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Thread summary:

Moved to Huntersville, North Carolina from Massachusetts one year ago, pre-emergent winter weed growth stopping, grass cutting, Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, discretionary activities

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Old 06-23-2007, 02:24 AM
543 posts, read 1,687,683 times
Reputation: 309


Wow, the time has flown by so quickly. I can't beleive that it's been 1 year since we left all our family and friends behind and moved to Huntersville.

We get so wrapped up in day to day life that it's hard at times to remember the reasons why we moved here in the first place.

I remember about 2 years ago when I was posting on here wondering if after 44 years in MA if moving to NC was the right choice for us and our family. You can search and find my rediculoius posts if you want.

It was such a difficult choice deciding to come here or not but when I reflect back a little bit I remember my $2700 a month mortgage, shoveling snow, bad schools etc, crappy roads, long commute -- all the reasons that we decided to move here.

After you've been here for a little bit and realize it's home it's hard to compare what you had to what you've got now. It's different, but the same, if you can follow my drift.

When we lived in Ma we were house poor, always working to pay the mortgage and other bills. We had some money left over every month for savings and discrentionary activities.

One of our big reasons for leaving was money and if we could make near what we did in MA and live cheaper, then we'd be better off. Funny part about it is that although we live much cheaper here, we still live paycheck to paycheck, but for better reasons.

As much as a bummer as it is, we spend more on food per per month than our mortgage is. Upwards of $1800 per month on just food and some dining out. We eat out maybe 2 or 3 times every 2 weeks. Dining out here is very expensive in my opinion, family of 4, about $70 minimum.

We went last week to Cheeseburger in Paradise, my favorite place so far, and spent $150 for 5 people, couple of apps, 4 or 5 mojitos and 4 or 5 cosmos.. Shouldn't have gotten those appertizers to save a few $$$.

One thing is is really cool and not cool at the same time is that we've become the kid house in our area of the neighborhood. They're always here and always drinking or eating something. I can see dollar bills flying in the air. It's probably one of our biggest expenses that we have but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

It's really neat that there are a lot of kids that hang around. You know, you have the kids you like and the kids that are just okay, when your kid comes out with a bunch of sodas, how do you not include the kids that aren't your favorites? You can't exclude them.

I keep warning them that I'm gonna stop buying drinks and put a paper cup dispenser next to the hose so they can drink from there. It'll never happen though since the hose water comes out at 80 degrees. I can dream about it though.

My point about all this was that when we lived in MA, we lived check to check. When we moved here we had this tremendous vision that all that extra mortgage savings would go to savings so that one day I could buy a motorized wheelchair to move my fat butt from the fridge to the couch (no offense meant to those that require them).

We still live check to check but it's so different and we love it and wish we did it years ago.

We love the fact that the kids have so many friends that they don't know what to do with them all. The close friends of my kids call me dad and my wife mom. One day they started calling us that on their own, how cool is that?

So even though we're check to check, it's for a different reason. It's not to pay the bank and make them happy. This time it's to make us happy. I personally don't care if I have a cent when I die, that's what insurance is for.. My money is making me happy now and the extra drinks, extra snacks, going out to dinner and drunk driving the kids home is making me happier than it is Wachovia

I look at the relationships that are forming and these are the kids that I'll be going to their weddings and seeing their children like they are my own grandchildren. I never felt that my kids had this same bond with kids in MA. I'm not the thier dad obviously but I'm sure that I'll be involved in a lot of their activities whether they are mine or not. There's nothing like having 10 daughters and 10 sons Brings a tear to my eye when I think about how nice they are and what the future will bring.

What's nice too is that with kids come parents also. We've made a lot of connections with parents and although we know a bunch, there are a group of parents that have become the weekend crew. We get togther every weekend for a cookouts, beers, dinner, wife swapping etc.. Lol, just seeing if you're paying attention.

It's all in good fun even thogh there a few wifes that I'd like to,,, never mind....

So all in all finacially for us it's been about the same, we spend the same amount of dough but we're spending it on enjoying our lives rather than just paying the mortgage.

I have two big regrets, one is that I didn't move here sooner and two is that I didn't buy on the lake when I could have afforded it. Just 2 or 3 years ago and I coulda got a waterfront place for what I paid here.

I'm not complaing but waterfront instead of drainange ditch front would have been neat. Not that I can't put a boat in the drainage ditch but it's not the same as a lake

It's not that I hate everyone who has a nice water front lot but only out of pure jealousy and the fact that you haven't invited us over yet. I'll leave my banjo at home if you invite us over.

