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Saturday, September 1, 2007

House Hunting

It's a long holiday weekend. Most of it will be spent working on final edits. But during my breaks I've been window shopping on the net for houses.

For those of you new to this blog, my husband and I live 300 miles apart. Greg retires in about 3 years and we plan on living together again (like normal people).

We've had an ongoing battle on where we'll retire, and how much land to get. I could go back to SE Texas, but it is so humid down there, and the town itself is changing. It's not the country lifestyle it once was, but more the typical suburban bedroom community that young families clamor for. I'm looking for more trees and less teenagers.

North Texas (where I live) is less humid, has colder winters, and is much more expensive, but there's lots more to do here and the hospitals are better--something older people think about. Greg likes it here too, but you'll remember I mentioned it's expensive. A house with any appreciable acreage is way beyond our means. Our only choice is to house hunt further in the boonies.

That's not so bad.

The hard part is getting Greg to commit. My husband has commitment issues. His argument is that we may change our minds between now and when he retires.

And he's absolutely right. There's always going to be something better, cheaper, grander or more perfect, but there comes a time when you just have to say, okay, we'll put roots down HERE. Then it's a matter of living with that choice.

We both like Texas immensely. The weather is good nearly year round. The people are fiercely independent with a colorful attitude.

I love a lot of the states we've traveled to, but Texas by far has been my favorite.

32 years ago when Greg told me he'd been offered a transfer to Texas, I was aghast. Tumbleweeds and cowboys, I thought. But three decades later, I realize Texas is as vast and multicultural as entire countries.

Cities like Dallas and Houston are nearly indistinguishable from Chicago--except for the fact we don't put up barricades in the parking spaces in front of our homes. (Chicago has a serious parking shortage. Try taking someone's parking spot and you risk life and limb. LOL.)

Rural Texas is as wild and raw as any time during the 19th century. I think that aspect more than anything else endeared me to this state.

I grew up an inner city kid from Chicago. Back alleys and empty stairwells were our playgrounds. I only knew crowds and long lines. But Texas, my first glimpse of Texas, was of wide open spaces and houses so far apart I never had to see my neighbors. I could run naked in the back woods if I wanted to. For a kid who had lived in a cramped apartment building her whole life, this was heaven.

So for our retirement home, I want to recapture that original feel of heaven. I want enough space for a few farm animals and a large garden. And should I decide to go Woodstock on everyone, no one will have to suffer permanent brain damage if they see me naked. :o)

Back to edits!


Stephanie Humphreys said...

The way you describe Texas, I think it might be a great place to live.

Maria Zannini said...

I've traveled widely in the US, but Texas is still tops. I really love Wyoming too--but only in the summer. I've had enough cold weather to last a lifetime. (grin)

Mike Keyton said...

You've made me a Texan. Where do I sign up?

Maria Zannini said...

Ha! Come on over. There's always room for an ex-pat. We'll teach you how to say "ya'll" like a native.