Episode 5: We Need a Place To Stay

Thursday, March 21, 2013
In May of 2005 my husband was relocated from his job with Siemens in Charlotte to Orlando, FL. This certainly was adding a glitch to our upcoming vineyard development. Furthermore, we had to move into a small house while we planned the construction of our new home.  My furniture went into storage units while we proceeded with this new project.  We did not know all the issues we would confront trying to build a lakefront home.  Four years later we finally moved in.  I  never envisioned being in storage that long but we were dealing with issues about building on wetlands (whether or not there is flora or fauna matters not, they have essentially declared a zone some distance from the lake that they consider “wetlands” as such you have to deal with a number of agencies to be able to build on your own land! But don’t get me started there, I could write a book about this experience. I started building my new home 3 months before the real estate crash! It was the worst timing possible.  An now this home his for sale.

Being away from NC made things difficult for many reasons. We are located in the countryside and we needed someone to look after our property. We also needed a place to stay because there are no hotels in Traphill, so one has to drive to the nearest town for services and although not a great distance, it takes a lot of time out of your workday. So these were our number one and two goals for the near future.

Since we needed a residence immediately we cleared an area on top of the hill for an unfurnished mobile home.  Even with a ready-made residence one still has to clear the area, install a septic system, drill a well for water, bring all the other utilities up to the mountaintop.  Since it is a great distance it was very costly to establish these when you have to pay by the linear foot — remember it is a 50 acre property! We got everything done in about 6 months.

We also built a barn to house the equipment that we needed to maintain the property. We had to cut the grass and add products to the soil to return it to the right PH balance.  So we became acquainted with the John Deere people in Mount Airy, NC where we bought our tractor, front loader, several types of lawn mowers, a gator, and so on.

This led us to think about security since we were only occasionally coming to the property.  It was a 10 hour drive each way that we had to make since we needed a car while in state, and we could take our two little dogs with us.
Our next step was to put a cattle gate by the entrance and hire a caretaker. We found someone in the business who was willing to become the caretaker and help us start the vineyard.
We achieved several milestones:

  1. We have a residence (fully operational although not furnished)
  2. We have a caretaker looking after our property while we are in FL
  3. We have a worker to assist us in setting up the vineyards.

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