so long new york city

ann wood's brooklyn apartment

After 24 years I’ve said goodbye to New York City and my creaky old place. And because of the current situation I didn’t even see the new place until I arrived with movers and all my worldly possessions. It was an extra big adventure.

guilford town green

The last few weeks have been consumed with all the moving chores and writing giant checks. So not fun. Yesterday I took a break and made my Inaugural Guilford Connecticut pot of soup (spring vegetable) and took a walk around my new neighborhood, it has awesome old trees. I especially love the giant droopy old pines – they have been appearing in my paintings for  the last year or so. Prophetic maybe.

guilford ct

I’d only ever been here once for about 15 minutes. Apparently it made an impression. I did have a truly excellent artisanal donut that day so there’s that. Ever since the move my thinker has been being a stinker. Can’t focus and I spin my wheels a lot. And it is also the longest I have gone without making something or even stitching in 10 plus years. Over the holiday weekend I sat by a friend’s pool and mended and made hexies.

mending jeans and sewing hexies

I think it helped, I guess hexies really are necessary to my mental health #hexiesforsanity. Also as I sift through the chaos here and get unpacked more of the fog lifts. I hope to be smart again by August.

garden

And I’ve got a tiny garden. A life long dream realized. So simple and happy. It’s kind of a haphazard mess but I love it. I’ll share more as it develops but the big news today is my beets have sprouted. The universe truly is magic.

102 Comments

  1. You’re off to a great start— getting in touch with the earth and using your hands. Best wishes to new beginnings.

  2. Carol Miller (ticklepie)

    Wow ! You did not even see your new place until you arrived? I would like to hear the story behind that and the female fortitude it took make such a leap of faith. I am in awe.

  3. I wish you the best in this new chapter. Thankyou of the joy you give to everyone with such kindness and grace.

  4. pat neuman

    Good luck in Guilford! —- While I have been put for a very long time and plan to stay put, I have been in a fog for the last several months, too! A painter who hasn’t painted. So I sew…….it seems to make sense.

  5. So Happy for you Ann. I did miss my Saturday morning email coming in from you, here in a now cold winter South Africa

    Enjoy your new digs and garden!

  6. Awesome.
    Love the garden.
    Why move?
    Happy reasons I hope.
    Hang some lavender in new home.

    • Sharon Wightman

      Better yet plant some lavender and enjoy! Best of everything in your new home.

  7. Moving is one of life’s major stressors, so it’s good to acknowledge that, I think, and just know it’s hard. But exploring and living in a new place awakens creativity . . . and big droopy trees, a blue door, and a friend’s pool bode well for a replenishing summer. All the best to you.

  8. Jeanne Bernardin

    I hear you, and yes gardening is like hexies for mental health. The fog will lift, until then imagine us in it with you, can you fell it? So there with you, big love sister

  9. Best wishes for many happy years in your new home, Ann. My friend and I are going to make songbirds to celebrate your move. Actually, we were going to make them anyway, but now we have a reason.

  10. Barclay Dunn

    i lived in NYC for 22 years and for much of that time i couldn’t imagine any place i’d feel at home nearly as much. but it turns out home _is_ where the heart is (for me, with my dear spouse). sight-unseen moving is an incredible leap of faith, i agree. i hope you are truly happy and at home in the new place.

  11. Oh good luck in your new home!
    Hope your Muse returns soon so you will be painting and sewing new things again!
    The unpacking and setting up the rooms takes time but go slowly and things will be perfect soon!

  12. I’m intrigued by your life’s adventure into the new. Blessings to you!

  13. Linda B.

    How brave you are, and what an exciting adventure you’ve started!! I’m eager to hear more about your decision and your move. May the Good Lord bless you wherever you go. 🙂

  14. Leslie Alt

    Best of luck! Where did you move to? Hopefully closer to CT so I can take some classes from you. Online classes would be great too.

    • Karen Waggoner

      Guilford isn’t that far from Bethel. I’ll keep my eyes out for your workshops.

  15. Alexandra

    You have moved to my most wonderful hometown. I am now in northern Vermont, but part of my heart will always be in the old houses, salt marshes and granite outcrops of Guilford. I hope you are very happy there.

