By: Pat Winter
Since Charles and Susan Haydon bought their re-sale home here in September, their lives have been a whirlwind of home improvement projects designed to make their newly purchased house their own. But a single maxim has been their guide since leaving their homestead in a village along the Rappahannock River: “Less is more.”
Susan and Charles built their lovely home along the Rappahannock River on the Northern neck of Virginia. Employed by Dominion Power for 40 years, Charles came from a family of watermen and spent time with his father and grandfathers crabbing and oystering on the Chesapeake Bay. Over the years, he owned many boats of his own, sometimes as many as five at one time, both power and sail. Some boats he would restore and flip and others he used after procuring his Master Captain’s license to try out a waterman’s lifestyle for himself.
Susan, also employed at Dominion Power for 33 years, took care of their property’s extensive gardens, and after retirement earned her real estate license. Soon she was not only busy selling properties, but also working with a local interior designer several days a week.
But their village life was changing. Many people began moving into their rural area from Northern Virginia, and Susan‘s local real estate practice was booming during COVID. Charles realized he was working full-time just to keep their property maintained. And Susan, after working long hours in the gardens, could always look around and find the next big project just waiting to be started. There were just too many things to take care of. “You don’t own it, it owns you,” commented Charles.
So, the difficult decision was made to sell the house, the boats, and the well-kept gardens. Finding a community along the eastern seaboard to resettle was a first priority. When Charles found the AP website, he noticed a woman in one of the photos who looked familiar. It resembled the wife of a Dominion Power colleague who they knew had moved to North Carolina after retirement. Sure enough, it was Karen Walker in the photo. Karen and her husband Ray, relatively new to the community themselves, encouraged the Haydons to visit Albemarle Plantation to get a closer look at the amenities and activities our community has to offer. Our location was also a plus for the Haydons, as Perquimans County is nicely located between Susan’s son who lives in Ormond Beach, Florida, and Charles’s son and daughter who live in Richmond, Virginia.
Today Charles has one boat, a newly purchased Carolina Skiff, and Susan has a much smaller yard where she can en-joy gardening without hours of chores. Their new home is being updated and renewed so that much less of their time will be needed for upkeep and maintenance. As a result, Charles and Susan are now looking forward to having time to get involved in community activities. Susan is already playing pickleball at the Recreation Center, while Charles is eagerly awaiting boating season so he can learn the tricks for successful fishing on the Albemarle Sound. Also, Charles and Susan are well-known at the Dog Park as “Minta’s parents,” where their German Shepherd Pointer has become well known as one of the fastest dogs inside the fence.
When you get a chance to meet the Haydons, be sure to ask them about their two grandchildren who are coming here this summer for OYC sailing camp. And be sure to welcome them “home.”