All My Exes Live In Texas

Which is why I hang my hat in Las Vegas.

I realized, as I began to write this post, that this is actually not entirely true. Probably about half of my exes live in Texas. One of them lives in my house with me, and sleeps in my bed.

The scandal!

It’s a good thing he came to his senses and married me.

Upon realizing that not all of my exes live in Texas, I decided that it would be a good time to move back there.

So, we are.

In this space, I originally planned to put a picture illustrating my love for Texas and my warm squishy feelings about returning to the state that spawned me, but then I saw this and couldn’t stop laughing. You’re welcome.

 But really, we’re moving to Texas.

That is the good news.

Pretty much everything that follows this public service announcement is going to be not-so-good news.

This is the part that I’m the most freaked out about rightthisverysecond: we’re moving in three weeks.

THREE. Weeks.

And our house looks…the same as it always does. Perhaps slightly messier, as the knowledge that I am going to have to pack the entire thing up in record time has somehow caused me to revolt against cleaning  doing anything.

We have to move that soon because we are planning on having a jewelry show in Texas, and my mom thinks it will be best to do it before all the teachers at the school she works for have abdicated for the summer. So that gives us a very short window of time in which to frantically make jewelry while packing.

How I’m Feeling on the Inside

Now, the next thing I’m freaking out about is this: the Ogre will not be joining us.

Oh yes, you read that right. He will help us pack and drive across the country and stay for a week or two, but then he’s coming back to Las Vegas. He’s going to get a studio apartment near campus and spend the summer frantically prepping for his qualifying exams, then he will teach the fall semester while writing his prospectus. So we can expect to be reunited with our rock, our foundation, our sanity, our after-dinner-dishwasher, in December.

How I’m Looking on the Outside

Why, you ask? Why would we embark on such a journey?

The answer is two-fold. First, and primarily, the Ogre needs as much time as we can possibly give him to prepare for his qualifying exams. Originally I had planned to take the kids to Texas for a month or two this summer, but then something else came up that made us reconsider that plan.

That something else is my grandad, my dad’s dad. He is getting older, and his wife died about five years ago, so he’s living alone. He’s getting to the point where he needs someone to be around to help take care of him.

He lives alone in a three-bedroom house with a nice backyard which is literally right next to a park and a playground. It’s the perfect house to have kids in. The Ogre and I have no idea where we’ll be going after his qualifying exams. He’ll send out applications, but the market right now is terrible. There are tons of universities and community colleges within a fifteen-mile radius of my grandfather’s house, so it’s a great place to be living while he’s looking for a job. Additionally, if he can’t find a job right away, I can always resume my master’s at UD and we can live on loans for a little while until he gets a job, or I can try to get a job and work while he is writing his dissertation. We’ll be living with my grandfather rent-free, so our expenses will be minimal, and we’ve already accustomed ourselves to living on very, very little.

And I want to help my grandfather. I hate thinking about him getting old alone. He’s got two children and several grandchildren nearby, but they have their own lives. If we were living with him, it would give him more to live for. I hope that it would make his last years more pleasant.

Of course, this could be a short-term thing. Once the Ogre finishes his exams he’ll send out applications everywhere, and if he gets a job at, say, Wyoming Catholic, we’ll be packing up again.

But for now, it seems to be a good solution. It will give the Ogre the time he needs to write, the kids and I will have an actual house with a backyard to live in, we’ll be close to our family again, and when the Ogre re-joins us things will be remarkably less stressful and more pleasant.

But the immediate future is slightly more than intimidating. I have a feeling that this is what I will look like for the next three weeks:

Well, sort of. Remove the skirt and heels and replace with flip flops and capris, remove briefcase and replace with boxes and packing tape, remove bottle and replace with contents of unhooked nursing bra, keep laptop because blogging is essential, and triple the wine. So, actually, I won’t look much like this at all. But you get the idea.

I’ll keep blogging, though, because it should be fun for you to watch as I completely unravel and begin speaking gibberish.

Oh! And on a related note, if any of you live near the Dallas/Ft. Worth area or will be there in June, please email  me and I’ll invite you to our second jewelry show! If you like jewelry, that is. Or if you just want to come and snag some free appetizers and wine. I won’t judge you.

In the meantime, prayers for my sanity and a smooth resolution to the myriad of details that are sure to crop up and need to be resolved would be so very appreciated. As would helpful notes in my combox, like “You can do it!” or “Don’t pack the glass vases with the cast-iron pans!”

And now, I need to find a healthy outlet for my stress before attacking the closets without mercy.

Ah yes, here’s one.

  • Emily J.

    Oh, I have fond memories of DFW! We're going in a couple weeks for an engineering conference for my husband and to visit family and old stomping grounds. I started my masters at UD as a newlywed (we lived near Eatzi's off Oaklawn, where we used to graze on samples for dinner) and finished a couple years later with 2 toddlers in tow while the husband was on deployment (lived with an aunt and uncle in Ft. Worth). Hired a couple students to babysit on campus. Then promptly packed the degree away while having more babies.Seems it is the season to be moving. We are heading to Guam in a couple months, but don't have to do any of the heavy lifting – leaving that to the military to take care of. Since professionals pack and ship our junk, I don't have any great packing advice, although it is handy that they pack by room, label boxes well, and pack like with like. Washing clothes before packing them is usually a good idea. Hoping all falls into place for you.

