After six years and five months, we are moving out of Dallas.
Those years were a tumultuous time for my husband and me, as well as our kids. It started with The Fire, of course, which destroyed everything we owned, just a couple of weeks after we’d moved here. Then there was the period of adjustment, learning a new city, new grocery stores, making new friends, since we only knew one person besides my parents when we moved here. Alongside that transition came the return of our kids, one after the other, for a year or so each as they regrouped and got onto their feet again after various life challenges. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in the apartment we’d moved into after twelve hideous days at my parent’s house after the fire, but we all managed to make it work with a minimum of friction.
And of course, the pandemic, which was not Dallas’ fault, but continued the streak of this part of our lives being more difficult than we’d like it to be. And, you know, it’s hot here, doorstep of Hades hot for far longer into the year than any reasonable person would find acceptable, and those cedar trees down south play havoc with allergies alongside of the roasting, as well. For a cloudy, cool-to-crisp, sweater weather lover like myself, it’s been unpleasant to live through.
We also had the neighbor from hell for a little over a year.
Dallas has had bright spots. I made some excellent new friends, ones that I plan on keeping for the rest of my days on the planet. They come from a variety of activities that I was able to get involved with; Masters swimming, a swim friends book club, theatre friends from the acting classes I taught and plays I had the honor of directing, Democratic women friends, writer friends, and some good neighbors. I’ve been saying what I call “soft goodbyes” to those important folks over the past three weeks, soft in that I expect that I’ll see them again in the course of time, and soft as in I’m just trying to keep everything as gentle as possible so that I don’t tip into overwhelm. We’ve moved a lot over the course of our marriage, sometimes house to house, other times hopping states and time zones. This will be the tenth move in nearly thirty years, so we have our system down pretty well on the packing and organizing end of things, so that bit isn’t particularly hard. It’s those goodbyes.
Yet, what a blessing to have made good friends who it’s hard to say goodbye to. It’s not the place, it’s the people I’ll miss, to quote a line from one of my own plays, “Like Kissing Moonlight.”
I’ll also miss having a nearby Trader Joe’s to shop at, but that particular addiction is a tale best saved for another day.
So in exactly six days, we will pull out of Dallas in a car and a sixteen foot truck, on a three-day drive cross-country with the stuff we’ve managed to re-accumulate over the past six years and five months since walking into this apartment with nothing but our beloved dog and our one change of clothes in a paper bag. That accumulation of furniture, books, and pots and pans is a testimony to our resiliency, I think, as is this blog. I started writing it a month or so after our fire as I worked my way through wrapping my head around that disaster, seeking the why of it all.
I have to ask myself; would I have embarked on this third act of being a full-time writer had The Fire not given me that first kick in the rear? Perhaps not… something to think about, that’s for sure. Because now, not only do I have two full-length plays and a good one-act play written, as well as a blog, I also have a non-fiction book with awesome recipes, a 5-book + free novella dark fantasy series that twists Grimm’s fairy tales, and on June 21st, one day before we move (because yes, I may be a slightly crazy person), I have the first book in a truly delightful, fun sweet sports romance collection centered in the not-quite fictional mountain town of Greenwood publishing under my pen name, Christy Winn. There’s a free novella to go with that too, and a second book coming out in July. Do me a favor, pick up a copy of The Plunge. You’ll be glad you did! You can check out the book page here: https://www.amazon.com/Plunge-Greenwood-Mountain-Romance-Romances-ebook/dp/B0C39JZ5KZ
Also, you can get free books at my new, wonderful website designed by our friend Paul Miller. See it here: https://eatwriteplay.com
So, this is my last blog from the great state of Texas (for now). Stay tuned for more from the mountains of Virginia, and as always, thanks for reading. I appreciate you.