Friday, June 14, 2024

Weir: Our bittersweet move to South Carolina

After living in Texas for 33 years, Annette and I have moved to South Carolina to be 1,000 miles closer to more family members, including my son and daughter. With my dear sister-in-law, and two nephews living in Flower Mound, one nephew in Dallas, and one in Little Elm, along with their spouses, we’ve enjoyed many years of family-oriented happiness. However, when my son and daughter moved from Long Island to Simpsonville, South Carolina about two years ago, with their mom joining them in the same city, I began to dream about being in close proximity to them after so many years.

For about a year it was just a notion that seemed too difficult to pursue. After all, we had developed a wonderful life here in the Lone Star State, especially being fortunate enough to live in Denton County.

We certainly felt secure in the bosom of great leaders with staunch conservative principles, keeping taxes low, serious crime practically non-existent, and an impressive road system that makes traveling in the county a pleasure. Moreover, being residents of Flower Mound meant living within a minute or two of several supermarkets, restaurants, home furnishing outlets, medical facilities etc. Contrarily, in Fountain Inn, SC, where we currently live, we are at least 4 to 5 miles from any of the above. That may not seem like much until you realize that there are several winding, two-lane roads through the countryside before you see anything resembling a retail establishment.

Sure, we were spoiled by our easy access to all that accommodation, but we can remember when we first moved to Flower Mound and had similar challenges before the growth began. Fountain Inn, which is contiguous with Simpsonville, is part of Greenville County, which has a population just over 500,000. We bought a new Toll Brothers home in the attractive emerging community of Parklynn Hills. Ultimately, there will be 90 homes gracing this neighborhood. So far, we are only one out of about 10 completed homes. As we were contemplating the move, friends cautioned us about the stress involved in such an endeavor. They were right!!

The moving company needed an entire day to get the four bedrooms of furniture, dishware, mirrors, lamps, etc. wrapped, and a second day to get it all loaded onto the massive truck. As soon as the van left, with a promise of delivery within a week, we made the two-day drive, with a stopover in Mississippi, to Simpsonville to stay with Bob Jr. and his lovely wife, Debbie. Evidently, our furniture was first on the truck that morning, which meant other homes were loaded in the next few days, causing our delivery to be made 10 days after pickup. Although our new home is larger by about 300 square feet, when the movers finished their job, it looked like an obstacle course in every room, with huge cardboard boxes, some wooden crates, and an assortment of appliances to be reconnected.

Speaking of connections, there were the usual filings for utilities, updates on our drivers’ licenses, new license plates indicating South Carolina as our residence, insurance applications, etc. Most of that was done online, with only a few visits to city hall and utility companies to set up billing. The real job was that of opening all those paper-stuffed boxes, finding places for the contents, and getting rid of the enormous amount of rubbish. Thankfully, there were large dumpsters across the street that were being used by the workers constructing nearby homes. Nevertheless, I haven’t worked so hard since I was a lot younger, digging holes to plant trees and bushes in our FM home.

Annette worked even harder, doing just as much of the heavy work, plus, using her talent to decorate and beautify our new surroundings. With our flat screen TVs going all day to keep us entertained, we have put in 10-hour days, with just enough time to familiarize ourselves with some of the local eateries and food markets within a few minutes’ drive. In the evening, we often sit on our lofty screened porch in the rear of the home, scanning the tree-lined landscape below. Leaving Texas meant putting a lot of distance between us and some of the best friends imaginable. The memories we made with them will always comfort us as we embark on our new journey.

In addition, the years of writing and videotaping interviews for local publications, including The Cross Timbers Gazette, makes me extremely proud of my contribution to the community. Max Miller, owner, and publisher of the Gazette has built an impressive publication that serves tens of thousands of readers across southern Denton County. Putting all of that in the rearview mirror is the bitter part of the move.

Yet, spending more time with Bob Jr., my amazing daughter Laura, and their extraordinary mom in the last few weeks than I have in years, makes the move very sweet indeed. My Texas buddies know they are welcome to visit us anytime, and some have already made the commitment. When those happy times occur, they’ll be treated to more than comfortable accommodations in our spacious home, they’ll be accepted as part of our extended family. In the meantime, Annette and I will endeavor to become part of our new community, while continuing our affection for the one we left.

Bob Weir
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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