Monday, February 11, 2019

River House: The Lot

"In my mind I'm going to Carolina. Can't you see the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind? Yes, I'm going to Carolina in my mind"
--James Taylor

Our future home will be on the lot between the house with the pool on the left
and the brick house on the right; courtesy of NCRMLS

In 1993 Pete and I bought a lot next door to Mom and Dad's house on Dawson's Creek[1] in Pamlico County, North Carolina. Moving close to Mom and Dad would ensure I would stay close to my brothers because we would see them whenever they came "home" to Mom and Dad's. And we could help Mom and Dad as they aged. But life has a funny way of happening while one is making plans.

After much discussion causing a rough patch in our marriage, Pete and I decided not to move to North Carolina in the foreseeable future. We stayed in northern Virginia and moved to a new (to us) house in 2004. When we told Mom and Dad about our change in plan, they were relieved. Their property on Dawson's Creek was becoming too much for them as they both began having health issues. A couple of years later, they sold their house and built a new house in New Bern -- closer to their doctors and less maintenance. It was a bittersweet time for Mom and me. We each had new houses but our dream of being neighbors and spending more time with each other never happened.

Map of the Neuse River with New Bern up the river (left) and Dawson's Creek
identified with the red cross; created using Google Maps and Microsoft PowerPoint

In 2004 my middle brother was transferred to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, DC, for a three-year tour of duty. He and his wife decided not to move as their sons were in high school. So Ted commuted from Isle of Wight County, Virginia, to our house on weekends and stayed with us during the week. He retired to New Bern in 2007.

That got Pete and I talking about retirement again and where we would live. We decided on New Bern as it would mean seeing my family more often, especially when my youngest brother and his wife, who live in northern Alabama, came to visit. It was important to Mom and Dad their children remain close after they died. Mom spoke of it often.

So in 2007 we bought a lot in New Bern. It was 2.4 wooded acres bordering a large parcel of land owned by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust -- no one could build on it -- but it wasn't on the water. We thought we'd be okay with that, but...

It turned out being 500 feet from the river wasn't what we wanted. We looked at waterfront lots nearly every time we visited. We've driven down more dirt roads around the Neuse River than I can remember and last year, we found what we were looking for.

Another view of our lot; courtesy of NCMLS

The previous owners accepted our offer on my 60th birthday! North Carolina here we come.

[1] The television series Dawson's Creek was named for the same creek in Pamlico County, North Carolina. The series was created by Kevin Williamson, who was born near New Bern, the closest city to Dawson's Creek.


  1. It looks like you will have a beautiful view of the lake. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you! It's actually the Neuse River and is about 3 miles wide at this location not far from where it empties into the Pamlico Sound, which is "behind" much of the Outer Banks.