Alabama or Bust

So I guess we’re moving. My wife, Jamie, has been looking at houses for several months now, ever since her mother passed away. And it’s getting serious.

This all started one morning when my wife announced that she wanted to leave Florida and move to Birmingham, Alabama, to make a fresh start in life.

My immediate reaction was to kiss her forehead. I told her I was going to miss her dearly.

“You’re coming with me,” she said.

“Me?” I said with a laugh. “Leave Florida?”

Truthfully, I did not think she would follow through. I never thought I’d leave the Alligator State. I’ve never had the desire to leave. During boyhood, when all my friends traipsed off to college to begin their lives far away from home, I was voted most likely to die of mosquito-borne illness.

I grew up in a magical place where 127 square miles of brackish bay water meet the sky. The Choctawhatchee Bay was never less than a mile from my front porch, neither was the Gulf of Mexico. And living within my backyard, according to the Guinness World Record Book, was the world’s largest brown recluse spider. We named him Phil.

But my wife is not someone who makes idle statements. When she declares that she’s going to do something, it’s already half done. So if this woman says we’re moving, it’s time to call Mayflower®.

Lately, this woman has been constantly obsessing over houses for sale, daydreaming about them, drawing pictures of three-bedroom-two-baths on legal pads, using pocketknives to carve the initials of her favorite realtors into our kitchen table.

She frequently uses my computer printer to print explicit photographs of arts-and-crafts-style bungalows, then hangs these photos up in our bathroom like pinups.

My wife frequently drives thousands of miles to attend open houses, wherein she walks thoughtfully through the homes of complete strangers for the sole purpose of criticizing their décor.

And once, late at night, I caught my wife watching HGTV at a low volume. “Oh yeah, baby,” my wife was saying suggestively as the television displayed gratuitous shots of subway tile.

My wife is a big fan of subway tile. She would happily move into the Bates Motel if they had subway-tile backsplashes.

So over the last months, my wife’s home buying fantasies have gotten worse. Recently, she has been taking me on tours of homes within our Price Range. In my short time looking at houses, I’ve discovered that many people will put anything on the market, no matter what condition it’s in.

We once toured a home, for example, with a large brownish stain on the living room carpet that looked like someone’s dog had not so much as suffered incontinence, but rather rejoiced in it. The house smelled like a chain-smoking billy goat, there was a blue tarp on the roof, and the backyard contained not one, but three rusted water heaters.

After one-point-three minutes inside, I was ready to leave, but my wife was still inspecting the kitchen, uttering cryptic home-decorating phrases like, “I’m thinking we could do shiplap right here.”

We’ve been going through this unique real-estate purgatory for months now. But today, I think something pivotal finally happened. Today, at long last my wife believes she might have found The House.

This afternoon we walked inside a smallish house with antique windows and oaken floors, built in the 1920s. The little house has been beautifully taken care of. It has all the charm you’d expect from a clapboard home predating the Coolidge administration.

When we walked through the front door, I half expected to hear an Artie Shaw record playing in the background, and maybe even overhear the voice of my granny in the den, screaming at contestants on “Wheel of Fortune.”

My wife was brimming with excitement when she stepped inside the bedrooms. Her eyes danced around the interior like Willy Wonka on amphetamines. Soon, she was touching the walls absentmindedly, using reverent words like “closet space.”

And suddenly it all became real to me. I realized that we are indeed moving to Birmingham. I don’t know when, and I don’t know where exactly, but it’s going to happen. We might even wind up in this house.

I sat on the sofa and tried to wrap my head around the idea that one day, my home state will be 261 miles behind us, and all my memories will be covered with creeping vines.

No longer will I see the Choctawhatchee Bay water at sunup, the bay where I first kissed my wife. No longer will I find myself in a John boat at dusk, fishing with my cousin, watching the stars play over the Panhandle.

I will be here, in the Yellowhammer State, snug in the arms of the woman who shares my name. And even though the idea of moving terrifies me, I freely admit, I’d follow this lovably deranged woman anywhere.

As long as we have subway-tile backsplashes.

109 comments

  1. Barbara - February 2, 2022 7:13 am

    You can do it!

    Reply
    • Rhonda C Chavers - February 4, 2022 2:03 am

      i was born in Alabama, and love to visit Pine Mountain, Lake Martin and the Valley……we moved to Northwest Florida when I was 6.6 years old……I know now, in my 66.6th year, that I must be near the waters, the bay, the gulf and the rivers abound…,,,,opens my soul and dips into my heart….I was meant to be here.

      Reply
  2. Diane - February 2, 2022 7:42 am

    Yes… I love it!! Come on up… We in Cullman Alabama. Ya’ll would just be about 40 miles south of here . I know several great realtors , one being my cousin Becky Smith Flack, you may have met her, she’s a great storyteller too. And I do know that we both love you and Jamie…. actually Becky knows everybody, and she’ll treat you like family. Anyway , Welcome to Alabama…. Roll Tide!!!!

    Reply
    • O A Coleman - February 2, 2022 11:36 am

      
      
      Check out Lock 5 Alabama on Big Prairie Creek. A waterway that within a mile flows into the Black Warrior River. Neighbors are very unique carpenters. Takes two to drive a nail. One to hold the hammer one to hold the nail because their free hand holds a beer. You’ll love it.

      Reply
  3. Carol W Roberts - February 2, 2022 8:25 am

    Before you fully settle on Birmingham, please take look at Oneonta! We are 45 minutes from Birmingham, cullman and Gadsden, and an hour from Huntsville. Please?

    Reply
  4. Pamela McEachern - February 2, 2022 9:17 am

    Welcome!
    Peace and Love from Birmingham
    PMc

    Reply
  5. Scott Partee - February 2, 2022 10:09 am

    Sean, nobody moves to Birmingham. You move from Birmingham. I spent five long years there from 1990 fro 1995 right at the height of the home invasion and car jacking era. Please reconsider.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Douthit - February 2, 2022 6:57 pm

      You haven’t been to Birmingham lately, have you? It has changed tremendously. Those days you speak of are long gone. I live in the Glen Iris neighborhood and before that on the Southside. And downtown? Condos and lofts everywhere! Women walking their dogs after dark. UAB extends to the interstate, the biggest employer in the state. Not to mention the multi-million dollar Protective Lufe stadium that’s north of downtown next to the Civic Center. And now, Birmingham is nationally known as a Foodie Town. A house in Homewood that’s been redone will cost you half a million dollars! Truly. So think twice about badmouthing Birmingham when you obviously don’t know the current state of affairs in this city.

      Reply
      • Diane - February 2, 2022 7:10 pm

        ♥️♥️

        Reply
  6. sophiebug11 - February 2, 2022 10:45 am

    You are a good man. Read that again.

    Reply
  7. topdock - February 2, 2022 11:31 am

    Birmingham, Birmingham
    The greatest city in Alabam’
    You can travel ‘cross this entire land
    There ain’t no place like Birmingham
    Randy Newman

    Reply
  8. Jo Anne Young - February 2, 2022 11:33 am

    Glad to have you & Jamie in Birmingham! Welcome!😊

    Reply
  9. Judy Jones - February 2, 2022 11:45 am

    Sean, Birmingham will welcome you with open arms! I’m from Mobile, moved here 30+ years ago. I miss the coast sometimes- but this is a wonderful place with a lot of heart. There will be plenty of fodder here for your stories! See you on the street!

    Reply
  10. lindawalco - February 2, 2022 11:52 am

    Would love to have you but I learned to wait a year after a death to make any huge life decisions. Unless you have family or a big job here that you can’t live without moving is pretty huge. Also, wherever you go make a list of your pros and cons and check the crime stats of the area and communities around it. It’s funny because from whence you wish to leave is where most people want to end up. Fair hope….

    Reply
    • pdjpop - February 3, 2022 11:18 am

      Amen! And Jamie, at least think about Magnolia Springs.
      PJ

      Reply
  11. Liz Bishop - February 2, 2022 11:57 am

    Welcome to the Magic City, Sean! We will love having you here.

    Reply
  12. Morton Vice - February 2, 2022 12:07 pm

    Are you joking? Leave northwest Florida makes me question everything I’ve read about you. Are you really from this area? I think not

    Reply
  13. Paul McCutchen - February 2, 2022 12:15 pm

    My wife is considering the same thing only around Macon, Georgia. She has been in this house over thirty years and I have been here over twenty and we are sitting in the middle of four acres. The houses we see are in neighborhoods with have acre lots. My cousin lives in Hoover, Alabama and lives in a nice house but, like you, I don’t know if I am ready to pack all this stuff up and move. We used to be in the country but the cities are moving in around us.

    Reply
    • Leslie W Smith - February 2, 2022 11:44 pm

      Paul, NO, NO, NO to Macon and/or Bibb County. Houston or Monroe County is much better.

      Reply
  14. Russell - February 2, 2022 12:31 pm

    Hi Sean, it will be a big change for the both of you. Something tells me ya’ll are actually looking at places just outside the Ham city limits, say, like Homewood? A lot of beautiful older homes in that area. More of a ‘bedroom’ community’ full of sidewalks and baby strollers and joggers and parents who still walk their kids to school. Wherever you end up, I know your home is where Jamie is and of course. . . subway tile and shiplap. 😊

    Reply
  15. Anne Arthur - February 2, 2022 12:42 pm

    Oh dear, you’ll miss that brackwater … better search for a cute house along the coast. Just saying…

    Reply
  16. Bobby - February 2, 2022 12:45 pm

    We moved back to Sweet Home Alabama about three years ago and living across the USA for 35 years. No regrets for either.

    Reply
  17. Janet W. - February 2, 2022 12:55 pm

    Don’t worry! You will still have plenty of opportunities to die of mosquito-borne illnesses in B’ham!

    Reply
  18. Joann - February 2, 2022 1:00 pm

    Alabama needs people like you and Jamie; so does Florida, but you’ve given that state half your life. Best wishes to you.

    Reply
  19. ht - February 2, 2022 1:03 pm

    Been longing for Alabama since arriving in NJ 5 years ago…have a little spot ready too. Named storms preventing the 1200 mile drive…261 miles? I would walk it; Sweet Home Alabama, I’m coming!

    Reply
  20. Lisa K Riley - February 2, 2022 1:12 pm

    Yep, you’re moving. My late husband had one of those realizations, well, two actually. I told him we were moving across the state. He looked at me like I was crazy. 6 months later we were in a railroad bungalow on the other side of the state. The second time, I told him we were moving to Guatemala. He told me I was crazy. Best time of our lives. We only came back to the States because I needed more medical care.

    Go, Sean. Adventure awaits.

    Reply
  21. Rhonda - February 2, 2022 1:18 pm

    This makes me sad. I am sure there is opportunity for Jamie there. Birmingham is a Kumkwat. Lots to do and lots of hatefulness.
    The divide between the haves and have nots is a sport there with mountain brook leading the charge. A
    and don’t move to Brookside! Keep your place in Florida as a soul saving retreat. You will be so glad you did.

    Reply
    • Susie - February 2, 2022 1:58 pm

      You’ve got THAT right, Rhonda. A lot of active hate groups down there. That state is rife with ignorance, which perpetuates the hate.

      Reply
      • Diane - February 2, 2022 7:49 pm

        Why , why you hate?

        Reply
        • Susie - February 2, 2022 8:11 pm

          Diane, I don’t hate. I simply stated that there are many hate groups in that region of the south and to be aware of that before they move there. Maybe you need to reread my post? 🙄

          Reply
          • Diane - February 2, 2022 8:17 pm

            Oh Excuse me.: You know there is hate groups in every region… North, South, East, West… Sooo as we say here in the South “Bless ya heart”../

        • Susie - February 2, 2022 8:50 pm

          Hate groups especially strong on the Birmingham area.

          Reply
  22. Sheri - February 2, 2022 1:19 pm

    We lived in the Birmingham area for 28 years before moving back to Florida to help take care of my mom. Lots of good memories there. My daughter still lives there. We are Florida natives, but Alabama will always feel like home to us. Shelby County is awesome. Love those folks there.

    Reply
  23. Betty F - February 2, 2022 1:23 pm

    Say it ain’t so. Can’t she find a nice place on the bay?

    Reply
  24. Nancy M - February 2, 2022 1:34 pm

    My husband and I grew up in Mobile, and lived the first 30+ years of our marriage in Birmingham. Our son and daughter-in-law live in one of those craftsman style bungalows and love it. Maybe you’ll live in their neighborhood!
    You’ll find the winters are about ten degrees colder and it snows enough to close roads once every year or two. Get warm coats, gloves, and hats.
    The summers are about the same, hot and humid. You’ll miss the ocean, but you’ll enjoy the views from the hilltops. Don’t stop to look too long while you’re in traffic, folks behind you don’t appreciate it. 😉

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  25. PEGGY THOMPSON - February 2, 2022 1:37 pm

    I would never leave the coast for Birmingham..better get her looking for a new home on the coast in a new town if she needs a change.
    Alabama is great but the coast is better.
    Good luck!!

    Reply
  26. Ray Huckabone - February 2, 2022 1:40 pm

    We moved from the panhandle a little more than two years ago, Ft. Walton Beach to Eufaula, Alabama. Haven’t regretted it for a minute. Welcome Sean and Jamie.

    Reply
  27. Jim - February 2, 2022 1:43 pm

    Take it from me Sean! My wife and I are in our 18th home covering 4 States from Basking Ridge New Jersey to Mobile Alabama. Twice we lived in the Birmingham area, once in Bluff Park and once in Vestavia. I am a native of Alabama and even graduated from T. R. Miller in Brewton, Point is that we loved our homes in the Birmingham area while we were never able to fully adopt the City. However if Jamie is bent on making your home there, focus on the great BB Que and good luck with the subway tile!

    Reply
  28. Susie - February 2, 2022 1:54 pm

    Birmingham. Huh. Might want to rethink that one. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center,,it is rife with active hate groups, such as the KU KLUX KLAN, Neo-Confederate, and General Hate groups. Just sayin, do your homework.

    Reply
  29. Cathy M - February 2, 2022 2:05 pm

    You and Jamie will be a welcome addition to our wonderful city. My husband and I grew up in Mobile but landed in B’ham forty eight yrs ago this month. It is our home town. Though not perfect, many good things are happening here and there are many nice areas to choose from. Can’t wait to hear what happens. I will be T your front door with a pound cake and so will many other. Great restaurants, both white table cloth and meat and threes. It’s beautiful and filled with great people. We would be proud to have both of you. ❤️👍

    Reply
  30. Anne - February 2, 2022 2:14 pm

    I love your funny posts!

    Reply
  31. Shelton A. - February 2, 2022 2:16 pm

    There is nothing as much ‘fun’ as moving. Truly, God bless you, Sean (and your house-hunting Jamie too).

    Reply
  32. Jan - February 2, 2022 2:24 pm

    Wow! This is unexpected but the good news is your beloved Choctawhatchee Bay will not be that far away!

    Reply
  33. Rich - February 2, 2022 2:39 pm

    While I did not live my whole life in Walton County, FL, I did spend 15 years living in a log cabin on Camp Creek Lake (’97-’12) where with the windows open we could hear the Gulf’s surf. Then we saw we could not afford to retire there. And considering the state of affairs on County Road 30A, I do not miss it. The one thing both my wife and I miss are looking out onto the lake and hearing the surf while drinking a glass of wine and listening to smooth jazz on our screened-in porch. But we have survived in Carrollton, GA, ever since right between our kids, one now in Barnesville, GA, and the other just outside Birmingham, AL. Go give it your best shot for Jamie’s sake!

    Reply
  34. Ann Crown - February 2, 2022 2:40 pm

    You should wait atleast a year after someone dear to you dies before making this move….

    Reply
  35. Connie - February 2, 2022 2:41 pm

    Wow. I knew you loved Jamie a lot but to leave anything close to water to move to Birmingham?? They would have to sedate me and carry me in a strait jacket. No way. You’re a better person than I. That said. Alabama is my home and Birmingham and area is beautiful. And I wish you both nothing but happiness wherever you land. And a beautiful old cottage anywhere is wonderful.

    Reply
  36. Ann Crown - February 2, 2022 2:42 pm

    You both need to wait at least a year after someone dies to make any big moves .

    Reply
    • Susie - February 3, 2022 7:05 pm

      It is very wise advise to wait at least a year after a death in the family, to make a huge decision, such as deciding to move to a new home/place. Give yourselves time to grieve, so you’re not making a knee-jerk decision with something SO IMPORTANT!!

      Reply
  37. Happy Home - February 2, 2022 2:46 pm

    You’ve written about Birmingham before — happens to be where I was raised. There was iron and steel when I grew up, and the newspaper printed daily particulate counts and associated relative health ratings, and Vulcan overlooked Jones Valley with his torch modified to reveal if someone had died the day before in a car wreck with a police-controlled green and red neon lights. Topping the ridge by Vulcan in the mornings, one could see the layer of brown haze that obscured the city. Sloss Furnace is still maintained as a museum. Birmingham is in Jefferson County – Alabama’s most populous, and after Gov Wallace’s first contested election, in subsequent elections he won 66 of 67 counties – Jefferson being the holdout. Funny thing – the payback – as the Federal highway funds finally found their way to Alabama, the Alabama DOT deemed best for the state, that interstate construction would start at the state lines, and progress toward Birmingham. For 20 years, as our family would go places, we had to drive city streets and country two-lane roads, to reach ever lengthening stretches of interstate, and on the return, drive the interstate, and get off, drive two-lane roads and city streets to get home. It was not until I was in college, the interstate was finally completed through Birmingham. I understand the situation may be better now. I hope so, for your sakes.

    Reply
  38. Sally Speaker - February 2, 2022 2:55 pm

    We moved here from Hawaii🥰🌴 You can do it.

    Reply
  39. Melanie - February 2, 2022 3:17 pm

    I sure hope the pups will like their new home. Yours sounded like paradise to me.

    Reply
  40. Jay Cleveland - February 2, 2022 3:21 pm

    I grew up in Birmingham, and half of my family upped and moved to Santa Rosa Beach about 10 years ago. Can’t imagine the other way around. I have to ask, is this a cry for help, Sean? We can send in goons to pull a scene out of “Stepbrothers’ to keep your wife from buying a house in Bham! Jk. I am sure the move will be a pleasant reminder that the “Big Story” is always told by the best author out there – our creator. Congrats

    Reply
  41. Anne - February 2, 2022 3:30 pm

    How disappointed I am that she didn’t fall in love with Fairhope Wonderland! We would love to have you here. But, it warms my heart to read another testimony of just how much you love your Jamie.

    Reply
  42. Donna Bowling Horn - February 2, 2022 3:36 pm

    Bham is a nice place to visit, but LIVE there…..NO!! Crimes are reported daily on the local news and have steadily increased. Look at areas outside the Birmingham area…there are plenty of Mayberry-type small towns.

    Reply
  43. jblackburn34 - February 2, 2022 3:38 pm

    Welcome to sweet home Alabama, but don’t sell your Florida house!

    Reply
  44. Maria Elliott - February 2, 2022 3:44 pm

    Hi, Sean and Jamie! If you’re moving to the Southside we’re going to be neighbors! My husband and I moved here a few years ago- we found a crazy old house in Highland Park and are having a blast fixing it up. You’re going to love it! Hoping we run into you!

    Reply
  45. TMac - February 2, 2022 4:00 pm

    Keep your place behind the Wal Mart as a second home for escapes to the coast after you move. Both places are populated mostly by humans so it’s not gonna seem that much different here. Okay maybe fewer tourists from Louisiana here.

    Reply
  46. Charles Compton - February 2, 2022 4:11 pm

    Welcome to sweet home Alabama! She has her faults but less so than other places. Please tell me that this move will in no way affect your daily column access we have come to read and love. (Charlie from Lincoln, AL).

    Reply
  47. Linda southern - February 2, 2022 4:12 pm

    One word: Tuscaloosa

    Reply
  48. Stacey Wallace - February 2, 2022 4:14 pm

    I’m happy y’all are moving to Alabama, my beloved home state. However, I wish you and Jamie would move to Auburn instead of Birmingham. I might run into you at the grocery store. Love y’all.

    Reply
  49. MissJillianCrocker - February 2, 2022 4:15 pm

    This is so very sad Sean. Very sad indeed. Birmingham SUCKS on steroids!!! The murder rate in Birmingham is worse than Chicago. Don’t do it!!!

    Reply
  50. Glb - February 2, 2022 4:23 pm

    Don’t you have a say in where you live.

    Reply
  51. Cindy - February 2, 2022 4:27 pm

    Birmingham is a wonderful place to go but I would never want to live there. We live 44 miles north in Cullman. My doctors, favorite restaurants, shopping areas like Homewood, Pepper Place, the Summit, great venues for performances, McWane center and zoo for my grandkids are all in Birmingham. It’s just too crowded for me. Traffic can be a nightmare. I even hesitate to watch the news before driving there because of the shootings that seemingly happen daily. Definitely in panic mode if I make a wrong exit and get in unfamiliar territory. It makes me quite sad but don’t feel safe there anymore. However, if I did live near Birmingham, the Homewood area would be my pick. Lots of other scenic places in Alabama and neat towns you should check out.
    I can’t imagine moving from the coast. 30A area is my happy place and go there as often as possible. My suggestion would be to buy an apartment or loft in Birmingham and keep your house in the coastal area.
    Blessings to you wherever you decide is home.

    Reply
  52. Susie Bell - February 2, 2022 4:39 pm

    Maybe also have a vacation cottage in your favorite place at the beach

    Reply
  53. Gayle Wilson - February 2, 2022 5:13 pm

    I think you are a very wise man to listen to a very wise woman. All the best to you and Jamie as you search for your new home. I agree, keep your home in FL.

    Reply
  54. Martha Allegri - February 2, 2022 5:15 pm

    Oh no! Call Jacob Watkins at Corcoran Reviere in Seagrove! They will find you a lovely house On the coast and she can add all her favorite subway tile and backsplashes!

    Reply
    • martha - February 3, 2022 3:20 pm

      By the way, I live in south Alabama and love it!

      Reply
  55. Kathryn - February 2, 2022 5:27 pm

    I wouldn’t move to Alabama if you paid me to.

    Reply
    • H. J. Patterson - February 3, 2022 5:35 pm

      The citizens of Alabama are so very glad to hear you say that.

      Reply
      • Diane - February 3, 2022 5:38 pm

        ♥️

        Reply
  56. Linda Moon - February 2, 2022 6:21 pm

    I caught my breath there in the second paragraph and then held it to see what the decision would be. And then I read about “arts-and-crafts-style bungalows”. My Guy and I restored a bungalow in South Alabama several years ago. We put in tiles that had moons on them. The bungalow had no closets, so we used beautiful antique chiffarobes for hanging our clothes. Jamie, I pray continued mercies on you in this time of moving forward without your mother. And, My Guy and I are “mountain” people…not beach folks, so I hope you’ll love the hills around Birmingham too!

    Reply
  57. Susie Flick - February 2, 2022 6:43 pm

    Moving is always a challenge no matter how far from home. Once my first granddaughter was born, I couldn’t stand to be away from her. I was fortunate to be able to move 90 miles south to where my family lives. I had lived in my last house 28 years and have lived in my current home for 16 years. Home is where love lives no matter the location. Best wishes in house hunting and your move to wherever you land!

    Reply
    • Ann Marie Bouchet - February 2, 2022 9:12 pm

      I would really love it if you moved to Birmingham. You would still be about 40 miles south of where I live, but maybe I would have the chance of a book signing or seeing one of your shows!!!!

      Reply
  58. Diane - February 2, 2022 7:07 pm

    ♥️ Yes! … This!!! “ Home is where love lives, no matter the location” ♥️♥️

    Reply
  59. Paul Sams - February 2, 2022 7:19 pm

    Birmingham and the surrounding area like any city has it’s pro’s and cons. There are plenty of very good people in Birmingham, and that is the case in most cities I have lived or visited. Folks, remember treat other people as you would like to be treated. It’s not hard to do, and the rewards are wonderful.

    Reply
    • Diane - February 2, 2022 7:55 pm

      Amen…♥️

      Reply
  60. Pam Phelan - February 2, 2022 7:21 pm

    I don’t know why, but Sean’s column was NOT in my inbox today and I was freaking out! I joined the posts again, this time with another email address, and will be looking forward to seeing Sean tomorrow morning. 🙂

    Reply
  61. Allyn Holladay - February 2, 2022 7:23 pm

    You would be a wonderful addition to our state–Welcome!!!

    Reply
  62. Phil B - February 2, 2022 7:38 pm

    Welcome to the Ham! We like it here (Hoover, actually, south of downtown ‘Ham). Grew up in the Fla panhandle, too, and I think you’ll enjoy the change of scenery.

    Reply
  63. Kathy - February 2, 2022 7:41 pm

    We gladly welcome you two and your family to Alabama. What great additions you will be!

