There are so many times I think to myself, "How am I so lucky to have ended up here in the Upstate of South Carolina?" Furthermore, "How am I so fortunate to have a wonderful husband and 2 healthy kids?" I am so grateful for everything in life, but let's back up to the Spring of 2006.
In the Spring of 2006, I was to graduate Ohio University in Athens, OH with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. At this time I was single and pretty much, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I had 2 weeks left before graduation and I met Greg Dodge. He also went to OU and we hit it off right away! For the next two weeks we hung out almost everyday. We went for motorcycle rides, canoe trips, and we laughed. We laughed A LOT! Then graduation came and went and I really thought, I would never see him again.
Then 2 weeks later, Greg called me. My heart dropped and I thought, "Why is he calling me?" But I answered. And I was surprised when he asked me if I wanted to come with him and his brother, Ian, down to South Carolina to visit his grandparents. I normally would have said no to this unexpected situation, but I said yes, thinking, "This could be fun!"
So the next week I drove down from OH to Salem, SC with Greg and his brother Ian. It was an interesting drive, none the less, but I remember laughing the whole time.
On the way down, Greg and Ian filled me in on their life in South Carolina. Their grandparents, Papa and Nanny, were born and raised in Upstate SC. Soon after Lake Jocassee was built, they built their "Mountain House" near the shores of Lake Jocassee. The trees have grown up now, but when they built their house, you could see the lake from the upstairs windows. Papa and Nanny didn't stop there. They then built a campground, Jocassee RV Campground, down the road from the lake. Greg and his brothers; Ian, Austin and Evan, spent every summer on Lake Jocassee with their Nanny and Papa. They all grew a deep love for the lake and the mountains.
As soon as I got down here to Lake Jocassee,I called my best friend AJ and told her she needed to drive down. I told her that this was one of the prettiest places I have ever been and I new it would be fun. She drove down by herself and spent the week with us. That week was the most fun I have had in my life. Everyday was spent on the lake; swimming, skiing, sightseeing and hiking.
After the week was over, we drove back to Ohio and again I thought to myself, "I just had the best week of my life, but I don't think I am ever going to see Greg again." The timing was just not right. He had another year of school at OU. I lived in a small college town, Berea, OH. Berea is almost 3 hours away from OU, and I needed to start a career. And I was right. Greg and I did not see each other for more than a year.
After more than a year Greg and I reconnected and started a long distance relationship. I still lived in Berea, OH and he accepted a teaching position in Gastonia, NC, with the intentions on moving even more south to Lake Jocassee. We long distance dated for about a year. I moved down to SC in 2008. A year later we got married at Table Rock Lodge. A lot happened in 2009. We got married and we also bought our first house in Seneca, SC. Our son Jack was born in 2012 and our daughter, Elle, was born in 2014. Greg and his family's love for Lake Jocassee has rubbed off on me....(how could it not) and we are now so fortunate to live in Upstate, SC and to raise our kids, Jack and Elle, on Lake Jocassee just as Greg did as child with his family.