I’m writing this blog entry from the Austin Bergstrom Airport… seemingly moments before I depart for Seattle and the next chapter in my life. It’s hard not to cry thinking back on the past four years. It’s been an adventure that I so desparately wanted to end, but now have second doubts in light of the uncertainty ahead.
As I drove out of the driveway of our Round Rock house – for the last time – I looked up to see a full moon. Doubtful that I’d closed the garage, I circled back and double-check, taking one more look. Inside were my six cats, which I probably won’t see again for another three to four months, depending on when our house sells. It’s painfully hard to leave the cats.
This was the house that I despised, but now have strong feelings of loss. The first year we moved into the house – which seemed enormous with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, large kitchen, living and dining room, plus a cozy den – we ripped out a large swath of lawn upfront, put in French drains, sculpted a dry creek bed then planted Texas native flowering bushes, grasses, and groundcover. Our efforts rewarded us with months of red, blue, pink magenta, yellow, and orange flowers that daily attracted butterflies, dragon flies and humming birds.
Last night, as the sun was setting, I wandered down to the creek to see it one last time. Many inches of torrential rain, days before, had turned the usually lazy creek into a rapidly flowing body of water that overflowed the banks and had whipped up blobs of white foam. Many parts of Texas, including Round Rock, have been under flood watch for weeks. When the water recedes, I’m sure the contours of the creek while be changed.
This morning, as I got in the car, I could hear the sound of the creek crashing over our mini dam. Usually, by this time of the year, there is barely enough water to cover the creek bed!
Part of my relocation package from Microsoft including real estate assistance. On Tuesday of this week, we signed up a realtor to sell our house. While the plan was for Rich to return from his pyrotechnic activities in Oregon (he’s presently setting up the show) and quickly work to get the house ready to sell, the realtor called on Thursday to say that she not only felt we priced our house too low, but had a potential buyer who wanted to see the house.
Thursday evening, therefore, I scurried to make the house look as presentable as possible, including putting a new bedspread on our bed, draping curtains in the living room, sweeping, wiping, and sticking stuff in closets. I also met with the realtor to give her a key to show the house while Rich is away. It would be astonishing if we got a bid before the house was even officially listed, but miracles happen… and may be this is the miracle we need to validate our decision to leave the comfort of our big Texas house for a compact tract house in Washington!
Below is a bouquet of amazing orchids that my co-workers at Dell gave me the day I left. It was an amazing gesture and I will greatly miss them.