Linda and Larry Jarrett are true West Virginians. They both got undergraduate degrees at West Virginia University. They both spent most of their professional lives working as engineers in the Kanawha Valley.
But toward the end of his career, Larry’s work transferred him to New England.
That’s when the couple realized how much it meant having a second home in West Virginia.
They saw a sign for The Woods during a road trip home as they were traveling on Interstate 81.
“So we decided to just go and explore it one day, because it was such a long drive from Connecticut to Charleston,” she said.
Some high school friends already had second homes in West Virginia, so it made sense to give it some thought.
“We came to The Woods and just fell in love with it,” she said.
“We’re both West Virginians in our souls.”
“We’d spent most of our lives here, but we’d been out of state for about 12 years. And it was only about five or six hours so we could easily drive that on a weekend, the family could come and we could all be together,” she said, adding that her father was still living in Princeton at the time when they purchased their second home in 1999.
The Woods’ proximity to major cities like Washington was important because they needed an easily accessible airport since their grown children lived out of state. It’s only about an hour and a half drive from The Woods to Washington’s airports.
“Here we are close to three major airports and they are just a short drive away. We also liked the fact that there were plenty of major, very famous medical centers – like Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, WVU Hospital in Morgantown – since we were getting older,” she said.
In the end, The Woods won out – even though the couple visited other places in Virginia and North Carolina as they looked for a place to retire.
“We both love the mountains and didn’t really want to be away from them, so this was the right place for us.”
It’s also nice to live on a golf course, and that means being able to play with friends without having trouble getting a tee time.
“I like the ability to live in a suburban community but away from the intensity of the high-density civilization,” he said.
But also community matters here.
“Knowing the kind of people who are in West Virginia made a difference,” she said. “In West Virginia, if you need help people come. But if you don’t want to be bothered, they won’t bother you unless you want them involved in your life. It sort of goes back to the state motto, ‘Mountaineers are always free.'”