Wanna know the real reason I moved back to Texas?
Back in 2004, my husband and I were living in San Francisco. We loved the idea of San Francisco, but hated the reality of it. We needed a new place to live, and although Austin was on the short list, moving back to LA was the most logical choice for us.
That summer I spent a week in San Antonio with my grandmother, who had broken her hip and was convalescing at a rehab. I spent the majority of the time watching golf on TV and playing double solitaire with her (she always kicked my ass at the game), but in the evenings I had a little time to hang out with my BFF from elementary school, Shelly, who also lived in San Antonio.
One night Shelly invited me to a party at a friend's house. Actually, it was more like a old gas station that had been converted into an studio/gallery space. They had strung up lights in the backyard, had tons of Shiner and Lone Star beer on ice, set up a stage and let some neighborhood kids play cunjunto music. I was completely spellbound by the scene. I don't know if it was the warm summer night (after living in California for 9 years, I had forgotten that you could go without a jacket at night) or the cicadas -- maybe it was just hanging out with a good friend who I'd known forever -- but I knew that that party encapsulated what I wanted out of a city, and I didn't think I could get it in California. We were Texas residents by that fall.
And now a corollary to this story: a party that encapsulates why I'm so happy here. We've been inviting friends over (who also happen to be parents) to just hang out in our front yard and drink beer while our kids eat popsicles and run around in the cul-de-sac. Last time we had the party the lightning bugs came out at twilight, and the kids ran around trying to catch them in a mason jar. We never caught any, but caught a toad instead. I think all of the adults had some flashbacks to childhood.
Luckily my friend Bonnie, who is an amazing photographer, took photos, and I can give you some visuals: Part One and Part Two.
It feels good to be happy and comfortable in Austin, Texas. Cheers!
Labels: general austin, kids, services