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March Porchin’: Greener Pastures Found

“We love it here in Oldfield and life in the Lowcountry, it is our paradise.”

Photography by Lisa Staff

Nick and Sue Smilari were eager to leave the hustle and bustle of northern Virginia, so they purchased a quiet plot of land in Oldfield to build their dream home. They moved to the Lowcountry as soon as it was completed in 2007.

Pictured from left: Deb Shamyer, Dan Lorenz, Tim Rice, Elise Rice, Lisa Ghessie, Augie Ghessie, Diane Gawronski, Ed Gawronski, Nick Smilari and Sue Smilari

“We couldn’t wait to get away from the crowds and traffic,” Nick said. “Even though it has gotten busier in the Lowcountry over the past 11 years, it’s still a far cry from that craziness up north.”

Nick, a retired marketing executive with Exxon Mobil, and Sue, a retired medical assistant, chose Oldfield for its beauty and amenities. The private community offers golf, tennis, hunting, fishing, boating and equestrian. There is also a book club, nature programs, an Outfitters Center and nearly 10 miles of nature trails through maritime and hardwood forests.

“We love it here in Oldfield and life in the Lowcountry,” Sue said. “It is our paradise.”

One of the many unique features of the Smilaris’ home is the family room, which flows out sliding glass doors onto a tiled porch. It’s the perfect place to entertain family and friends.

“We gather around the fireplace for morning coffee, nightly cocktails or making s’mores for the grandkids,” Nick said. “It’s also a great spot to quietly read by the fireplace and watch nature go by, or check out the golfers’ skills on the course.”

The Smilaris recently used the space to host a porch party for few Oldfield friends. Guests were served a roasted vegetable medley, a fruit and cheese board and sipped on rye whiskey Manhattans.

We close this “Green” issue with a recipe for that tasty red cocktail. Don’t forget to stop, sit and drink it in every now and then. Local life is good!

1732 Rye Whiskey Manhattans


3 parts rye whiskey

1 part vermouth

Orange wedges

Orange rind, for garnish

Cherries, for garnish



[1] Chill martini glasses. Muddle an orange wedge in the bottom of a shaker. [2] Fill the shaker 3/4 with ice cubes, then add 3 parts rye whiskey and 1 part vermouth. [3] Shake well for 20 seconds and pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with an orange rind and cherries. Nick uses the muddled orange wedge in place of bitters.