My last thing to add to this otherwise lame post is that is that I've found the secret through extensive internet research about how to get my bermuda grass to be the greenest softest lawn ever. I'd like to share it with you guys but I can't.

Just kidding: My lawn is rich dark green and so soft that I'm sleeping out there in my panties tonight. I was gonna wear my pushup bra but that would be just weird.

Here's the simplest and most effective plan I've found so far yet:

Spring, pre-emergent to control summer weeds.

Once the grass turns green, 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft of lawn per month with 1 inch of water once per week.

Cut the grass at 1 1/4" height, about as low as most mowers go.

Fall, pre-emergent to stop winter weeds.

That's it and it works so well. I'm not saying that my lawn is the darkest, thickest burmuda lawn in our neighborhood, but it is. It's so nice that the dogs won't even whizz on it cause they think it's carpet.

Focker out.

Last edited by Markh; 06-23-2007 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:24 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
324 posts, read 1,436,187 times
Reputation: 75
thanks for a chuckle ...i moved here 6 years ago and it seems like it was yesterday...brought up some good points (ie eating out/$)
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:22 AM
2,152 posts, read 6,269,264 times
Reputation: 1382
Awesome post!!!!
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:06 AM
Location: In a house
21,956 posts, read 22,273,409 times
Reputation: 15002
Great reading. Just moved here a couple of months ago from CA so this is really good to read! Although it does seem to cost quite a bit less to live in NC for us, even though we are having to dine out nightly until we get our kitchen remodeled. The price of eating out sure is less then in CA. Our problem is that it is such a slower pace here we are falling into that same slower pace....and at this rate we could be remodeling our new home for a lifetime!! But at least we will be enjoying our life while we are doing it!!!
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:27 AM
Location: Mesa, AZ
485 posts, read 454,591 times
Reputation: 153
What a terrific post! I laughed and really related in many ways. We are about to make a move (in the next 6-10 months). Can't get lake property - too poor. But we'll find a nice place in the woods somewhere. Our kids are grown and gone long ago - we are just looking for a place where we can live on a fixed (read: small) retirement income. I'll have to come back in a year like you did after all settles. This was just a great, great follow-up. Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:12 PM
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,246 posts, read 92,384,447 times
Reputation: 40032
Mark, as usual, you have captured the spirit of why so many of us love it here Great job! I always enjoy your updates, especially the zingers you throw in to see if we're paying attention!!
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:42 PM
Location: Clemmons, NC
72 posts, read 297,862 times
Reputation: 27
Great post!!! I got some good laughs in!!! I feel this is home and I'll never leave, I guess that is why I'm called a Da*n Yankee...
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:08 PM
35 posts, read 90,421 times
Reputation: 35
As usual Mark great post. We always get a kick out of your post and enjoy your humor. In fact, I even pass them on to friends.
By the way, you should be writing for your local newspaper -- your own column. You would be a hit.
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:11 PM
Location: Charlotte,NC, US, North America, Earth, Alpha Quadrant,Milky Way Galaxy
3,770 posts, read 6,988,162 times
Reputation: 2118
Maaahhhhhk, whatcha down down theyyyyaaa. (in my best southy accent)...

Nice update. Sort of like an online diary you hope know one that really knows you finds

You eat out way to much- you could buy that house on the lake if you cut back on the food and spirits

Seriously- you are so right, has it been almost a year? Wow, I still have a few boxes to unpack in the garage. Rosedale seems like a pretty tight knit community- I know a couple other people there and they all seem to say the same thing in regards to folks being very neighborly.

In regards to the Bermuda grass- it's actually turned out to be pretty hardy. And whatever weeds there are can be dealt with (if you do it right).

So did you guys ever replace the carpet?
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:46 PM
Location: Woodlynne NJ
219 posts, read 806,964 times
Reputation: 128
Really happy for you. Really.
Judy and I have a deposit on a place in Shallotte and are waiting and praying to sell this joint in NJ.
You have the right mind set. If you are gonna spend $ then you spend it on you and the family.................not the bank.
Judy and I are a lot diff from you guys. Kids are grown.
We love kids and when we get to Shallotte..........you can send some of the group you have to visit. Then the GO HOME.
Love kids and love to see them HAPPY. Just so they go home to mom and dad.
Best for the future
Dennis/Woodlynne NJ (not for long)
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