  16. Wow…such an adventure! I hope your new place retains the cuteness of your old one, and I’m sure you will find many more things to love as time goes on. Best wishes as you continue the transition from the worn-in comfort to exciting, new and a little bit outside the comfort zone! You’ll soon find your favorite sewing corner and the ideas will start to flow, I’m sure.

  17. Jane Miller

    I wish you great happiness in your new home. Lots of discoveries to enjoy..moving is exciting! Stay well.

  18. Patricia

    Best wishes in your new home . May it bring you peace, inspiration and new energy!
    It is difficult to leave a comfortable place behind, but you will always have memories when you need a little comfort while you settle into your new life.

  19. So glad I found you online! You sound like someone I want to be friends with! I too left NYC after many years. But only moved to NJ

  20. Joan Gleckler

    Good luck settling in CT, Ann! I lived there (Hartford area) for more than 20 years and loved it (mostly) – miss it and my friends there a lot. But starting something new is always exciting. Love reading about your handiwork and all adventures! – Joan

  21. Change is the only constant (so they say). Great art center in Guilford. Pretty town. Sadly no diversity at all which is why i needed to omit it from my list.

  22. Congratulations on your new home and area. Guilford, CT is lovely. Smart move. And, you have “people” close by. Yea! NYC (Brooklyn) is wonderfully exciting, but, at a certain point, need “green.” YOU ARE SOOOOO TALENTED. Classes work☘️ Wishing you a happy journey.

  23. Terry Frias

    I am so very happy for you! Enjoy your new place and town, it looks beautiful by the photos you sent!

  24. Sharon Hoffman

    Ann~Your talent is precious! You inspire only the best of intentions in your incredible mind. The results are contagious to each of us who follow you. Be yourself in your new environment and we will be in awe of all the exciting creations to come.

  25. Linda Kazel

    Ann, much happiness and contentment in Guilford. I lived in Wallingford for 12 years and was very happy. My travels took me often to the amazing RJ Julia Books and movie house in Madison as well as the most special thrift, Homemaker’s in Guilford. Moving is just plain traumatic. I moved 4 times into, within and out of CT. As a creative too, dealing with moving “stuff” instead of making joyful works of art with it is painful. I hope you’re finding new inspiration and energy as you unpack and find again some of those special, yet temporarily forgotten things.

  26. Wow! Big change. Guilford is a lovely town (we lived in CT for 20 years). Great art community. Best wishes as you get settled.

  27. Guildford looks a truly lovely place to call home. Sending wishes for happiness and every good thing. xo

  28. What an inspirational area, right on The Sound. Congratulations and best of luck always.

  29. good luck and many many new adventure…….. a nice wishe on a needle

  30. Two quotes for times of transition: The man rooted in nature can never be exiled. – Seneca (I paraphrase…) And: Bravery is always rewarded. – Me. With your focus on nature you will always be delighted in any home setting. In that way, you are very fortunate. I hope that your new environment will be inspiring! Best, Rayne/Petaluma, CA

  31. Ann, I have read your blog for so many years, amazed by your talent! I’ve never commented before because I’m a quiet type but I want to let you know you have a friend in Madison, just the town over. I’m from the area originally, lived in NYC for 20 yrs ( LIC ) and moved back a few years ago. Guilford is wonderful! Will you be teaching any classes at the Guilford Art Center? I’m assuming you can see my email address, so please feel free to email me if you need any recommendations. Maybe when this pandemic is over we can meet for coffee at the marketplace on the green. Much luck to you in your new home!

  32. Janice Gavin

    Congratulations on making your way through a major transition. I’m in the process of 1)renewing my prof license in NJ, then, simultaneously, will be interviewing for jobs AND selling my house. Pretty overwhelming. Really hoping I can pull it off, because I am desperate to leave NC and come home.
    So, distract yourself, breathe, and know the hardest part is behind you (for now at least). Good luck.
    When I’ve been losing my mind I’ve felted a bit. Calms me down to stab things! Can’t wait to see what you do next

  33. Carol J Arny

    A garden is a wonderful and miraculous thing. Well worth the stress of moving to have a garden!!

