Lois and Joe Aldinger live comfortably in Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation. They bought their fairway home site on their first visit to the development in 1994, and they have never looked back.
If anything, they look ahead… to a day on the beach at the Tidewater coastal cabana located on the oceanfront in North Myrtle Beach … to at least one or two days a week on the golf course outside their home’s rear panorama… to dancing the nights away at the clubhouse or local night spot… to goodness only knows what else.
Of course, they think fondly of their home back in eastern Pennsylvania, where Joe was in the printing business and Lois was in international marketing. But that was then, and this is an incredible now.
Since they became South Carolinians, the Aldingers enjoy themselves doing whatever they want and need to do. It is a relaxed lifestyle, but it is also a busy one.
They golf. They are involved in the communities inside and outside the Tidewater gates. They dance, as they did when they were ballroom dancing instructors back in Westchester, PA., and they really enjoy the friendships they have developed with other Tidewater residents.
“We first came down to visit Tidewater when, as it turned out, there was an ice storm,” says Lois Aldinger. “We met people here who were so friendly. We just fell in love with these people. We bought our lot on that first visit.”
Bill Pearson, president of the Homeowners Association, puts it a little differently: “The community is involved in everything [the board does]. We don’t micromanage. We have so many volunteers with experience that we probably have the highest professional staff anywhere. It’s really a joy to be involved.
“Our board meetings are open to the residents,” he continues. “We have informal question and answer gettogethers at least once a month. Where (some boards in other neighborhoods) may close the doors, that advertises something’s going on. We don’t do that.”
Craig Wink, who is retired and lives in Rochester, N.Y. a handful of weeks each year, always returns to Tidewater for most of the year to live among the other 338 families who call it home. He says his and his wife’s decision to purchase here, after five years of searching, was based on “the atmosphere, the amenities and the activities.” He cites potluck dinners, the volunteerism by residents, a diversity of age groups, bridge games and activities outside the gates among the reasons for choosing Tidewater.
Ronnie E. Nichols, vice president of Great-West Retirement Services, and his wife, Harriette, represent another group of the community’s eclectic residents. They still work, but it was the golf that initially attracted Nichols when he played in the 1999 World Amateur Golf Championship on the Grand Strand of S. C. He decided on the spot to buy a lot and went back home to tell his wife. She still smiles about that event.
Hayley and William D. “Tripp” Davis represent yet another group of Tidewater families. The parents of a lively 2 1/2 year old, they both work; he is a dentist in North Myrtle Beach, and she is a hand therapist. Hayley says she and her husband have bonded with about 30 other Tidewater families who enjoy activities with their children. The Davis’ are expecting their second child this summer.
According to Lois Aldinger, the lifestyle at Tidewater is what you make of it. “It depends on how busy you want to be,” she says as she sits at her dining room table, looking out on the 150-yard marker on the community’s championship golf course.
Lois Aldinger has taken up golf since she and Joe moved in to the community about four years ago. The 2,600-square-foot home is one of two in Tidewater that are based on the same basic floor plan. But the Aldingers added their own touches to the home, giving Joe his television and billiard room and Lois her Red Hat Society room, in addition to providing a guest bedroom and a master bedroom suite that looks through a wooded area onto the golf course. Except for the bedroom areas, the home is a wide, glassed, open area that is seldom interrupted by doors.
Their home is studded with oriental artifacts, many displayed in a lighted, glassed wall unit that stretches across a living room wall. Lois has decorated the kitchen and dinette areas of their home with her second great theme – pelicans. There are pictures painted by neighbors and other reminders of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, neither of which are very far from the Aldinger’s home.
Family comes to visit as often as they can, and that is an integral part of the Aldinger lifestyle. But so is golf. Joe shoots in the mid-to-high 90s, and Lois will only say, “My score doesn’t show how much I love it.” They are also involved in a number of community committees. Lois serves on the Tidewater Plantation newsletter committee, is president of the Newcomers Club, and “queen mother” of the Red Hat Society that is involved in tutoring students outside the plantation. Joe is a member of the homeowners meeting committee, which plans various events.
And then there are aerobics classes, different golf outings played at Tidewater and other courses, dances and, Lois’s personal favorite, sunning at the Tidewater beach cabana located on the Atlantic Ocean in Cherry Grove Beach, just a short drive away. And that’s not to mention the Tidewater Taste Buds in which families host other families for a scrumptious meal.
Only once in a blue moon does Lois say to Joe, “I’m glad we don’t have anything to do today.” However, by the next day, both will jointly or separately find plenty they want to do.
Tidewater seems to be what each resident wants it to be. There are many group activities for residents, as well as many broader community activities such as Habitat for Humanity. In January, residents raised over $6,000 for the home-building effort for Little River Neck residents. At Christmastime, residents assure that children in neighboring areas are not missed by Santa Claus. And on occasion, neighboring groups are allowed to use the Tidewater clubhouse for special events.
While Tidewater is a private gated community, it is clearly a part of the larger picture, with residents reaching out to make life in the area better. It is clearly a place where the lifestyle is served up any way you want it.