BECAUSE YOU SERVED
My family and I retired to Davidson last summer. After 30 years of being on the road with the Marines, we were looking for a place to retire to and not uprooting our family every two to three years. We loved our time with the Marines. The friends we’ve met along the way, having lived in quite a few states and overseas, enriched our lives. Moving frequently also meant that we never were able to grow roots, truly becoming a part of a community. It was especially tough during the multiple deployments when I had to leave my family in order to serve in overseas operations. As the years went by, we started to yearn for a place to call home.
Our last tour was in Washington, DC, where I taught at the National War College. We enjoyed the many years we spent in NOVA (Northern Virginia), but knew it wasn’t home. Originally, we’re from Austin Texas, an awesome place to grow up, but we knew this, too, wasn’t home. Traveling back from seeing family in Texas, on a whim, we spent the night in Davidson. This one-night stop lured us back for a longer visit. Each time we stayed in Davidson, the charm of this town and its people grew. Simply, it felt like home.
My wife’s addiction to HGTV’s, “Fixer-upper,” and my desire to renovate an old house made our house hunting easy. We knew what we were looking for. We were not looking to demolish and start over, but rather integrate modern conveniences into a house without radically changing its historical value. Finding a house in the historic area was our goal.
Vision becomes reality. Well, sort of. We found what we wanted in an 80-year-old home with one of the largest willow oaks I’ve ever seen. As only the third homeowners since 1936, this house has been well loved. Seeing it for the first time, we knew within minutes, this was the one. I think our realtor was in a state of shock at how fast we made the decision. Although well loved, the house was going to take a great deal of work to make it our home. Even the beautiful wood Dutch-style front door had a hole in it! Quickly, we learned that managing the project ourselves was in our best interest. The challenge of shaping this house to our dream home has been a joy. It has also been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We still have future projects to complete, but we’re moved in!
Would we do it all again? Yes! It’s a custom in the Marine Corps to always welcome new families on base. To our amazement, our new Davidson neighbors embraced our family and made us feel immediately part of this community. We were touched by the many meals, flowers, and invitations that greeted us. For this Marine Corps family, we’ve found our forever home. We couldn’t be happier with our choice!
Col. Christopher Coke
Col. Christopher (Chris) Coke is a retired US Marine Corps helicopter pilot. After 30 years of multiple deployments, 12 moves, and living on both coasts and in Japan, Chris and his family made their final move to Davidson, where they call home.