By: Pat Winter
Interviewing the Schleepers brought another first to my cache of experiences chatting with our newcomers. The changing demographics of our area are bringing more and more young parents and their school-age children through our gates. And I was fortunate enough to have Lilley, age 5, come along with her parents, Dave and Amy, for their newcomer interview. I first met Amy and Lilley, dressed as a princess, at the Halloween parade and trick-or-treating in Randolph Village last October. For our interview she came equipped with a backpack full of papers, crayons, and books, and was expert at keeping herself entertained while we adults chatted away.Dave and Amy were both born and raised in Chesapeake. But they noticed more and more frequently that the small town feel of their community was gone. They decided to “get ahead of the curve” and look for a community that could best supply them with their dream home: a home near water with a decent yard, a home where the pace of living would allow them to slow down. On a map they drew a circle with a radius one and one-half hours of travel time from Chesapeake and began their search.
While using Zillow, Dave came across a house that piqued his interest here at the Plantation. The real estate listing also included an incredible list of amenities available in the community. But after looking at the Discovery Package for prospective homeowners, Dave was concerned it might all be too good to be true. So, he and Amy decided to drive here for a date night and have dinner at the Clubhouse just to see if the Plantation could measure up to its enticing publicity. At the Clubhouse they were welcomed by several residents who made them feel welcome. They drove around the community, especially interested in seeing our gym and resident-maintained gardens at the Community Center. They couldn’t remember when they had last seen so many stars in the night sky.
Months later Dave, Amy, and Lilley did return for a Discovery Package weekend. Their timing was just right. A house they had been interested in had just come back on the market. Amy learned about a new school that was looking for teachers with her work experience and had space for Lilley in their Pre-K/Kindergarten program. So, in the course of three days, the Schleepers had a new house, a new job, and a new school!
Today, Dave, a hybrid mechanical/aerospace engineer, works primarily from home for a consulting firm that works with NASA on its launch capabilities and protocols. He occasionally travels to NASA’s Florida headquarters but is home often enough to be a big help to his family who own and continue to work the family’s 200-acre Chesapeake farm.
Amy is now a primary teacher at the new Oak Grove Christian Academy in Edenton that is developing a hybrid calendar blending both the private and home school curriculums. Students spend three days a week in structured classes in the school facility and two days a week receiving home instruction. And Lilley gets a ride to and from school with her mom.
The Schleepers, busy with their jobs, are slowly getting involved in Plantation activities. They enjoy participating in Trivia Nights and the active lifestyle our community encourages. Lilley is enjoying meeting many of the little girls from the young families that now call AP home.
When you get a chance to meet the Schleepers, ask them about their Saturday birdwatching walks through the neighborhood. And be sure to welcome them “home!”