Wednesday, September 14, 2016
The last blog was about the trials and tribulations of moving from the South to the North and all of the adventures involved. This was about just me making a move from one part of the country to another after getting married. The time spent there was amazing and I did make some good friends. I suppose that the one thing that I would say is that living through the winters there, I now do know for a fact that I do NOT like anything to do with snow and cold. It truly blew my mind that I would have to fight hard to push open the storm door so that I could go out and shovel a path for our dog to go out to take care of his business. Otherwise, he would fall through the snow and make a mess or heavens forbid, never be seen again. He was little, however, at least he was a black cock-a-poo. More on the adventures of living in Pennsylvania in future blogs.
This blog is about not just one newly wed me moving from one section of the country to another. This is about a whole family making a big move. Fast forward to the two wonderful children that I mentioned last Monday that became my everything when I felt all alone. Now they are in high school with friends that they have known and been with since playgroups and kindergarten. Everything was moving along smoothly when their Dad came home to say that if he wanted to keep his job, that he must move to Houston, Texas to relocate due to a company buyout.
We discussed choices that we could make, such as he would go ahead and move and visit us when he could. I would stay there so that both children could finish high school and then we would move when they went off to college. Maybe Jennifer, who would be a senior could stay with me and Douglas could go with his Dad? The problem there would be that there was still a substantial amount of travel involved and no one home with our son, so it would mean we all go to Texas or the kids and I stay in Pennsylvania. Since I actually was born in Texas and lived there about 5 years, I was rather happy about the turn of events, even if at that early age, I did not remember much about it.
After great deliberation, I came to the conclusion that for two years of our lives, it was not acceptable for our family to be torn apart. It did cause both children to go into the 'life is not fair' and everything that goes with it mode. Little things that we planned to help to make this an adventure and less painful helped a little bit at times, depending on where their thinking was at that moment. Luckily, the company flew us all out to find a place to live and explore the area. I had researched the schools and the area and knew the school district that met our requirements. It was in the Katy, Texas area, which was also close to where my husband had to go to work. As far as the two airports were concerned, there was no way that we would live within a close proximity of either one, so I just said for him to suck it up, Buttercup. You can't have everything. He did agree once he saw the housing and school district information that I provided.
While we were there scoping out our new city, he went off to work in the rental car each day, while the kids and I traveled around with an Ann Richards look alike, searching for houses. We had narrowed it down to a few before we shared with him. Unfortunately, the ones that we all liked would not quite be finished when we had to be there for school to start. The company put us up in an apartment for a month while the builder finished our home. It was considered a "luxury apartment" and would be completely furnished. It also meant a lot of me working daily with decorators and contractors to pick out all of the last final details. Things like the appliances, to the floor coverings and the lighting, all the way down to the hardware on the cabinets. Never having to deal with these kind of details, I was astonished at how much was involved. I just took for granted about towel racks, toilet paper holders and spigots. Who knew?
There we were a few days before school started that we began living in this luxury apartment of 1700 square feet. You really could not get away from one another. I, for one, was rather glad about this, because we were not alone in that apartment. Basically, we rather sat huddled in the middle of the one room with a sofa, chairs and TV watching the Texas size cockroaches going across the walls. At the time there was a movie out called Joe's Apartment, which we nicknamed this place, although our cockroaches did not sing or dance. I called the apartment office the next day and was told that the pest guy would come out, however, I was told that this is a part of Texas. NOPE. It was not going to be a part of my Texas, that I would make sure of. Whatever it took. And, I can say that the pest guy and I became friends, because I had him out every other day to spray. I made note of this for our new home, because no way would I stand for such nasty critters to be a part of our lives in our home.
In this short time frame, I also got a chance to go out driving with both kids to show them how to drive on I-10 in Houston. There was nothing that compared to that where we came from. Their instructions from me was to stay off I-10 until we practiced more. There can be no hesitation when you are going from the on ramp to the interstate, just as you had better be in the right lane for when you want off the interstate. It is not an easy task to quickly travel across eight lanes of fast moving traffic. They each had a car that they registered at school in order to be allowed to park it on campus. Due to their after school activities, they each needed a car.
Finally, the first day of school arrived. I could tell that they were a bit apprehensive, however off they bravely went with their schedules in hand. At least they were able to register and walk the campus before the first day and knew a little about where to go. Doug was the first one home. He really did not have much to say and I did not want to push him just yet. So I let him have his 'thinking about it' time and thought that once we sat for dinner as a family, that the two of them could open up about how things went during their first day.
Then the door flew opened and slammed. I could not quite make out what Jennifer was ranting about, however, she was in quite a state and so unbelievably angry. She went on for a bit before I helped her with all of her tennis gear and backpack and sat her down with a bottle of Gatorade. Finally, she could talk where she was making sense. Apparently, the tennis coach told her that the team had really already been chosen, however, since she just moved here and had been chosen to be the captain of her former school's tennis team, that he would give her a chance. Ha! Well, la-ti-da! How big of him! Except, he did not leave it at that. He told her when and where to show up for a try-out and just when she was thanking him, he said to her that she had to understand that they played "Texas Tennis" there. He is lucky that she did not go totally ballistic, right in front of him.
She waited until she got in the car. She was probably very lucky that she was not pulled over for speeding or aggressive driving. At this point, I asked her what was she going to do? In the back of my mind, I knew exactly what she was going to do. This sorry excuse for a coach had ticked her off royally. Enough for her to want to show him exactly how the cow eats the cabbage and how she can play tennis quite well in Texas or anywhere else, thank you very much. (Just for the record, she did make the cut and was placed on the team!)
There were many events that happened at school that day for both of them. At dinner, both kids, almost simultaneously informed me that Texas is not part of the Union but a country in its own right. I questioned why they would say such a thing. At this point, they both said that part of their homework for their homeroom class was to learn how to recite the Pledge of the Texas Flag. They said that right after the Pledge of Allegiance was said, they sat down, only to quickly get right back up because everyone else was standing and now reciting, "Honor the Texas flag: I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."
After the first day of school, I learned to make lemonade from whatever Texas lemons were thrown my way.