I’m now into my second day of enjoying everything this city now offers me. I say “now”, because as we get older, the scenery has changed.
I absolutely cherish how things are now. When I’m here, I’m family. We hang around and talk and eat. We go out for delicious meals also full of great conversation. The kids treat me like family and I’ve come to appreciate this family life as one that seems to me to be how things ought to be. It’s nothing like either my childhood nor the early years of my own children’s lives. I can’t change anything about all of that now, nor do I have a longing to dwell on it.
I just look at what is in front of me and embrace each moment as a gift. They are open with me about their struggles, which makes the way this household operates seem just that much more magical. They work together to work through things. Human beings together and committed to that togetherness, and always making the best choices they can for the sake of their children and their relationship.
It elicits a very compelling feeling within me. A deep desire to create the same thing in my own life. To bottle it up and take it home with me. A truly impossible task when one is missing the most key ingredients.
The other fairy dust in that bottle is sustainability over time. The agenda of things has changed here in Austin over time. Though I consider Rebecca one of my very best friends, the connection has an intriguing and ironic beginning. I’m from Iowa and so is her husband. We grew up in the same town.
In fact, we went to the same high school though I never really met him there. Our introduction came sometime after that as he was good friends with the man I would marry. He was a groomsman in my wedding. In essence, the start of that relationship is what ultimately (10 or so years later) led to the start of my relationship with Rebecca.
In those early years, the scenery in Austin was very different. We were all about 6th street and drinking and sitting on dueling pianos. We flipped pankaces at the theatre and she was Veronica and I was Betty. They handed us shots and we took them. When people talk about the good ole days, one might presume this is what they are referring to.
But for me, every change of scenery has been the best of times.
Ironically, they were married just as my marriage was falling apart. The Thursday before their wedding, I drank so much I put myself into a world of hurt and ended up missing out on their rehearsal day BBQ. I’ll always carry that as a heavy regret.
In the years that followed I continued my visits to Austin solo. I’ve been here over thanksgiving twice, because you’re supposed to spend holidays with family and they were always the best hostess and host ever.
I’ve made trips for baby showers and also trips “just because”. I’ve flown and driven and made that journey also alone and with other people. They (my Austin peeps) saw me through my divorce and then also my other relationships. They saw the start of things with Matt and were also there in the end. We have laughed and cried, so cliche, but true. They have been my sounding board for my deep life conundrums and always provided good, and honest, insight.
I try to come here twice a year now. Typically in the spring when winter weather back home has gone on too long and weather here is phenomenal and then again in the late fall, after their summer heat has subsided and winter is knocking on Nebraska’s door again. As I’ve said, it is an escape for me, to a home away from home.
Today more family is arriving and the scenery will change again. More people will invigorate the environment and the discussions will turn from being intimate, and take on a lighter, more surface level tone. Steph will be among the new guests, and I have not seen her since just after her and her husband moved from Nebraska to Texas. I’m quite looking forward to hearing about how things are with them now.
I’m not afraid of change. In fact, I often embrace it. I think I’ve always been this way and maybe that’s why I enjoy living where we have such distinct seasons. It might also be why I enjoy traveling and also life changes. Each change seems to be another step in the right direction. More so now than ever. I don’t really miss the good ole day’s because I know that today will be even better!
Cheers to Change,