  34. Ah, that explains why I’ve been missing your blog lately! You’ve been busy! Congrats on the move. I’m sure you will love the quieter pace of life in CT.

  35. Susan Riss

    Congratulations on your new adventure. Anyplace with your own patch of dirt will be wonderful! Take care, treat yourself well and connect when you have time. Remember to breathe deeply…peace out.

  36. ‘Nette

    Much Happiness to you in your New Place!! Maybe you will be inspired in a totally new way!! So “Good Luck” on this new adventure and stay safe and healthy!
    ‘Nette

  37. Oh I hope only the best for you I. Your new home -exciting but hard work.
    Your new home will soon wrap its arms around you
    Have fun keep stitching
    Chrissie x

  38. I wanted you to know that you have pulled me out of a hole…a big hole. One day I bumped across your beautiful rag doll and I was pulled in. I’m not a seamstress at all however, I feel connected to this new world you have presented to me. I find myself wanting to wake up in the morning just to try my hand at creating some of your patterns. Thank you. I hope each day is better and better in your new home.

  39. First, so many congrats for a big brave change! Exciting things are ahead. But I’ve found, we do better when we take things one thing at a time, mindfully. Moving is huge. Enjoy this settling time. Your creative mojo will return when your brain and body settle I’m thinking. And I’m guessing it will return with a new spirit as you have a whole new life to incorporate into it. Many many good wishes

  40. Barbara Stutz

    What a great adventure. I would you say you have been making something…….a new home and surroundings to allow your creative spirit to thrive. Congratulations!!

  41. Kim Mullen-Kuehl

    Congratulations! What an exciting adventure. I bought a house sight unseen once. It was a gem. Here’s to excellent explorations of your new town, many happy meetings of new friends, and the clearing of brain fog. I’ve heard a lot of people, me included, have had this fog off and on since the quarantine began. This too shall pass.

  42. Denise Larochelle Thibeault

    Just what I did almost three years ago. I moved out of Canada’s ‘Pittsburgh’ (Hamilton Ontario) to a quirkly little flat in rural eastern Ontario, sight unseen. It has been an adventure, has taken some getting use to, but all in all, a good move. Good Luck!

  43. Urania Magriples

    Welcome to Guilford! I left nyc over 30 years ago and have been in Guilford for 20+ Years and though the initial transition is hard, you will find you can breathe here. Just listening to the birds every day and walking in the woods is a gift. Good luck and looking forward to classes when the world has returned to normal

  44. One is nearer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth! Bless you and your new abode!

  45. Mary Park

    Wow that many years in one place, I would be insane, I have moved 26 times in 34 years, have to have change in my life, love the adventure of somewhere new, starting new projects and decorating new/old places, I know you will be settled in no time, looking forward to hearing about your new place
    Mary P

  46. Annie James

    Congrats on your big move! You will be so very happy once life settles a bit and that may take awhile under current circumstances.
    I too have not sewn for the longest time I ever remember but have gently gone back a little bit.
    Have been reading tons to take my mind off making masks and life.
    Have loads of fun in your garden , plant flowers so you can cut them and keep you company. ( unless you have a cat who wants to eat them)

  47. Rose Diaz

    Ann, congratulations on your move and new home! Moving can be overwhelming as I did it last year with a move from Monterey CA to Pelham NY. Take you time unpacking, get outside when the weather is good, walk around your neighborhood and be as creative as you can.

  48. I think a garden feeds the soul very much like sewing and painting. Wishing you many years of joy and contentment in your new home.

  49. Wow!!! You are one of my very few subscriptions- I can’t believe you moved to Guilford! I have lived here for years!!! You will love it- I moved from NYC too. Hope you will do some classes or clubs or something… I would certainly be interested. Good luck settling in!

  50. Penny Christie

    I’m so pleased for you, enjoy your new adventure! It’s an exciting thing to do and I wish you many happy times to come. Don’t forget small steps and your thinkers will gradually sort themselves out.

  51. Welcome to CT! I live in Hamden- 15 min away from Guilford–it is beautiful there. Looking forward to reading about your new adventures. Cheers!

