And now a guest blogger - on retiring in Texas

[ed. note: Sometimes a gal's got to call in the troops for some help. The following is a post from my dad, who retired in the Austin area with my mom in 2006 - literally the day after my first child (and their first grandchild) was born.]

While our massive, cranky pregnant blogger-person recovers from that which must not be mentioned, it's time for a guest blogger to step in. Yup- - Granddaddy to the rescue. ...super hero extraordinaire, appearing on command, although usually late and inappropriately dressed. ...according to Grandma, anyway.

I can appear on short notice because, yes, I too moved to Austin. ...actually, moved back to Austin. Grandma and I met at The University, back in the sixties when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and drank from Littlefield Fountain while on the way to their mandatory English Lit classes. All college alumni want to stay in college-town, and this seems particularly true of those of us who went to school in Austin. But in those days, there was a war on, and a career and other silly excuses that lure people away changed our lives. We moved on, thoughts of living in Austin shoved aside.

It took our children to catalyze a move to Austin. One of our daughters and her husband returned to Texas, had a look around, and chose Austin for their home. As they became established in Austin and First Grandson arrived, our travel plans shifted. And suddenly it happened- - Grandma and I successfully got off the upper deck of northbound I-35 and onto northbound Airport Blvd, sighted the Tamale House ahead, and realized that "Hey! We could do this!"

We were living in North Carolina. It's a nice place, and Other Daughter had married a local boy and settled there. They have seacoast there, and hills and trees and lakes... but it's different. We missed mesquite smoked brisket. We missed Tex-Mex food terribly- - nasty stuff from Taco Bell sets the standard, there. Yuk! We missed uncluttered beaches. We searched in vain for a substitute for chicken fried steak. And we discovered that it could be just as hot and humid in North Carolina as in Texas (worse than Austin at times, although not as bad as in Houston or Corpus Christi. Yuk!)

We've traveled. Like French royalty and millions of tourists before us, we had fallen in love with the south of France, the area called Provence. Now we realized why- - it is almost exactly like Texas Hill Country. Nowadays, there's wine production and lavender fields, and they're beginning to plant olive trees. ...all within fifty miles of Austin. That did it. Port Aransas ain't quite the Cote d'Azur, but it sure is nice. ...far more affordable, too.

We met Beverly and Armando, who run a real estate firm. We did what the Beverly Hillbillies did (with minor differences)- - we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly's. ...Hill Country, that is. ...Penske truck. ...stupid theme song running in our heads.

It's great to be back. Thanks to Miz Massive, Cranky Blogger-Person, we'll have a new baby granddaughter in a few days. This time, we'll be there in 48 minutes instead of 48 hours. Yes, moving back to Austin is great.