When people learn I'm a native Californian, they inevitably ask: "How did you end up in Texas?"
Well, actually it sounds more like this: "How'd y'all wind up in Texas?"
My answer to both is: "The pre-nup."
When the brows rise, I tell them that I'm joking . . . sort of.
The fact is that not long after I began dating my wonderful husband (11 years ago this month), he starting dropping little hints. As in, "Ever been to Texas?" " Look at those clouds . . . looks like a Texas sky to me." "Ever wanted to . . . visit Texas?" And then there was that subtle refrigerator magnet: "Life's too short not to live it as a Texan."
When he slipped the engagement ring on my finger and the lovely sapphire was "exactly the color of Texas bluebonnets," I finally figured it out. Once a Texan, always a Texan.
So, though the "pre-nup," never actually existed . . . we've been in Texas for four years now.
It's been amazing. New terrain, new weather (every 5 minutes) new food (fried . . . what?), new creatures (scorpions in the shower, armadillo in the pool, lizards on the dining room ceiling . . . don't get me started on the wild pigs), whole new culture. All joking aside, I've loved every minute, but . . .
We're ready to move back. Really. Our house is on the market. Has been for 2 months now.
You know how that goes--keeping the house perfect all the time: toilet lids down, check the pool for armadillos, light the pumpkin-pie scented candles, vacuum every seven minutes, Windex the finish off the mirrors, re-plant the flowers after the deer eat them . . . don't even think about cooking fish. Lots of fun.
Amazingly (though the economy has managed to tank since we listed the house) we've had more active interest than we expected. The truth is, our house is wonderful and we've priced it below market--which, in Texas, is still holding better than most of the country. Whoever finally does get this house will be blessed, as we have been. It's by far the nicest house we've ever owned, in an outstandingly beautiful setting, in a wonderful, artsy, peaceful little town. We have neighbors you could trust your life with, a church we dearly love . . . so why are we moving? Good question. And a perfectly cliche answer:
Because "Home is where the heart is."
Or to be exact: Where the Kids and Grandkids are. And they live out West--in California, Nevada, and Arizona. For the past several years we've been flying and driving back and forth, but it never feels often enough. We miss them!
The final prod? Recent news that we'll have two more babies due on MY BIRTHDAY (April) next year. One in California (the first on my side!) and the other in Arizona.
So we're giving this house selling deal a shot. We're keeping the armadillos out of the pool, we're lighting the candles . . . we're hoping that this house will be just right for someone, and that somewhere out West there's a place for us.
Lord willing, it's going to happen. Meanwhile, this is a great place to live. And to write books. I'm not complaining in the least.
Okay. Maybe if there are two floating armadillos, and the deer get my purple pansies again.