Raising Their Family in Quechee: The Emerys
Eric Emery met Andrea Chula while attending Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. After graduation, the couple married and moved to Denver. Eric’s father had recently passed away from pancreatic cancer, and instead of settling in New Hampshire they decided to go live someplace new before their careers and family made that more difficult. Both avid skiers, they chose Denver because they wanted to spend some time “skiing in the powder in the Rockies.” When not on the slopes, Eric worked in sales for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Andrea worked as a pre-school teacher at the Cerebral Palsy School of Colorado.
They didn’t stay away for too long. It was when their first child, Ayela, was born that led to thoughts of moving back home after seven years away. Home for Eric and Andrea would always be in New England. Eric grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Andrea’s parents were in Northfield, Massachusetts, where she grew up. The question of where exactly was up for conversation.
Eric credits Andrea with decisively choosing Quechee as the nest for their family. The couple looked all over the Upper Valley, finally deciding that Quechee was the best place to settle. They purchased their home in 2011. Eric says that considering the amenities of the community it made sense for a family of four. Sports are important to Eric and Andrea, they were both ski racers in high school and college, so the camps, clubs, and groups available to the children through The Quechee Club was especially enticing to the young parents. Having a ski hill right in the community was the perfect scenario. “Ayela and Jayce already love skiing and are great golfers,” says Eric.
Eric and Andrea have comfortably settled into the area as well. Eric works in sales at Townline Equipment, a successful, locally run business in Plainfield, New Hampshire, that sells and services new and used tractors and construction equipment. Andrea works from home as an independent consultant for Arbonne, a vegan health and wellness company. Ayela is going into third grade at the Ottauquechee School, and Jayce will start Kindergarten there this year.
“We love the Ottauquechee School. It’s an amazing public school. Our children are happy there. We like the teachers and the other parents. We have good friends whose kids go to school next door at the Waldorf School. Our kids can meet up with their kids after school and play on the athletic field or go to the Quechee Library. This just adds to the sense of community for us,” Eric says.
The Emery’s take advantage of everything that Quechee and Woodstock have to offer, especially the Quechee Balloon Festival held over Father’s Day Weekend, says Eric. “This is such a unique event. There’s nowhere else around here that has something like this.”
David and Karen Chula with their grandkids, Ayela and Jayce
Getting involved in the community
Eric joined The Quechee Club’s Winter Sports Committee in 2017, and is eager to be an active member of the community to “make sure that younger, year-round members have a voice and opinion in winter activities.” Eric is adamant that the reputation that some have of Quechee lacking something of a community is not true and he promotes the idea of his family’s decision to buy in Quechee and raise their kids here. Eric hopes to support even more kid-centric activities to further attract young families to visit, engage at the club, and maybe fall in love with the place.
“The Quechee Club, and especially the Recreation Department, is doing a phenomenal job incorporating kids and family into club events. I’ve seen this change since we first moved here,” says Eric. And Eric points out other changes that continue to make this area appealing. “The whole Route 4 corridor is really developing; there are more restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shop options.”
“For us, the biggest draw to Quechee is the sense of community. This is not just a resort or a seasonal destination. It’s a real community. Our family takes advantage of all four seasons and what they have to offer for the whole family. That’s why we chose Quechee to call home,” says Andrea.
Making it a family affair
The Emerys have felt and seen the Quechee charm do its thing. Two years ago, Andrea’s parents, Karen and David Chula, bought a home right next door to the grandkids, and are living there full-time. Living in Northfield, Massachusetts, the Chula’s came for visits, and like Eric and Andrea were drawn to the area, and – both avid golfers – the golf courses. David is now one of the golf-course rangers.
Their move here has made the home nest in Quechee more complete than Eric and Andrea could have thought possible. The Emery’s won’t be leaving anytime soon, the family only plans on deepening their connections and commitments to their unique community.
Ayela, Eric, Jayce, and Andrea