When serendipity (and COVID) interrupted the well-thought-out plan.
Scott Bull was a chemist. Research and development were both his job and his approach to life. Retirement planning was no exception. Pre-pandemic, he and his wife, Deborah (both pictured below), were deep in the thick of checking out potential locales that met each of their various criteria (which included boating, fishing, a temperate climate, good motorcycle riding, and a vibrant music scene- Scott is a saxophonist). They visited the candidates systematically on vacations over a number of years to see what each had to offer. Having lived all over the world, they had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for…and they found it at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.
Or so they thought…
Remote working quickly became Scott's reality. After finishing up a big research project with his team and having a good look at the ole finances, he realized that their retirement relocation could become a reality a bit sooner than they initially thought since he was no longer tied to a specific office!
Having a realtor already hard at work for them at Lake Hartwell, it was time to head south (they were living in Boston at the time) to get boots on the ground and start looking at houses. Somewhere along the line, when talking with a friend about their plans, she asked if the couple had considered Smith Mountain Lake on their list of potentials? Why, no, they hadn't. In fact, they hadn't ever even heard of it! But it was right along their path to Hartwell, so they decided to make a quick detour and see what this new-to-them lake was all about.
A local realtor here took them to look at a few homes, one of which actually seemed to have the potential to work. Though the area was largely still closed down because of the pandemic, they really liked what they saw. The plan though, was to continue on to their original destination in order to compare the two options. In those unprecedented days of dismally low-inventory, their realtor in SC actually advised them to not “waste their time” in coming down. There simply wasn't anything at all on the market to show them!
Taking it as a sign, they decided to place an offer on their now-home near the Halesford Harbour Bridge, and it was accepted. They were officially happy residents of a lake they'd never heard of just a short time prior.
Just goes to show that, sometimes, the detour is actually the destination that was meant for us after all.
If you'd like to catch Scott on stage this fall/winter he can often be found at Hot Shots Open Mic Night, in Floyd at Dogtown Roadhouse, and in Martinsville playing Wild Magnolia.