    Joana

  52. Tara Challman

    Growing beets is good for the soul 🙂
    Dirt under your fingernails will help ease the trauma of unpacking.
    Best wishes for you, Ann! You will get your groove back!

  53. Linda Swingle

    Congratulations Dear-heart! I send blessings of joy, good cheer, and wonderful health to you! I look forward to reading about your new adventures.

  54. Ruth Fowler

    Now I know why there hasn’t been any emails from you. I wish you the best in your new endeavors. Thank you for sharing your art.

  55. Mary Ellen Blacker

    Welcome to Connecticut!
    Best wishes as you settle in to your new home.

  56. Welcome to Connecticut! Guilford is a lovely town, we visit it every summer for the Guilford Crafts Festival.

  57. Praying for a smooth transition. Thank you for sharing your “adventure” with us. I look forward to seeing many more beautiful projects from you. It’s in there. Be patient and give yourself some grace and love.

  58. Carol Kitchell

    Wow! You’re a brave one! Very inspiring. Wishing you the very best in your new home and the new chapter of your journey.

  59. Suzanne M

    OK, gotta admit – I got a little teary-eyed seeing your iconic NYC flat all emptied out. It’s been a magical, cozy place to frame all your wonderful creations over the years. BUT on to new things, and Good For You, Ann! And having a garden area, no matter how small is priceless. Get comfy and take your time settling in. You deserve a break, and no worries about the fog brain thing – it’s happening to all of us these crazy days. You need not worry; you’ll be productive again when the time is right for you. But for now – just Enjoy!

    P.S. Did you take your potted Norfolk pine/Christmas tree with you?

    Hugs and garden fairy dust!

  60. Good luck Ann. What a very brave step. Best wishes for your future.

  61. Wonderful Ann! Kudos to you. You will feel disoriented for quite a while, to be expected. You’ve given me hope that I too can take this kind of plunge in the near future.

  62. Happy Hew Home, your new surroundings will turn on your light bulb again.
    How far did you move, out of State??
    Plant the seeds of the tomatoes you cut up. Let the seeds dry on a paper napkin, and then plant then in good soil. Tou will be rewarded.
    Too bad you are not near, otherwise I’d be sharing the bountiful crop of my yearly new tomato crops.

  63. Moving is one of the things in life that i loathe, and i have moved every five years since college… and i am 63. but, once settled with books on shelves and pictures hung, i hunker down and these places all feel like home again, as if am a snail who carries her home on her back. wishing you ease of transition and peace of place, long evenings spent curled up in a favorite comfy chair which is angled just so, with good light.

  64. my very best to you!!!!! congratulations. bittersweet! oh boy!!! a whole new adventure!

  65. I live in California but my family is from Guilford, waaaaay back. My father was ordained in the congregationalist church there. I wish you the very best in your new adventure. Do give yourself time! Moving is stressful. Your wee dolls will help!

  66. Congratulations on your new Home Sweet Home!

    Don’t be too hard on yourself…there are so many tasks with a move that need your brain power, and as your new nests builds your focus will return 🙂

    Best wishes!

  67. KarenAnn

    NY is my favourite city and there you are waving goodbye! I have a lovely garden so that is something I could not live without – chock full of Australian natives and my mosaic flowers & scarecrow keeping guard over the lot. I look forward to watching your garden grow, please post pics every now & then. It must be Summer where you are, perfect time for enjoying your outdoors. Welcome to your new home

  68. Best of luck in your new location and adventure. When you are willing to share the reason for the move, your fans would love to hear the story — especially to move somewhere sight unseen. I too have been making hexies. Very relaxing.

  69. Karen Wise

    Best wishes for your new adventure. Enjoy your new gardening opportunities. What fun that will be. What great inspiration you will find.

  70. Adelaide

    Moving is always an adventure and staring out with choosing a place to live only seen in photos is the ultimate adventure. I have fond memories of that part of Connecticut where I had a great-aunt who lived in a 17th century farmhouse on the Boston-Post Road in Clinton, just up the road. I have lived in Michigan for 45 years, but my heart is still in New England. Enjoy your new home !

  71. Elba Short

    So very happy for you, Ann!! New beginnings are essential to that creative cycle! The ol’ noodle can always use a little vacay, too!! Hope you come back to visit LA when we’re in the clear from all of this crap!

