By Cathy Leestma


When we made the decision to come to Lake Lure from California in 2005, we were looking for a place to be refreshed after a long and wonderful career in Christian ministry. It was easy to come here. After all Lake Lure is where Dave and I fell in love as teenagers. It was on the pool deck at the old Bald Mountain Club where the decision was made to leave for California 42 years ago.


Lake Lure is a place that calls you back. And here we are, back again, and settling in for the long run.

Thanks to many of you who have welcomed us back to the mountains. We left seven years

– a lifetime ago – for Houston. There was more music to be made and retirement to be prepared for.

In that span of time we said our final goodbyes to two dearly loved parents and welcomed five new grand babies. We purchased three homes and sold two. We sold a car and a truck and purchased two cars.

And we have rented for ourselves two other homes for three months each while we were making decisions. Sometimes I would wake up thinking…”Is Mayflower my middle name?”


Returning to our lake home, we had a few days to clean out the rental furniture, dishes and stuff before the moving van arrived. All of our earthy belongings had been in storage for 14 months and when they were delivered, all 247 crates, boxes and pieces of furniture took us about three weeks to unpack. I should say, for Dave to unpack at my direction!


To settle my mind during this time, I would keep repeating, “we are here and we are here to stay and it feels good.” One morning I woke up very unsettled as I dreamed Dave had found another home and wanted to move…again!


I would not recommend what we have done for the faint of heart or back. What we have done, making decisions where to retire and how to spend our time is being played out by thousands of near retirees across this country. We have learned to be flexible and to live simply and simply live, and that feels good.


What may be the most amazing feat of these seven years is how beautifully the Mountain Breeze continued even through the recession. Some people remind us that no one reads newspapers anymore. We say “oh, but you don’t know about our community. They are strong, generous and committed and they love the Breeze.” And that feels good, too.


And so we look forward to summer. Welcome to all who are visiting. We hope your time here will be simple and lovely and full of good memories to take home with you. Better yet, if you are looking for a place to retire or rewire, you won’t find a more beautiful setting or a more eager group of new friends to begin making memories with than here.