Meet the Neighbors: The Watkins
May 17, 2016 | People
Inside the delightfully appointed Carnes Crossroads home of Barry and Ann Watkins, there is a large blackboard displaying the whimsically hand-scripted words: “Grow Where You Are Planted.”
But Indiana natives Barry and Ann, both retired school teachers, aren’t just growing in their new community. They’re flourishing. Drawn to the area to be closer to their daughter and her family in Moncks Corner, the Watkins have established new roots at Carnes Crossroads.
“We babysat our other grandkids for two years in Ohio after we retired from teaching,” said Ann. “Then we decided we wanted to live here because of the weather and the ocean, and we could still be be close to family.”
Both avid collectors of antiques and rustic accessories with a vintage feel, Barry and Ann saw potential in the style of homes offered at Carnes Crossroads.
“I like the architecture,” said Barry. “Growing up in the Midwest, we liked the small town feel and you still have that here, even though you’re still in a pretty large metropolitan area…When we go on a bike ride and come up from the trail, you look across at the houses and it looks like an artist’s palette of color and I think that’s one of the things that attracted us…You get those Charleston – Carolina colors!”
They also liked that Carnes Crossroads is a community for all ages.
“We didn’t necessarily want an over 55 community, even though we’re older than 55!,” said Barry. “We still enjoy having children around, not just our own grandchildren, but other people’s children as well. You get to see that in a community like this.”
“I think it makes you feel younger!” added Ann. “And we just like to see kids playing and riding their bikes – and just being kids!”
Their traditional, one-story cottage-style home serves as the perfect backdrop for their collections of repurposed or reclaimed items, many handcrafted by Barry. They even found an old preschool bench from Ohio at an antiques store in nearby Summerville to accent a school-themed display in their kitchen.
“We like this particular house style,” says Ann. “Our antique furniture, it’s really mismatched and primitive, but it looks good in a house like this!”
In addition to enhancing their household collections, the Watkins are busy engaging in all that the Carnes Crossroads lifestyle has to offer. They love biking and walking the neighborhood trails (sometimes twice a day), lounging at the pool, and taking part in the plethora of community activities, such as the Farmer’s Market at the Green Barn, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt (with the grandkids of course), and the Annual Street Party on the Village Green. They’ve also happily plugged in to a new Carnes Crossroads group known as “The Adventurers’ Club,” created as a way for neighbors to visit Charleston area attractions together.
Other highlights of their time here thus far include meeting and chatting with the Mayor of Goose Creek, kayaking to Church Island on nearby Lake Marion, and hitting the local beaches. Barry is also a member of the Lowcountry Volkswagen Club and volunteers for local youth soccer teams, while Ann helps out at a local elementary school.
For Barry and Ann, Carnes Crossroads has certainly helped plant the seeds for life beyond retirement – and they plan to continue to enjoy the harvest.
“If home’s where the heart is, then our hearts are here in Carnes,” says Barry.