From Virginia to Here

Scott and Mary Gessay sometimes wonder why it took them so long to make the move to Reynolds.

Scott Gessay has finished a morning round on The Oconee course. “I ran a 15- foot birdie putt past the 18th hole,” he says of the most challenging hole on the property. He found peace with par, though, after joining his wife, Mary, on their terrace overlooking Lake Oconee. Later they’ll deliver 45 meals to workers at St. Mary’s Hospital. “There’s always something to do,” says Mary. They weren’t saying that after selling their software company in Reston, Virginia, four years ago. They’d raised two children, leaving them with the age-old question: Now what?

We retired young. Our friends in Virginia were still working. You can only do so many hikes on the Appalachian Trail. [Scott] I spent a lot of time arranging and rearranging basement shelves. [Mary] And then I had to make sure he didn’t throw anything away that I needed out of boredom.

Reynolds was on our minds since 2012. [Scott] I’d looked at homes here online long before selling the company. Then I’d think about them when I was in the car to do business in Baltimore or D.C. Just imagining what it must be like to live here.

Sometimes we wonder why we took so long to move.

We visited for Scott’s birthday in 2017. When we drove past the hospital and the shopping center on the main road we thought, “Those are nice.” Then we came into the property and saw how the woods gave way to the lake and golf views — it seemed so peaceful. It’s what we’d envisioned.

People ask, “Why not Nags Head full-time?” We have a summer home there. The ocean and the outdoor lifestyle are great. But we didn’t want traffic, tourism, or a transitional lifestyle. We did want good medical access, an airport not too far away, golf, and four seasons ... with just a tad of winter. It made sense that Reynolds would be our final move.

Our best day? We can make any day our best day. Yesterday we played golf with another couple, took a boat cruise to dinner, enjoyed the sunset on the way home, and fell asleep on the terrace. Sleeping out here is never out of boredom. It’s from having a full day.

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