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Moving to Falls Church...

I'm thrilled to say that thanks to lots of pro bono work by parishioner project manager extraordinaire Kees Dutilh, vestry member/architect Matt Lee, and parishioners Dee and Bill Thorton, not to mention the substantial financial investment by the Diocese of Virginia, work on restoring and renovating the church-owned house (Rectory) of The Falls Church Episcopal is nearly complete.

I'm even more thrilled to say that (assuming all goes according to plan), this means we'll move to Falls Church next Friday, July 31!

For the past three years, as part of my original agreement with the vestry of The Falls Church when I was first called as its Rector in 2012, I've been commuting from Leesburg. We've lived there since 1999; that's where we've raised all three of our children. But now that daughter Elizabeth, our youngest, has graduated high school and is (in mid-August) heading off to college, we're able and ready to make the move into Falls Church.

Among other things, that means my one-way commute will go from 32 miles and an average of 42 minutes to an easy drive (or bike ride, or walk) of 1 (one!) mile. I'm so looking forward not only to the "found time," but to living and being in the city of Falls Church, and being able to be present, easily and quickly, at community (Falls Church and Falls Church Episcopal) events.

They say moving is a stressful event. Granted, it's a very "first world problem" to have (and a happy one at that), but still, there's no use denying there's stress involved: in the course of one month, we'll leave the town we've lived in for the past 16 years, Mary will start a new job (Abington Elementary) at a new grade level, we'll drop our daughter off at college, and our "nest" will be "empty" for the first time since 1991.

One particular stress inherent in moving is finding new places to do life's "stuff" -- everything from grocery shopping to the dentist.

But the other day it hit me: why not have some fun with this, and involve others - your ideas and your experiences? So with apologies for all you anticipating some Deep Theological Pondering of the Day, how about it?

We've already found the two most important things to find when moving to a new community: a vibrant, active, outreach-oriented church (duh, do you really have to click on that?), and an auto mechanic we like and trust...

...but if you're in the area, who do you recommend (or - perhaps equally valuable info, who would you warn us to avoid!) for...

Our new veterinarian (for Sadie, our dog, and Lucy, our cat)?

Our new dry cleaner?

Barber? Hair stylist?

Our new dentist? 

Our new doctor? (generalist/internist)

And just for fun: when the five of us are all together for the move-in weekend, what one (affordable) restaurant MUST we try?

For the record: yes, I know how to go to Yelp and Google Reviews and Angie's List - what I'm interested in is your personal advice and opinions and experiences. Email me; I'll keep all your recommendations confidential - and will only let you know our choice(s) if you ask -- and if it's what you happened to recommend!


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