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Thread summary:

Graham: lifestyle choice, new location, slower pace, great food, leaving family behind

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Old 08-12-2008, 02:01 AM
 
Location: east of my daughter-north of my son
1,928 posts, read 1,959,433 times
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Default Reflections on Year One

My husband and I just passed our first year here in Graham in July. Let me start off by saying we love it here. We love our city, the whole area and the people here. It is a wonderful change from Ft. Lauderdale.

Our move was a lifestyle choice first and foremost. It was too crowded, expensive, stress-filled and hot in Florida. Florida was not the place I would have chosen to live. I moved there with my parents in 1971 from Chicago. I was actually planning to move back to Chicago but I ended up getting married and having my kids. Moving after that was not an option. My husband was born in Ohio, grew up in Colorado and spent the last 30 something years in San Francisco. He came to Florida for me because my parents and kids were there. He didn't particularly care for it and we started talking about retiring elsewhere when the time came. And he's been doing research for a long time.

That time came two years ago. My parents had moved to Tampa to be near my widowed sister. Not long after they moved, my Mom passed away. Dad is still in Tampa. Around that time, my son became engaged. (He is now marrried) and my daughter was just starting to date her now husband. After I got over my shock of losing my Mom,although you never really get over losing loved ones, and the kids looked like they were set, we decided to make the move. (My son and daughter-in-law intend to move out of Florida within the next few years and my son-in-law is in the Coast Guard so they will be moving around.)

A lot of thought and discussion went into this decision. And we did a lot of research. Chicago and Colorado were out because of the winters and both places are expensive now. And my husband had no desire to go back to California. Over many years of vacationing with my ex and the kids visiting family in Chicago, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, I had fallen in love with North Carolina. On the east coast trips I loved the times we would stop here and started so many years ago saying that was where I wanted to move. I talked about what it was like with my husband. We did research. We also looked at northern Florida, Tennesse, Virginia and Georgia. But North Carolina had the two things we both love-the mountains and the ocean. So after doing a lot of research (with help from this forum) we decided to check out this state. Our first trip was to the Raleigh area. We liked it but could see how crowded it was becoming. That was the reason we didn't even check Charlotte out. Beautiful places but growing too fast. Wilmington was out too. My husband has issues with hurricanes. The next trip brought us to this area and we happened on the development we live in actually by mistake trying to find someplace else. We both just knew this was it. We chose our house and floor plan, went home and put the Florida townhouse up for sale. October 2006 we put the down payment down and moved last July.

Now the advice part. First of all, we couldn't sell our Florida house. In fact it just sold last month. We made the choice to go ahead and move so we would not lose this place. We were lucky we could do that. But it wasn't easy. But you do what you have to to get by. No complaints. I know we were fortunate because so many people can't afford to do that. So if you are looking to do the same thing, just think far ahead and plan for it.

Also, if you are leaving family behind, think it through carefully. No matter what your good intentions are about going back and visiting, know that glitches come up and it might not be as easy as you think. I have managed to get back to Florida and see my kids and Dad many times. I have actually seen my kids quite a lot and put a ton of miles on my car. But of course it is worth it to see them. We spent the holidays last year together. My daughter was married in March. We had two other family weddings this past year. So with those and just getting there it has worked out for us. But boy do I miss them. It has been hard being away from them. They both encouraged and supported the move understanding that we aren't getting any younger and had to do the things we wanted to do sooner rather than later. I am also lucky I work for a Church-based school that understands the importance of seeing family. It's been tougher for my husband with his job and we have had a few "eek" moments because of the dog, but it has worked out. Again, for others it might not.

And I would advise having a job before you move. We didn't need them to get by because of retirement but with the other house as an expense and just having the extra money and not just sitting around was a reason for us to find work. But jobs are hard to come by. So many people losing their jobs with factories, mills, and businesses going out seeminly every week. Jobs are scarce and again we were lucky to get the ones we got. So consider that situation before you move.

Embrace and accept the people, the traditions and the way of life here in North Carolina or anywhere you move. I have found the people here to be warm, welcoming and giving. Both the natives, locals and MOST transplants. There are always those few who want to change everything. That has its place I guess. It's just how they go about it. But people are people and you are going to run into all kinds. This is just such a great place. We love the slower pace, the great food, the seasons and again the people. We live in an area with natives, transplants from the US and other countries. Most everyone gets along except for those few transplants I mentioned. Everyone knows everybody and people get together. It's just great. My arm actually gets tired from waving so much. People being polite, holding doors, just saying hi when you are in the grocery store and they don't even know you. Saying Merry Christmas not happy holidays. Seeing so many things based on faith. Much friendlier, nicer and more tolerant than Florida was. People are pretty much just plain rude there. Reminds me more of my mid-western upbringing. Yes even Chicago. We grew up in much the same way as here. You are polite. You talk to people. You are good neighbors. You help each other out. You know everybody in your neighborhood. There you just don't talk too much baseball. It can cause problems depending on your team of choice.

