Part 1: Deciding to Leave
It’s “T-minus very few days” before I pack up and leave Texas after 23 years.
After a full day of packing, I’m settling in with a glass of wine. My thoughts go to thinking about my “here and now,” where I’m going, and my big adventure.
What will I miss about Texas? Friends, friends, and more friends. New York City cannot match the array of people I’ve met and connected with in Texas: Different cities, ages, backgrounds, cultures, lifestyle choices, vocations, and so on. This state may be politically narrow, but the friends I’ve made speak of a much wider and richer community.
I will miss the cowboy hats (worn inside the house and out — some Texans were born wearing a hat and never felt the necessity to remove it), boots, ubiquitous blue jeans, and the drawl. Mexican culture introduced bright colors to otherwise drab palettes. No dining table is complete without hot sauce — really hot sauce! I came from New England, where chili peppers were unknown until the Bushes invaded the White House. My palette still hasn’t caught up with that of native Texans’!
Rodeo, buffalo grass, truly terrible soil to grow anything without adding a lot of compost, and mesquite trees. There are fire ant colonies that are worse than stepping on a land mine and cockroaches as big as Buicks. Building foundation issues are a big problem, long hot summers, year-round golf, inexpensive (relatively speaking) oil and gas, and especially those fantastic sunsets seen from a high point of land. Nothing can beat this.
I am moving east, almost to the Atlantic Ocean, to an area rich in American history. I can smell the salt water already! Houses there don’t have foundation issues, and they are older by hundreds of years. I will have four seasons with maples that turn orange in the fall. At 102 feet above sea level, I’m not concerned about flooding either.
For the first time in my life, I’m making a move that has nothing to do with a job relocation.
It is a choice made to relocate near immediate family. I can hardly wait to be a functional “grandparent” and not one who only visits the grandchildren in passing during a short vacation. Full-time work is a sacrifice I will make for memories I will treasure.
My one dismay: The Eastern Time Zone. I have lived in Central Time Zone for years and prefer catching the early newscast at 6 pm instead of 7 pm. Oh, well! There is a trade-off with every decision; this is mine.
At this point in my life, I am healthy, active, and retired. Moving while I can make a new life makes sense at this time. As Bilbo Baggins said, “I’m ready for another adventure!” So, here I am on the eve of that tremendous adventure that is life while I can write my own script, direct the action, and star in my own production. New friends await!
Part of this plan is to send regular dispatches to fyi50+ so I can stay in touch with Texas and those contemplating their next adventure.
While leaving is hard, there are no regrets, even as I wear myself out with this move. My comfort is that it’s simply time to do this.