One grandparents big move to be closer to family

On April 5, 2013 my first grandchild was born in Asheville, North Carolina. On that same day my husband, Rick, and I were moving into our dream house in a little Florida seaside town. We were going to be only a block to the beach, but 513 miles to Asheville. Little did I realize at that time how torn I’d be between my retired life at the beach and my new granddaughter, Eleanor.

Fast forward to 2020. Now we’re living in a new home with mountain views. I’m 10 minutes from my newest grand baby and 20 minutes from my first granddaughter and her little brother.

How did we get here and maybe more importantly, why?

The first couple years of retirement we’d make the eight hour drive every couple of months to North Carolina to see Eleanor. She and her parents came to the beach sometimes twice a year. As El got older I’d try and FaceTime with her in between visits. Then her brother Theo was born. We continued making the long drive, spending money on short term rentals and trying to FaceTime more often But we still had no real plans to change our situation. We were so enjoying our friends, Florida weather and our home at the beach.

Then in 2019 a third grandson was born to my oldest daughter, also living in Asheville. After witnessing Oakley’s birth, helping this new family get settled and having to leave them, I told Rick – we have to live in Asheville!

Rick wasn’t convinced yet.

He was involved in weekly turtle patrol which meant he rode on an ATV and looked for turtle activity. Either nests that were build overnight on the beach or babies that emerged and left their track to the sea. I too was involved volunteering for hospice, playing Mah Jong, helping at my church and participating in a book club

But the beach life was taking a toll on our house. While we lived there it went through three hurricanes, started rusting from the salt air, and really needed new high impact windows. So we decided if we were going to move to Asheville we should do it soon before we needed to do any major repairs Also we weren’t getting any younger. So while we could get still get on the ground to play race cars or play with babies, it was time.

Now I have baby Oakley on

Thursday afternoons.

Eleanor and Theo,

after school pickup and

dinner on Tuesday.

We’re working on a Sunday Funday with all three kids. Also we’ve helped with sick kids, a sick nanny, and spur of the moment requests for help. I’ve learned a lot these last couple of months.

Here are just a couple of my insights:

  • Always let your kids know when you’re going to visit or go into their homes when they’re not home.
  • Say no to your kids if you have other plans and you can’t help that day.
  • Also say no to your grandkids if there asking for something they shouldn’t have (like ice cream before dinner).
  • Check with your kids on any parenting questions and how to discipline like they would.

But most of all enjoy being a grandparent that can pick up from school, that can have them for sleepovers, and that can invite them for a week night dinner.

Last week I went to pick up Eleanor after school. I didn’t see her in the classroom until she came running and flew into my arms giving me a big hug and saying “I’ve missed you Yaya.”

And that’s why I moved.

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By Becky Couture

Becky Couture is currently living in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband Rick. She is a sister to six, mother to three, and grandmother to their three, with hopes of more babies. She worked in the medical device industry for almost 40 years and has traveled to every continent (except Australia). She loves mochi, musicals, and moments of clarity. She misses her Florida friends but is confident she’ll find new girl buds in Asheville.

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