I don’t think six year-old Lauren remembers much of the details that surrounded us moving from Florida to Texas. Although just 12, Ally came west with me to house hunt while Lauren stayed with some horse friends from Wickham.
I am sure Lauren should remember the infinite trips from Sugar Land to Wharton, when we moved here in 2007, but as an eighth grader leaving her friends, the details of contracts, inspections, appraisals and surveys were well beyond her. The excitement of having her horses, particularly Mickey, in her backyard, overrode any concerns I was having about the move.
The first house I ever purchased myself was a tiny bungalow in Kansas City. It had green siding, was nearly 50 years old and looked remarkably like the one I live in now. I paid $2000 down on a $20,000 house. Really. My payment was $210 a month. I just bought a used truck for more than I paid for that first house.
Maybe that resemblance was why I was always so comfortable in this Wharton house. I didn’t pay much for it either although I got six acres as well with this one. I honestly thought I would be in this house until the kids finally carted me out, kicking and screaming, off to the old folks home where my mother who is never going to die will still be living. We can be roommates. My horse, Kid, will need a stall out back because he is living on indefinitely as well.
But things change. I never dreamed my mom would live here or that the job for which I came to Wharton would end and I would live in a world of endless commuting heading up to Houston each day. I have been making the commute for five years. One hundred and thirty-five miles a day to go to work for five years. I could readily do that math but it would only freak me out.
I would look half-heartedly at the property ads Lauren would present to me. I went off to look at the properties that Lauren and Tracy would find for us. A couple I liked but not for more money than what I had and EVERYTHING was more money than my little green house.
Actually, that was part of the appeal for me. All around me, everyone (trust me on this) lived in a bigger, nicer place. Both of my daughters and their families live in places twice as big and twice as nice. I kind of was proud to live in the dumpy house. It went a long way to provide credibility to my hourly employees working for me that I lived simply. As a kid I was taught to be humble, that no one was better than anyone else and I used my house and old car to prove it.
When this latest property came up, I had no more initiative to move than before until I saw the house and walked the green, tree filled pastures. I just fell in love.
It has been harried weeks of continued negotiation over who is building the fence and putting in the driveway. It has been a time of cleaning out long forgotten items from the shed and throwing out bags and bags of trash. This week we even taped a big tip to the lid of the trash can so they would continue to take all the junk we are throwing away. I could have a tack sale to rival Charlotte’s Tent Sale. Anyone need a bridle or blanket? I have a million. And probably every English bit ever produced in one fashion or another.
Lauren may have missed the details of the last move but has learned all the house buying details between Tracy and I guiding her. She has represented me at home inspection ( learning a little more about septic tanks than she ever wanted to know). She has talked in depth with the contractor about her vision for the barn and Arena. She can probably tell you more about surveys and easements than you would want to know. With me working and traveling so much, she will be the contractors point of contact. She will remember this move for sure!
Our house will be inspected tomorrow. I have spent the entire weekend cleaning, packing and cleaning some more. The attic is now free and clear. Nothing left up there. Lauren has been less than useful, complaining about her back and whining about her knees. Geez! She just up and left with friends today.
Well, I better get out and get the horses fed and watered. It will be late early tonight with the time change. Tomorrow is Lauren’s 21st birthday. I told my mom today about how she had come to Florida to be there with me when Lauren was born. She had not been able to be with me with either Amber or Ally. Twenty-one years ago, my momma was bright and beautiful. Twenty-one years ago tomorrow, my Florida surprise baby was born. What a journey we have had! What a blessing she has been.
Thank you for being part of our journey!