  • Anonymous

    Calah,I came here from Andrea's blog, (I am her Mother-in-law). What you are about to embark on is going to bring you and your children such blessings. I was lucky enough to be my Dads caregiver for a year before he passed away in January. I never knew taking care of him would bring me such peace and it was such an honor. Your grandfather is very lucky to have you.

  • Tridentine Wife

    Whoa crazy but should be a fun adventure to blog about and here's just what you requested: you can do it!

  • Mrs. Clara C

    Good Luck and I will keep you in my prayers! This is totally do-able! Make lists and label boxes very well. The suggestions above about talking to your DH daily and trying to see each other every 4-6 weeks are really good ones.

  • Marina Lehman

    I'm sure I don't just speak for myself when I say that we'll be praying for you.

  • Anonymous

    When the superior of the monastery I was living in, hoping to join, said that they couldn't take me, I decided to move to country X to find a job, take a flat and get my widowed and frail grandmother to join me. (The family were looking after her anyway, but the housing situation was difficult for everyone). All sorts of things have happened as a result that I would never have even thought of, and while I am doing my feeble best to be a good companion for the Forebear, I am entirely certain I am the one who has gained the most in every way from the decision.

  • Eve

    Just found this "moving list" and thought of you :)

  • Calah

    MrsDarwin-I do actually remember when you and Darwin were living apart, and that played a role in my decision-making. When we were considering this crazy plan I thought, "Mrs. Darwin did this. I bet I can too." Thank you!JoAnna-thanks! If we do come through Phoenix we may just take you up on that!Jennifer-thanks! My brother and his wife live in Austin, so I guarantee we will make it down there plenty of times! Also, did you know that Kassie (the Secret Vatican Spy) is transferring to UT soon? Kara-that's a really good idea. I think the first thing we'll do when he meets up with us again in December is go on a date (since we'll have babysitters around again!) to the restaurant where he proposed to me. That would be so lovely. Janet-thank you! Yes, please let me know when you are in Dallas!Louise-thank you!Carla-Oh, man. Caffeine, check, but no chocolate because (once again) we're going sugar and grain-free. I'm trying to shed the last of this stubborn baby weight before spending the summer at my parent's pool!Sarah-thank you! We are really looking forward to being closer to our families for a little while. "Miss Pelletier" (giggle)-yeah. We are made for each other. Hang out this summer? Dwija-you are my inspiration. Seriously. When I'm in a house of my own, I'm totally going to spend years of my life poring over your blog, learning how to make ugly things pretty. We don't have an online shop now, but one of our hopes is to make enough money from this jewelry show to open up a website. (No Etsy, Etsy is kind of a scam. We'll operate independently) But if you find me on FB and friend me, I have tons of pictures there. Anne-Oh please come up to Dallas this summer! We can share some wine then. Maybe we can even drink it out of plastic cups on the Cap Bar patio like we did when we were class-tacular undergrads, eh? Kate-that is such a good way of looking at it! And, I'm positive I'll see you on campus. My MIL works there, my FIL teaches there, and I may in fact go back and finish my master's there. Just look for a harried-looking blond woman covered in children. That'll be me. AKA the Mom-we'll be staying with my parent's in Colleyville for a while, then moving into my grandfather's house in Hurst. But we'll spend lots of time in Irving and Dallas, where the Ogre's family is. Where will you be?

  • Calah

    Kat-thanks! Yeah, it will be worth it!Leila-thank you! And thank you for your prayers!Beckster-that would be so awesome! Can you email me your email address (redundant much)? I'll send you an e-vite when we've got the date and such nailed down. Eve-thanks for the great ideas. I think the sticker idea is fantastic…as is the list idea! Michelle-thanks! Yeah, Wyoming Catholic is pretty neat. We hope to end up at a small Catholic school somewhere!Diana-Yay! Love UDLex-good ideas. The Ogre is planning on flying back once a month for a couple days…and that's the part I'm most worried about, all the stress that builds up when we're without each other. We've done this once before (for a much shorter term) and it was terribly difficult. Emily-goodness! Guam! Not going to lie, I'm using you heroic military wives as my inspiration during all this. Since my husband is, in his own way, fighting a culture war, I'm pretending that I'm a military wife who's husband is deployed. You're my inspiration! I hope I can manage it with as much grace as most of you do. Anonymous (Andrea's mother-in-law)-thank you!I'm really grateful for the opportunity. My kids have spent most (well, two of them have spent all) of their lives only seeing my grandfather in bits and pieces on trips, so this is such a wonderful chance for them to get to know him. I also really miss him and hate to think of him spending so much time alone in his house. Tridentine Wife-thank you! OH, I've been meaning to leave a comment on your blog, but know that I've been praying for you!Mrs. Clara C-thank you!Marina Lehman-thank you! I so appreciate prayers!Anonymous 2-Wow, how amazing! That is wonderful of you. And I can only imagine. I know that the short bits of time I get to spend with my grandparents when we visit are always so treasured that this time will be so incredible. Difficult, but well worth it.Oh, thank you, Eve!

  • Andrea

    Calah, I have stepped away from the blog world but happened to see this post. I'll be in fort worth in June. When is your jewelry show?? Can you FB message me?? I'd love to come!