    • Elba!

      Thanks lady. I hope so too.

      Also – one of my touchstones through the moving mess has been the lovely oil you gave me.

      In the midst of various disasters I had that gorgeous lifting and soothing smell daily. It truly was medicine.

      I hope you are well and we get to hang soon!

      ann

      • Elba Short

        Yippee!! So happy my little gift came in so handy!!
        We are well and riding it out, thank you
        Take good care!

  72. Celtic Cate

    Dear Ann, It’s so wonderful to read/feel all the love surrounding you (see how much we all love you??). I’ll be keeping you in my prayers for the micro- and macro-adjustments that you encounter as the days go by (I’ve experienced a similar situation). What I hope for you is that you’ll find things to embrace that feed your soul and creativity. I have no doubts at all that wherever you are, you’ll be embraced. And may you find a refuge within your new home as you begin this new journey. May it be blessed!

  73. Wendy McHugh

    So very pleased for you Anne. Enjoy this place as a new ‘happy’ place.

  74. Michelle Deal

    You are off to a new adventure. Can’t wait to see the chicken! Enjoy your new home. I retired, packed up everything and moved from Oregon to Tennessee! Everything will be just fine

  75. Laura Pruitt

    So much good energy here just reading the great thoughts being sent. As someone who just moved to a new city and new apartment, and feeling pretty discombobulated herself, the thoughts sent were of healing use to me as well.
    Wishing you the best. And ty for sharing.

  76. This is my first time reading your newsletter. Your writing brings life and joy. I admire your creativity. Congratulations on your new start.
    From Darwin, Australia

  77. Good luck! New York will miss you… I won’t, because I follow you wherever you go. Not stocking you! I love your work. I talk to my little lady every day. I Love tiny things. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  78. I have been off line for 2 months because we did the same thing. Quite a change at 70. A move from northern Indiana to buying a mountain in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We saw pictures of the house, but they were somewhat deceiving…or did we just want to update it. A home full of windows looking out to the mountains and far from Covid is a true dream come true. I am pretty darned sure that you will be happy in your new digs.

  79. All the very best to you in your new home, Ann. It’s never easy leaving a beloved place; I hope you feel the comforting strength of nature in your garden, and from the lovely neighbourhood trees. Thanks for sharing this post with us. X

  80. Julie Benkofsky-Webb

    So happy for you that you have made this big leap–especially during such an uncertain time. Hooray for your garden. May you live each day in trust. Aloha pumehana

  81. Gwendolyn

    It is very refreshing to read about someone saving themselves during these unsettling times. You are so wise to have gotten out of NY while you can, and now you have a garden to boot!
    Love and life favor the bold, Ann. You will be richly blessed in this new adventure. Best of luck and Godspeed!

  82. Sending lots of of hugs and love from South Africa. Looking forward to reading about your life in your new home. You remain one of my idols and creative muses. Stay safe and be kind to yourself.

  83. You are a truly remarkable lady – moving without even seeing it first! Wow!
    Good luck in your new home. Be happy, keep well and stay safe.

  84. I spent my vacations visiting my uncle & aunt in Guilford. I’ve spent most of my life in California but I now miss some of the patina of the east coast.

  85. Kristen Ryan

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Our mutual friend, Gini Frank Fischer, just sent me this link. I am also a professional seamstress and work from my home in Guilford. I am a drapery workroom, and like Gini, been making masks for the community. I would be happy to tell you a few small stores that would probably love your work! Do not hesitate to contact me! Kristen

  86. In 2006 I moved to Kentucky without ever having been there. With 3 kids in tow my husband and I packed up the truck, said goodbye to all of our friends and family and drove west to make a better life for our family. Five months later we bought our house and we now live on a small hobby farm. Change can be hard and a bit crazy but we are happy and I’m sure that you will make a very happy life once you are settled in. I look forward to hearing about your new home and garden! xo

  87. Best Wishes settling into your new nest. I hope you you are able to get back to playing with your favourite activities again soon. Thankyou so much for the free fish pattern. They adorable.
    Im rifling through my scraps as we speak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *