Issue 05 Contributor Chris Butler on The Path to Stockley
My better half returned from a year-long deployment where she was in command of the Navy’s Warrior Transition Program; established for US Sailors redeploying from combat zones allowing time to decompress before returning stateside. While there, sailors are given advice on what “not to do” once getting home. One of the major ones… NO BIG FINANCIAL DECISIONS!
Due to COVID the whole family was required to quarantine for two weeks in our 1800 sq ft house. My home of 15 years that I had poured my soul into was quickly giving me “claustrophobia.” I recall noticing that we had found a way to occupy every corner of our house. On day three, I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed my keys and yelled back to whomever could hear, “I’m going for a ride.” Some history before I continue. The Navy brought us to Norfolk, VA, in 2006 (great time to buy… not!).
My wife likes to say, “We moved to Norfolk for 2 years, 15 years ago.” Due to the housing bubble, we stayed put but made countless trips to the Ghent neighborhood, yearning to own one of the beautiful historic homes that line the streets there. Ghent is a historic district located near downtown Norfolk. With everything one would desire, including two breweries, all within walking distance and homes built around the turn of the century, it is the place to be. It’s a place where neighborly conservations are held from front porch swings and “what’s on the grill” gets asked as you walk out into your backyard.
So why didn’t we leave? The quick answer is: ME. Kat would have moved anytime. By 2017 it was time, though, however once again, I was the issue. (MEN, huh?) I had too many boxes needing to be checked. After months of searching, Kat had had it. That’s when we stumbled across 717 Stockley Gardens…