Francesca and Andy High
As a team building event while with the Orlando hospital system, Francesca, and her colleagues had scheduled a cooking class at Emeril’s Orlando. It was scheduled on the very day that Andy had “teaching duty.” According to Francesca, who does not like to cook, “When a very tall, good-looking guy came out in an apron, I knew I was going to like the class.” Andy says he always preferred being in the kitchen over being at the front of a classroom but when he saw this bright-eyed blond sitting in the front row, he knew he was going to enjoy teaching this class. Within three months Cupid’s arrow had pierced their hearts and they were married 6 months later.
Over the next few years, their lives took on the typical routine of newlyweds. Andy went back to banking and Francesca stayed in health care. Both worked long days as they advanced in their professional careers and began to build a family. Eventually, they moved to Charlotte, NC, where family building brought the birth of twin sons, Quinlan and Thearon, followed two years later by daughter Aaralyn. (The names are Gaelic for the Irish side of Francesca’s heritage.)
As life became a ritual of rising at 6:00 AM, dropping the children off at school, picking them up at 5:00 PM, feeding them and putting them to bed, Francesca began to question the quality of life they were providing their children. There wasn’t enough family time. She was constantly worried about the children playing outside on the busy street. Additionally, after losing both of her parents, moving closer to her in-laws became important so that the children could enjoy their grandparents. After 11 years in Charlotte, she and Andy decided they needed to make a change and began evaluating their alternatives.Francesca googled “islands without cars.”
When they stepped off the Haig Point ferry, they immediately felt the magic. Andy described seeing the lovely mansion surrounded by sprawling lawns of green grass and feeling a surge of precious childhood memories of growing up on 34 acres outside of Savannah. Francesca described feeling bathed in the peace and serenity that makes Haig Point so unique from the rest of the world. Without saying a word, they both knew they had found their next home.
After a few changes in their job descriptions to enable them to work from home, they’ve set up their offices on Blodgett Hollow, working online, thanks to Haig Point’s high-speed Internet service. Life is simple now. When the school bus drops the kids off at 3:30 PM, both Andy, and Francesca greet them at the front door. Then the children rush off to play. “There is so much to do outside, that ‘screen time’ has virtually disappeared from their lives,” observes Francesca. With no cars racing by nor strangers on the street, she just reminds the twins that they are responsible for taking care of Aaralyn if they should decide to go down to the park or over to the horse barn.
If you were to visit the Highs, you might see a scooter on the walkway or hear the laughter of the children playing in the yard and you would understand why Francesca says, “We feel like we are living on vacation” and Andy echoes her sentiment by adding, “We are living our dream.”