by SUSAN WOODALL
I recently reviewed some of my past articles and realized that my bio at the end had not been updated in quite some time. Neither has my picture. I think the picture was taken about 10 years ago. I despise having my photograph taken, but I will try to update the current one in the near future.
It is interesting to look back and realize all of the changes that have taken place throughout those years. Ten years ago, I had three grandchildren who are now 15, 12 and 10. Today that number has grown to seven, ages 9, almost 8, 7, and almost 5. They are the most precious children and they make my heart burst with pride, happiness, and love. Their parents have raised them with the right attributes you hope to see in children. They are respectful, kind, caring, generous, appreciative, helpful, thoughtful, smart, and loving. They can also occasionally talk back, not get along with their sibling(s), argue, and forget or ignore a request to help. In other words – be children. It is a joy to watch them grow and mature and wonder what life holds for them.
My husband and I moved to Winston-Salem before the birth of our first daughter. Even after all three of our daughters were grown and married, we knew we needed to stay there to look after his aging parents and make sure they were receiving proper care. A couple years after both of my in-laws had passed away, we decided it was time to move closer to our daughters’ families. I had long wanted a home with a water view, and as two of our girls lived in Wilmington, it seemed like the perfect choice. Of course, it wasn’t easy after only being 90 minutes from our Charlotte daughter’s family to move three plus hours away, but we make time to see them as often as possible.
We found a great spot to build our new home. It is in the perfect location with water that flows to the intracoastal waterway and enough property for our daughters to build homes there as well. Yes, a wonderful family compound. To say it was the right decision to move would be an understatement. Now, instead of traveling each time we wanted to see and be with our grandchildren, we have two, soon to be four, right across the street. The Charlotte grands love to come to the beach, go boating, fishing, spend time with their cousins and even the “old” folks, so, even though the drive is longer, they don’t mind. Being able to interact with my Wilmington grandchildren almost daily has given me more insight on things to write about.
Leaving a place you have lived for so many years is never easy. It isn’t just your home, it’s friends, church, volunteer organizations, clubs, favorite places to dine and shop and many other things. It was definitely time for us to downsize but difficult to decide on what items we no longer had need or use for. We are still going through boxes wondering why we thought we had to move most of the items in them.
One thing my bio mentions is my love of travel. That hasn’t changed. I did get to climb part of the Great Wall of China, something I will never forget. Since then, I have traveled to Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Montreal, Ottawa, and places closer by. My husband and I are trying to decide where we should go next – a lot of choices out there!