And try to understand how hard the growth of this state has been on the people who live here. I saw the changes in Florida and how hard it was to watch that nice little touristy seaside area explode into whatever it is today. Change is hard. So try and look at it from the point of view of the people we are, for lack of a better word, invading. We didn't come here as I said because this was the "it" place to go. But we did come here. But I too wish the invasion would slow down and go away. We tell our friends in Florida Tennessee is a much nicer place.

Hope this helps some people out there. The feedback we got when we were researching helped us.

To all the natives and locals, thanks for sharing this beautiful place with us.

Cathy
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Great post, Cathy, thank you!
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:53 AM
 
Location: east of my daughter-north of my son
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitajas View Post
Great post, Cathy, thank you!
You're welcome. Like I said this is just a great place to live and I hope it helps any newcomers with questions.

Last edited by Catrick; 08-15-2008 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: still can't spell right
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
1,391 posts, read 1,403,716 times
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I couldnt agree more, Cathy. Its a splendid place to live and I think that those of us who moved here from crowded, rude areas appreciate it even more. Glad to hear you like it here as much as I do. Great advice too about having a job before moving, etc.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,519 posts, read 40,026,768 times
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What a terrific post! Great advice for anyone considering moving - not just to NC!!! I am really glad it has worked out for you. THanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 24,166,681 times
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Cat, thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It's always fascinating to see how others have adapted to their new locations. I found it especially interesting because you are from my region.

Would you elaborate a bit on the weather? How do you compare your climate to that of Chicago?
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:23 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
21,685 posts, read 37,039,790 times
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I hope you dont mind me adding comment about the weather .
It fascinates me when people move from extremes but for instance today the high in the Mid 80's and will be in that area for a good bit.

We dont have no rainy season or snow season per say. Generally they are both in and out in a day. I find the mountains gets a little to cool for me at night and the coastal area tends to get real muggy with humidity in the summer.

The weather is real mild but will have some days with flip flop in the weather patterns.

For instance you dont know if you will be wearing shorts or a coat when Christmas comes and they can flip from both types in a day.

My sister when she visits from California can notice the higher humidity levels . I am use to it so it doesnt bother me.

Mid October I always felt was the first sign of Autumn to kick in. Seems that is time when the first cold blast kicks in and to me any high that is in the 50's is cold.

Great post Catrick I appreciate you sharing your experience.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:38 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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Sunny, thank you. You are so lucky there. Every winter we definitely know we will be wearing a coat.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:49 PM
 
Location: east of my daughter-north of my son
1,928 posts, read 1,959,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammie View Post
Cat, thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It's always fascinating to see how others have adapted to their new locations. I found it especially interesting because you are from my region.

Would you elaborate a bit on the weather? How do you compare your climate to that of Chicago?
Jammie

The climate here reminds me more of Chicago than of Ft. Lauderdale primarily because Ft. Lauderdale has only two seasons, hot and warm.

The winters here are not even close to Chicago's. It is not bitterly cold and nowhere near the amount of snowfall. And winter doesn't seem to last as long as up North. What Sunny said is what our neighbors who have been here for years told us. We did have snow this past year-three times in my area. But when it did it only stayed on the ground for a very short time. Winter was very comfortable for us and not a big transition at all.

As for the summers, last summer we had a whole slew of days in the 90's in a row. So far this summer was better IMO. But coming from Florida, I don't think it's nearly as humid. Down there, you are drenched from May until September because of the humidity. I have surprisingly found the summers a bit more of an adjustment. I know there is humidity out there but to me it's a drier heat and takes a little more getting used to. But I prefer this kind of heat rather than Ft. Lauderdale's. But Chicago would win in the summer area. There are hot and humid days, but it is certainly not a long summer there. My sister was just visiting here from Chicago. They had their share of really hot and humid days this summer but right before they left to come here the weather was in the warm range. Now she is someone who would prefer a longer summer!

We certainly have enjoyed seeing the leaves change, putting the fireplace on in the winer, seeing all the blooms in the spring, and knowing that summer will end!
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: east of my daughter-north of my son
1,928 posts, read 1,959,433 times
Reputation: 874
Smile Thanks!!!

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kinds words in response to my post. And gee, I love those rep points too!!!!!!!!!:

Most of the wonderful and helpful people that were on the forum when we joined are no longer on here. They were all a great help to us. But the people that have come on since then are just as great and helpful. I am so glad I found this forum. Although my husband will tell you he found it. Don't believe it. It was me!

And I have to repeat how great the people are in this great place we call home. And that comes in response to reading a few negative posts about the people that live here and how they keep "mistreating" all the newcomers. Maybe you just get what you give. If you don't like it, find someplace else to live.

Anyway, thanks again!
And I will cut back on saying "great" so much.
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