    Reply
  64. Betty - February 2, 2022 7:44 pm

    What is it about B’ham that Jamie likes so much.? I agree with other comments that she should wait a year to make such a big decision. Has she checked the murder rate there? How about the traffic? We live in Cullman, about 50 miles north. A very friendly town. You could find a home on a lake. We hate it when we have to go to B’ham. Bless you for being willing to move but try to talk her into waiting a while.

    Reply
  65. Bob E - February 2, 2022 8:07 pm

    Sean,
    Ease your mind.
    Research lakes and rivers around Birmingham Alabama and rejoice (psssst – there are lots).
    Besides, home is where the wife (and love) is.
    Safe trip.

    Reply
  66. Patricia Schmaltz - February 2, 2022 8:23 pm

    Make sure you check the water and sewer lines BEFORE you sign anything. In old houses, no one looked after them.. and WHEN (not if) they need repair, they can cost more than the house. Buyer beware!!! Hate to see you go… We’ll save you a seat at AJ’s for Sunday afternoons.

    Reply
  67. Beverly Wynn Bua - February 2, 2022 10:11 pm

    I moved from Florida to Tenn. & Tho I love being closer to my daughter & g’kids…!I miss Florida so much…,the Ocean The Gulf.. being able to have lunch waterside at so many places… oysters on the half shell…fresh fish from the dock …, I never thought I would miss it so much…..
    Think long & hard before you leave……. Jamie may see too many things that remind her of her Mom…… but, in time she may miss being able to revisit those very same things…
    In any case , keep you Florida home …. You’ll be so glad you did…. God Bless you both…🙏☮️

    Reply
  68. Rhonda - February 2, 2022 10:19 pm

    Well. Hope to run into you guys at lunch some day!

    Reply
  69. Rhonda - February 2, 2022 10:21 pm

    Can’t beat Vestavia…..try the Mountain Woods area off Columbiana. Huge trees. Deer. Fox. Come on up!

    Reply
  70. Shirlea - February 2, 2022 11:59 pm

    Think long and hard and most importantly…pray.

    Reply
  71. Heather - February 3, 2022 1:30 am

    Sean, when you write about your travels through lower Alabama and Florida, I can travel the roads with you, because I am in familiar surroundings. When you move to Birmingham, I will be at a loss knowing the sites you see, the streets you travel, the little stores, etc. Your readers are not the ones to please; it’s Jamie’s life and I understand a 100% complete change. I wish Jamie and you had searched other parts of the Gulf coast, namely Mobile, for that craftsman type bungalow with character. You can put subway stile in any room, in any house, in any city. This is a huge change for you, and I see where several people have suggested you keep the Florida home. Seems pretty wise. Whatever you decide, best wishes to you both.

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  72. MAM - February 3, 2022 1:34 am

    I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve moved. This is the longest we’ve ever been in one place, going on 23 years. And I suspect it’s our last move until someone moves us into assisted living or something worse. I followed my husband. You, Sean, are following your wife. Either way, it works and you will be happy in the next spot!

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  73. Kristen - February 3, 2022 3:06 am

    Perhaps the sketch should have been of a big ole, open can of worms. Geez, people.
    Be blessed- wherever you two go.

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  74. Katherine - February 3, 2022 3:43 am

    But why not still be close to the water? Say in Fairhope or Mobile? Why Birmingham???

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  75. johnallenberry - February 3, 2022 5:04 am

    Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama! Florida’s loss is our gain. Maybe we’ll finally get the chance to hang out. 😉 Much love, to you and Jamie, my friend!

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  76. Lori Klein - February 3, 2022 7:11 am

    I do hope you’ll be able to keep one of your places in Florida. If not, I do hope you might sell it to me. I miss north Florida so much. I grew up in Birmingham. there are some beautiful houses there. May you find the best one and make it a home.

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  77. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - February 3, 2022 11:14 am

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  78. pdjpop - February 3, 2022 11:25 am

    Just stay away from 280. Your residence will be your car.

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  79. Vince - February 3, 2022 5:53 pm

    Oh the joys of house hunting. Thankfully we have the internet to whittle down the in person visits. Water stain on the vaulted ceiling visible in the pic on the website – hard pass. The junk folks will put up at ‘market price’ and be offended when you offer 25% less cause you’ve done the math on what you can see needs to be fixed. Any handy guy knows to double the cost cause you will find more once you get going.
    I hear you about leaving your home state. Left mine years ago and have been trying to get back ever since. Guess the Good Lord has other plans for me so I endure and hope for going back home someday before going to my eternal reward.

