As I said earlier, we lived in Galveston six years and making the decision to leave, a decision based of many long conversations with many people, was very hard. The day the realtor called to tell me we had an offer on the house, had I not had packed boxes everywhere, I think I would have said “Sorry, changed our mind – not selling”, and hung up the phone. I did tell her one of us would call her back and sat on the porch and cried for 30 minutes.
Of course, we hadn’t even started looking for a house, hadn’t even agreed on a place to look. I wanted to be in the hill country or maybe the East Texas piney woods. MHN didn’t want to be 8 hours away from his customer base which was still along the gulf coast. Agreeing on a place was really hard and involved some serious compromise on my part. Ultimately, we agreed on Wharton. It’s a small town (neither of us wanted a big-ish city), located in a 2nd tier county (no wind storm insurance needed), not too far from Houston (airports) and right off highways 59 and 60 (easy access to the known world). While it did have a grocery store (one), it didn’t have any type of entertainment or variety in restaurants (lots of Mexican food – not much else). We didn’t do as much research as we might have and looking back, there would have been different decisions made. But, we all know about “hind-sight”.
Michael wanted acreage – at least two, preferably five. I wanted to be in a neighborhood where I could actually SEE other people every day. I think we looked at every house that even sort of met our requirements. One, located in a more rural area, was on five acres, large house, right price. OK – first of all the area, while considered a neighborhood, had homes on large tracts of land. No seeing neighbors daily, maybe not even weekly. Then, two – to get to the house, you drove on a dirt driveway through two acres of trees, brambles, and underbrush. Uhhhhh no. The house itself did have some unique features like – a stone (like large river rocks) floor in the kitchen, a ball room (that someone painted orange, on the top half of the walls and purple, on the bottom half), pocket doors (good, I like pocket doors), and three bedrooms upstairs one painted a fluorescent pink, one an eye blinding yellow, and one black. And while the house could have been a “maybe”, because MHN would still be gone 5 days to 2 weeks on business travel, it was a great big NO for me. I got a bit claustrophobic and generally spooked with all the scruffy woods pushing up to the house on all sides. I do have a vivid imagination and can imagine lions, tigers, bears, and worse things, oh my – with little help.
We did find a house that mostly met our needs. Two acres with pecan, oak, and magnolia trees (good), huge barn (ok), partially fenced back yard (good), neighbors all around (check), no city water or sewer – on a well and septic system (very weird, I’m a city person, you know). The house had a nice kitchen/breakfast room, an ‘L’ shaped dining/living room, a fire place that had been bricked-up and tiled over (so- there was just the mantel and very slight opening for nothing), two bedrooms, another room that was really the size of a walk-in closet (called the 3rd bedroom) and one bathroom. Oh, and it had two front doors – one off the living room with a tiny entry and the other in a breeze-way type room between the attached garage and kitchen. I could work with this.
Onward and upward……