Spare some change?


I have finally been released from U.R. Tookwyet blogger’s prison, after serving my full sentence for blog neglect and reckless endangerment of the English language.

I got no time off for good behavior, which won’t surprise any of you.

So, I’m back to the written world. I believe my neglect started when D began wondering why I wasn’t writing things that might make us rich, instead of this string of bloviation that merely amuses me. But I found that when I stopped playing on here, my creativity dried up in that area, too. Lucky you.

Besides, there hasn’t been all that much going on in our lives since last August. Kinda boring. Just a few little things, like moving D’s mom back to Tennessee, selling her house, selling our house, selling a bunch o’ crap, moving to an apartment in downtown Dallas, visiting family in Chicago, crazy holi-daze at Children’s Medical Center, buying two new cars and going to Vegas for a wedding.

D’s mom just never got her groove on here in Texas. “Hated it” wouldn’t be too strong of a description. She’s much happier now. Because her house was in a good school district, it sold quickly, which is a good thing, It took two moves to get all of her stuff back to Tennessee, and more than a few curses, given that we had just moved all of that stuff here a year earlier. But did I mention that she’s much happier now?

Our move was much more fun. We realized after last year’s Welcome to Hell Sizzlepalooza that the absolute last thing we wanted was a house and pool to keep up when the devil was dancing at 187 degrees for three months straight.

I think it was when our shingles melted that we gave up. Or it might have been when the bricks spontaneously combusted and wafted away in clouds of amber ash. Can’t remember.

But given my neck issues caused by a car wreck last year, most of the upkeep fell to D. And given that she works very hard in the daytime at her job, she has less than zero interest in spending her evenings and weekends repairing stuff, painting, pulling super-aggressive Texas weeds out of the air-conditioner vents, scrubbing a pool that is too hot to swim in, watering the foundation so the house doesn’t tumble down the hill, that kind of thing.

Besides, it was crazy for two people to rattle around in a 3,400-square-foot house. It seemed like a good idea when we bought it, because we loved the house and it was close to D’s lab. But we haven’t had as much company as we thought. And we figured we could find better places to spend the $600 to $850 we laid out each month on the power bill.

After years in the suburbs, we felt the itch to be urban dwellers, too. I work near downtown Dallas, and hated driving away from all of the fun nightlife places and shiny neon buildings each night. Our suburb, while really nice, wasn’t conducive to bonding with neighbors. Everyone had an eight-foot fence, driveways are off of alleys in the back, that kind of thing.

So we put the house on the market, and D became a craigslist whirlwind. Over the course of a couple of months, she sold a few things: a couch. A loveseat. Our end tables and coffee table. Our eight-person formal dining room set. My Harley helmet and jacket. My office desk (from the home office, not the hospital. The hospital would frown on that). Our barbecue grill. Our upstairs stereo system.

Pretty much, if it wasn’t bolted down, she snapped photos and had it up on craigslist. And she took any close offers.

One day I came home and someone was there to pick up me and Chase. She had agreed to $20 for me and $3,456,123 for him. Had to put my foot down on that one.

Soon our house looked like we’d moved out. I felt particularly spiffy sitting on the empty living room floor on a blanket, watching a little TV propped up on a cardboard box.

We listed the house after Thanksgiving, which is a slow time of year for house sales. But once we decided to go, we were en fuego. Packing, selling, looking for a new home. We picked a midrise apartment building just 4 miles from the hospital, in a hip, happenin’ place called Uptown. It’s where young, thin, rich, freshly minted SMU graduates choose to live and park their BMWs until they get married and move to Preston Hollow.

Yeah, we’re not sure why they let us in, either.

But we’re within walking distance of  3,491 restaurants, a movie theater, hundreds of bars and acres of parks. We can throw a baseball  to Turtle Creek, a stunningly gorgeous chunk of land that seriously you would never expect to find in the heart of Dallas. It’s like a winding oasis, full of huge trees, turtles, ducks, swans and an occasional beer can or condom wrapper. (So far, no actual condoms. Thanks heavens for small favors.)

We took a walk the other day with Chase and wandered by Troy Aikman’s house. It’s for sale. We didn’t look at it, being freshly enamored of apartment life. It had nothing to do with the $24 million price tag. Really.

We hadn’t been there long when one of Texas’ patented, apocalyptic summer thunderstorms rolled through. It sounded like our apartment had been tossed into a huge metal blender with big volcanic rocks and set on “liquefy.” About halfway through, I looked at D and yelled over the roar, “HEY, GUESS WHAT?? WE DON’T OWN THIS ROOF!” Then we laughed maniacally.

We also don’t own the dishwasher, or the frig, or the range. The other day, I was roasting veggies for dinner, and the oven caught on fire. Not the veggies, the actual oven. Big roiling coils of smoke, pungent melted-wire smell, the whole shebang. I called down to the office and they sent a guy up, who after a close examination uttered the opinion that the oven had caught on fire. The next morning, they brought up a brand-new one and popped it in. It was fabulous. I didn’t have to spend hours comparing, researching and buying a new one, then obsessing about whether I got the right one. D really likes that last part.

The best part, though, is having a kicky little Billy Joel song running through our heads 24/7: “Uptownnn giiiirls….”

About wordsmith1313

Now: Somewhat retired, although I don't do it very well. Formerly senior director of Communications and Marketing for the Dallas Zoo. Journalist. EMT. Writer. Breast cancer survivor. I love to travel, and will always return from a trip with a new friend or two. Those fortuitous meetings bring velvet to the rough edges of life.
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4 Responses to Spare some change?

  1. Cindy Smith says:

    This post has made my day. Totally hilarious. Ever thought about doing this for a living? (little smiley face thing here). A fan in Nashville.

  2. Susan Hopper says:

    Sounds like you’re happy and have adapted well to the change of scenery. A house does not identify you. What’s that corny old saying ” Home is where you hang your hat”? Good to see you writing again ~ you do amuse me. Much love to you and D.

  3. Ruth Fitzgibbons says:

    You’ve made me guffaw out loud (so hard I was crying on Tuesday)
    twice this week and that’s when I start to get seriously attached….

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