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  80. Robert L Chiles - February 3, 2022 8:57 pm

    I dearly love where I live in western NC, but if I was going to move anywhere, it would be to Scotland, the prettiest place in the world, with the nicest people.

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  81. Pamela Lacey - February 3, 2022 8:59 pm

    Can’t wait to welcome you and your wife to Birmingham! I grew up as an Army Brat, followed by being a military spouse. I have lived in France, Germany, Taiwan, and countless states…and love Birmingham. I think you both will too.

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  82. Elizabeth - February 3, 2022 10:31 pm

    Don’t do it!

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  83. Belinda Byrd - February 4, 2022 12:22 am

    So happy for YOUR WIFE!
    Because if MAMA’s HAPPY, EVERYBODY’s HAPPY!! My aunt lives in Birmingham!
    Maybe you’ll be neighbors!! 🏡☀️🤗❤️

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  84. Donia Dismukes - February 4, 2022 3:44 am

    If Jamie is determined, then please choose Shelby County, only 20 miles south of B’ham. Helena, Pelham, or Alabaster. Trust me, y’all will thank me later. I grew up here, lived away for 45 years, then retired and returned HOME.

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  85. hbryan21Harriet Bryan - February 5, 2022 9:32 pm

    Hi Sean
    I grew up with a “Shack ” as we called it on that same bay, right near th bridge to Freeport. Every Friday night we left Montgomery and headed for the Bay. I swam, fished and crabbed there and walked more mile on Grayton beach than I can count. I danced at “The Store”to the juke box etc . So don’t give up You can still have a shack on that bay when you heart wants to go there. It’s not going anywhere. Blessings !harriet

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  86. Donna McPherson - February 6, 2022 4:13 am

    I was born in and grew up in Mobile. I’ve lived in Athens, just west of Huntsville for over a decade. Please reconsider Birmingham. I have to take my husband to the VA hospital there. It’s not a good place. It really isn’t. Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama, hope you find another town…

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  87. Jim GArrett - February 7, 2022 12:50 am

    Happy wife, happy life…

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  88. Janet - February 8, 2022 2:05 am

    I lived in Birmingham for about 3 years. Be prepared for sinus headaches everyday. Not a place I’d live in ever again but I wish both of you the best!

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  89. Susie - February 8, 2022 2:12 am

    So, Janet, are you attributing your sinus headaches to pollution in the Birmingham area??

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  90. Timothy Gene Smith - February 9, 2022 10:16 pm

    First…let me say that I love your column and stories. I try to routinely read your stories, but quite honestly, some of what you write about hits too close to home…often bringing me to tears. Honestly, I am far too emotional about the past, home, family, and friends.

    I see that you are moving to Alabama…my home for a very good chunk of my 62 years on this earth. I want to say welcome…but I think “Welcome Home!!” is far more appropriate. You see I have a love for this land and place that goes far beyond the simple affection for their home state. I am attached to this wonderful place at the heart and soul level…always have been…always will be.

    My friend…need something to eat? Come on in! We’ll even make several to-go plates for you to take home. Need a shoulder to cry on? We’re here. Holidays? Bring a dish and eat with us, no matter if you’re family or not. Need help moving and you don’t have a truck or anyone to help? A couple pizzas and an ice cold 6-pack, and we’ll work from sun up to sun down. If your car breaks down? I know at least a dozen local friends that will give you a ride as long as you need one. Need a place to stay? Our guest bedroom is yours for as long as you need. Need a shirt? We’ll give you the one off our back.

    Sean…home is where the heart is…and ours is wide open for y’all…we don’t have much…but for a friend…what’s ours is yours…and I dare say that this comes from the heart of every Alabamian!

    So WELCOME HOME! We’ve been waiting for y’all!

    Timothy Smith
    Hartselle, Alabama

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  91. LOUISE CAHELA - February 15, 2022 5:56 pm

    If you want a beautiful home on the water, check out Lay Lake. The Shelby Shores community is the best on the lake! You will love it here and everyone will love you and Jamie!!

    Reply

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