Meet The Anderson Family
We continue our ongoing “Daniel Island Family” series with the Anderson clan of Farr Street. If you like to ride your bike or go for walks, especially along Daniel Island’s miles of beautiful trails, it’s a good bet that you’ve met Pete, Elizabeth, their daughter Lillian (a rising fourth grader at Daniel Island School) and their ten month-old puppy Louie Meatball (aka “Chewie”). The family cat, Big Kitty, prefers to nap at home.
Can you give us a little background on the Anderson family? Where are you from originally?
Elizabeth Anderson: My husband Pete and I are both military brats so we’ve moved around a lot. I was born in Johnson City, TN, but less than a year later my family moved to Washington, DC, then Indianapolis, IN; Carlisle, PA; and Heidelberg, Germany, where I went to kindergarten. We ended up back in Carlisle where my dad taught finance at an Army War College. My parents ended up retiring down here in the Summerville area.
Pete Anderson: I was born in Kansas, then made the moving circuit from Alabama to Los Angeles to Washington, DC, finally landing in Charleston. Oddly enough, both of our parents moved to Summerville in the mid 1980s. Our families have lived in Charleston ever since.
EA: Pete and I met in 2003. We were both working for Beazer Homes.
Do you both still work for that same building company – or do you have new careers?
EA: Totally new. I have worked in several facets of management in real estate and I have been a broker with Keller-Williams for the last four years.
PA: I’ve actually got two jobs: One in the Air Force Reserve as a C-17 Airdrop Evaluator and Load Master and the other in Civil Service as a C-17 Instructor Loadmaster. How did you originally decide Center Park as the neighborhood where you wanted to live?
EA: The decision was purely an investment. Beazer Homes, the company that Pete and I worked for, happened to be building homes in Center Park, and we were entitled to a discount. It just worked out really well. We moved into our first home on Grand Council Street in 2003.
What prompted you to move from your house on Grand Council Street to the house you now live in on Farr Street?
EA: After Lillian was born in 2007, we knew we were going to need a bigger house. It’s amazing how one small person can occupy so much space.
What do you love best about the house you live in now on Farr Street?
EA: We love the marsh views. That was a big reason to move to this house. And the elevated construction with a basement. As military brats, Pete and I grew up in houses with basements. We think of this as our “Charleston house with a basement.” We also figured we could put a swimming pool in the backyard. We - especially Pete - did a lot of work cleaning up the back and front yards the first year we moved in so we could do that, and even add a tree swing in the front yard. It’s just perfect here - a great family house!
You’re right around the corner from your old house. Was that intentional?
PA: Yes. Literally, we’re just a block away from our old home. We knew the neighborhood and we knew we’d be in close proximity to Daniel Island School and Bishop England, if that comes into play later. And we enjoy using the parks. Other than the process of moving, it wasn’t a major life change. We were moving from one home in Center Park to another in the same neighborhood. Was your daughter excited about moving into the new house?
Lillian Anderson: I can answer this question! After we got settled, we got our first pet - a cat we named Big Kitty - from way out of town. We used to call him “Honey” because he was a big bundle of honey. Big Kitty is seven years old and doesn’t really get along well with our new ten month-old Cairn Terrier puppy, Louie Meatball, who we also call “Chewie.” He chews everything! We got Chewie out in the country. He has two brothers, and a sister named Lucy who actually lives on Barfield Street. Chewie gets to have lots of play dates with her. We also go to the park across the street and take Chewie with us. There’s a lot of dogs there – even another puppy. Chewie is making lots of friends.
What is your family’s favorite place to hang out on the island? Why?
EA: We love to hang out in our backyard pool, but we do like spending time at Etiwan Park.
LA: I actually like the park across the street best – especially playing in the “secret garden” I found there.
EA: As far as restaurants go, we like to go to Vespa and Sermet’s. We also love Wasabi – which has a 20% discount for military families every Monday night. Of course there’s the Juice Bar and the Tropical Smoothie Café - Lilly’s favorite - for afternoon treats.
Are you into exercise as a family? What kinds of exercise do you enjoy?
EA: Lillian, Chewie, and I go for lots of walks to a local pond to feed the turtles. We also walk on the Daniel Island trails and use the Daniel Island Trail app. You know all those symbols you see on the signs along the trails? They’re markers for the DI Trails app and show you where you are and the distance you’ve already walked or biked. The app also has music you can listen to while you’re walking or biking. It’s very cool. For myself, I do Gaia Fit a couple of times each week. I also do a Barre class at Fit Culture and some yoga at Family Chiropractic on the island. I also walk three miles every Sunday with a neighborhood friend. Pete usually works out at the gym on base.
What books or movies have you read or seen recently that you’d like to recommend?
EA: I just saw “Money Monster” (starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts). I’ve also just finished reading “The Girl on the Train,” a mystery and a good summer read. I’m not typically a mystery reader, but a friend who knew I enjoyed reading “Gone Girl” recommended “The Girl on the Train.” It’s very similar.
PA: We just saw Finding Dory as a family. I don’t see many movies aside from what we see with Lillian. I’m more of a sports guy. I tend to watch college football, college basketball, and soccer on TV.
LA: My favorite books are the Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel!
Is there a favorite Anderson family dish?
LA: My mom makes amazing chicken soup. It’s delicious!
Can you think of three words to describe your life on Daniel Island?
EA: Community. Once Lillian entered school, I joined the Daniel Island School PTA. My roles as PTA Secretary, Membership, and being a room-mom helped me to better connect to the community and learn what was going on. It really helps to get involved. We live in a very unique community. There’s so much here that’s easily accessible yet you can also drive 15 minutes to downtown – or the beaches - and enjoy a totally different atmosphere! We’ve got the best of both worlds!
PA: Safe. Early on in my career when I was gone a lot for work, I had peace of mind that I was leaving my family in a nice, safe community. I still feel that way whenever I have to go out of town.
Is there anything you would like to add that would help your neighbors get to know you better?
EA: We wish more people would go to the dog park (located between Governors Park and the Volvo Car Stadium). We take Chewie but often there’s no one there. We’re thinking about organizing a special fall event, complete with ice-cream for kids and Frosty Paws for the dogs.
What’s for dinner at the Anderson house tonight?
EA: That’s up for grabs right now!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
EA: To live in the present and not to worry. I know from experience - and from being with Lillian - that when I stay in the moment I am totally at peace.