I realized this morning that as of today I have lived in Texas for a decade (I live in a neighborhood of remarkably similar houses, exactly halfway between Austin and Round Rock, also very near Cedar Park, in a place called Brushy Creek, which is not an incorporated town). We left wonderful and peaceful (yet corn/soybean-intensive) Champaign, Illinois right after Christmas in 1996. I drove with the cats and plants; XH drove with the kids (aged 3 and 5). Who had the better deal? I think he did. One cat refused to eat his kitty downers and yowled and voided horrible stinky gland products the ENTIRE way. Yowl. Yowl. Yowl. Yowl. How that cat lived another 9 years I will never know.
I know I have been here a while because now I am one of those complaining that all the pretty countryside is becoming tract housing (even Brushy Creek Road, sniff). One thing that remains is the round rock, which is how Round Rock, Texas got its name. That's it, on the left (note that I originally wrote "right"--I am having an epidemic of mis-labeling directions, making it hard for EM to find stuff in my kitchen). Next to it, you can see actual wagon tracks that were part of the Chisholm Trail where it crossed Brushy Creek (the rock was a handy landmark). It's a nice rock, next to a train track and part of the park where EM and I once spent a very long time when I lost that permanent job.
I think I finally feel at home here. It takes me SO long to acclimate to a new place. It took me at least that long to get used to Illinois (I was there 16 years). Of course, the only real "home" is Gainesville, where my lucky sister plans to move. Lucky sister. (Another weird thing EM and I have in common: our next oldest sibling is 13 years older.)
In an emotions of Suna update, I do feel better. I am not quite as worried about the kids today. The Younger Boy visited a friend yesterday, but when he got home, he was happy and enjoying Warhammer with his friends. He was pretty cute painting his miniatures while talking on the phone with two pals on headphones. The Older Boy was at home in the evening, and was really nice when EM and I made a dinner. He ate three helpings of EM's delicious fajitas, and was his usual fun self to talk to. Whew.
It was a pretty rough day emotionally for both EM and me, but we got through it. I was all messed up about the kids and he had a lawyer meeting and other bureaucratic crap to deal with. Thank goodness all we need is some time together to feel better. I also found out someone I cared about at church died yesterday, another friend had a horrible child custody hearing, and another online acquaintance had two grandchildren die in a fire. A lot of sadness. I hope today will be nice and calm.