Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's been a while

Yeah, a long while. My life has changed a lot since my last post. I lost my husband of 38 years to lung cancer. I hid for a year. I retired from long-arm quilting in December 2013. This is the story about starting over.

My eldest son, Jake, and his wife, Dana, wanted to buy a house. Housing in southern California is sky high - $400k for a 3-bedroom cracker box is the norm. So they decided to look into the Austin, Texas area. They reconnoitered Austin in April checking neighborhood, schools, work, shopping and the good people of Texas themselves. They came back and told me they wanted to go to Texas. And they wanted me to come along with them. I was raised in Texas so I was happy to return. I wrangled my other son, Ben, into a commitment to help me with the driving. I put my house on the market and we had a buyer within 45 days. Jake and Dana flew back to Austin for a serious home-buying trip. They found a 5 bedroom, 4 bath, 3200 sq ft house on a double lot in a culdesac. And now we had a closing date for the house in Texas. We're off to the races.

So I sold my house, packed up my stuff and left So-Cal as part of a 2 car, 1 truck and trailer caravan. The trip was not perfect. Circuses are better organized than we were. The trailer wobbled before we got 5 miles - fixed it. The truck's super turbo blew up 20 miles from home and had to be left with a mechanic. With no truck to pull the trailer, we decided to rent a U-Haul to carry the contents of the trailer and leave the trailer behind for friends to sell for us. We had already packed up our 2 homes using 1-800-PACKRAT. If you have never heard of them, they are endorsed by Lowe's and are really quite reliable. We needed four 16-ft Packrat vans for our stuff.

Once we got on the road, it took us about four days to get here. We got a late start on Day 1 so we only made it to Gila Bend, AZ and stayed at the Space Age Motel - clean rooms and reasonable prices plus it is the best you can get in Gila Bend. Great restaurant, too. Day 2: We made it to my brother's house in El Paso, TX. It was like a port in a storm. We left early on Day 3 and drove what seemed like forever (9 hours) and made it to tiny place named Sonara, TX. On Day 4, we made it to the Austin area.

There was a paperwork glitch (isn't there always?) and we ended up staying in the Springhill Suites in Round Rock, TX longer than we expected. That was a nice place, clean, pool, breakfast and right off the freeway I-35. One of the first days we stayed at Springhills, there was a bad wreck on I-35 and it was backed up for about 10 hours. That was our introduction to Austin traffic. The freeways are so different and better in Austin, in my opinion, than California. In California, exits are plentiful so if there is a wreck, you just take the next exit. In Austin, the freeways are surrounded by an extensive frontage road system that provides access to the freeway via on and off ramps that a spaced out. With fewer on and off ramps, traffic moves faster on the freeway itself. But when there is an accident, the next exit may be way down the road.

We had to do a walk-through of the house before closing so I finally got a chance to see the house. It's big and on a culdesac. I liked it immediately. We closed on the house a couple days later and now it is ours.

The kids each get a big bedroom plus there is a bonus room (family room), a full bathroom as well as I big master suite upstairs. Downstairs is a big living room with a gas fireplace, eat-in kitchen, office/sewing room, dining room, laundry room, a mother-in-laws bedroom, and another full bath. My room is quite a bit smaller than I am used to and it is a continuing struggle to downsize. But after many trips to church and Goodwill, I am trimming down to the necessities.

We've had some bumps. It is a change of lifestyle for me, for sure. In August, it was just me. And now, there are six of us. Many of my friends thought I was crazy; some actually tried to talk me out of moving to Texas. It's a new beginning and it has taken some adjusting. But I am a part of my grand children's lives. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks