Life was a struggle for me only two years ago. We had just gotten through the worst winter of our life. And I had thought the two before it were the worst. Swearing I would never stay in Virginia during the winter again, I found myself doing just that. Deciding to leave behind the house we built and dream studio I poured my heart and soul into. The housing market had dropped so low, if the value ever came back it would be a decade. I realized the 'American Dream' was only a shadow. Our kids would be grown and most our life would be spent paying for something we'd never see a return on. The local government had already sufficiently screwed us over by changing the zoning on a building that was 90% complete. Telling us we had to do $40,000 in renovations to comply. All because of their negligence. Causing us to miss our three month peak season, it was only a matter of time till things would close in on us. Bad loans we were forced into to finish building a dream eventually left me empty and alone. I did not want to get out of bed. My kids were the only thing that kept me going. If they did not have to get up and go to school, I would have stayed in bed all day. Dark gray winter days held their death grip on me. My oldest son was at boot camp and there was no communication from him for weeks. I felt trapped in a life that was miserable and I didn't want to wake up until it was over. It was grey and muddy outside, no one wanted pictures, even if I gave them away. Deciding how to go on was agony. A glimmer of hope arrived was when we had an idea to create an new online business networking website for our area. We'd call it staffordX.com. I found that I am happiest when I'm creating something new. We at least got out a couple times a week to see what local business owners would want to benefit from working together. The spark of hope was extinguished as we drove through the empty strip malls of our town, most mom and pops had already closed their doors. 90 % of what was left was big box corporations and asian nail salons on every corner. Many shopping centers that were built in the two-three years prior, sat empty too, never even having one tenant. Eventually some color started to blossom and then we finally got the call that boot camp graduation was two weeks away. A month later we were in New England visiting our son at his first duty station in the coast guard. It brought joy to our heart as we saw his new life start to bloom. We wanted a fresh start too, for us and our four other kids. During this time I started reading the blog of James Altucher. He shared how his life had many times been at the bottom, but he encouraged me to get up and take steps to move ahead. We got a call that offered us to buy the house we were living in. We looked at each other and in unison said "HELL no!" But that was the best call we ever received. That meant that in some big way we were going to start over. It did not take us long to decide that we were going to pick somewhere fun to start over. Grabbing a google map we started looking at our options. Heading south we didn't stop till it seemed like it would be warm enough in the winter. Which is what brought us to Savannah. Once we decided Tybee Island would be our new hometown, we sold everything and started planning a new life. We finished our time in Stafford after our peak season for business. I had hope in my heart for the first time in years as we rolled south in search of a new beginning.