Today I’m continuing the wild ride story I started in my last post. We began our wild ride as we left Florida where we had lived for many years. And YES, as my title says our wild ride ended in Weaverville, a small community ten minutes north of Asheville, NC and just seventeen miles south of the Tennessee line.
Following Lin’s sale of our Florida house a year ago last March, I reserved a U-Haul and Lin started packing. Having sold our house lock, stock and barrel (meaning all furniture, accessories and even the toaster), I knew a small-sized truck would be ample. Two weeks later, I ordered a larger truck and more boxes. Lin kept on packing.
Finally, at the last moment—4:30—the buyers were moving in at 5:00 PM, I stuffed in the last box and started the truck. Lin was still cleaning toilets, kitchen counters and who knows what? I pulled onto the street and waited patiently (not one of my strong suits). And then a miracle happened, Lin’s mini-van started rolling down the driveway and pulled up behind me.
With reservations in Jacksonville, FL that night, we took to the road. It was a wild ride—I must admit—pressing sixty-five miles per hour through Orlando I didn’t even notice the Disneyland exit.
A day later, we unloaded our belongings at our friend’s second home in Arden, NC which would rent until we figured out where we’d end up; basically, we did an “unload and leave” and headed for the North Carolina beach to visit friends.
After a few days stay and lots of wine, we were refreshed and back on the road again. I gunned it, another wild ride back to Florida for my annual Cardinal Spring Training trek with my son (this time our wives were included). We had a fun time telling stories, reminiscing, and watching the Cardinals win.
Taking a more leisurely drive back to North Carolina (no more wild rides); we realized we were “homeless” and needed to look for a place to build a home. Our requirements were simple; it had to be:
- Within fifteen minutes of Asheville,
- In a gated community,
- In a development with a club house/community center.
- In a maintenance-free community, and
- On a flat lot.
We had plenty of choices until it came to the last criterion—a flat lot. At each stop, I felt like I received the preverbal look from the salesperson, “A flat lot in Asheville, you’ve got to be kidding.”
Eventually we found one in Weaverville, a busy little town of very friendly people. The fact there are at least eight restaurants on Main Street helped us understand why it was so busy. It’s like a European village with two hair salons, a barber shop, library, pharmacy, a frame shop, and three art stores featuring many local artists. Once a month Harley Davidson bikers gather on Main Street in Weaverville for a BBQ and music. Talk about “wild ride,” how about riding a Harley up and down and around the mountains!
Another little piece of wildness entered our adventure as we searched for a place to build. Our plan was to make the interior of our home contemporary, knowing the exterior would most likely have to resemble a typical mountain home. Luck stepped in again when we mentioned contemporary style to the realtor who said “I’ve got just the place for you. There is a section of this development where all houses must be contemporary on the outside and there is a flat lot there that you will love.” How we were so lucky to find a flat lot with a glorious mountain vista in a contemporary style alcove, I’m not sure.
Needless to say, we began creating a plan. Without State requirement to have an architect, I drew upon my old drafting skills, Lin put on her designer hat, and we embarked on a different kind of “wild ride.”
Over the years we’d built many homes and renovated several buildings, but this was a new venture with lots of unknowns on the horizon. Other than our downsized budget and self-imposed 2500 sq. ft. maximum, there were no limits—no model plans, no existing walls or parameters.
We were free to go on another “wild ride!”