughter took charge of the moving, the paperwork, the hauling, and the planning. Then, she and my son David made sure that every piece of furniture and every butter dish and every toaster we liked best was on hand and in place. Over the weekend, a large family posse set about decorating our new cottage with family antiques and beautiful artwork. Chris has some very nice paintings from the Hudson River School, and I must admit they look marvelous.
It wasn’t long before we realized that our new two-bedroom cottage was going to be quite a showplace. Of particular note are twin four-poster beds, which had graced my husband’s family’s longtime Amagansett summer house on Sandpiper Lane; a big antique hutch cabinet my first husband and I bought as newlyweds, and a charming 19th-century desk and ancient armoire that came out of my daughter’s old historic landmark house on Accabonac (the house having been sold last autumn in the run-up to this epic game of musical houses).
Of course, whether or not I will come to love Peconic Landing — showplace or no — remains to be seen. The jury is still out. To be sure, we are bound to find friendly neighbors and make compatible friends. We already know quite a few interesting people there. We can join others at the Landing’s dining hall rather than cook all the time, and we can order takeout from an up-to-the-minute market we like in Greenport. It will be pleasant to make use of the Landing’s library and to meet with personal trainers in the gym. I’m told they have quite a roster of yoga and fitness classes, though I haven’t tried them yet.
And here’s something else to boast about: Two of my grandchildren and one of their friends, who are 9 and 11 years old, came to have a look at Peconic Landing over the weekend and, after spending a luxurious hour in its heated swimming pool, decided they were ready to move right in.
“Grandma, I love it here!” my granddaughter kept announcing. That was just the right way to begin this new adventure.