Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Texodus

My family - we have a quirky sense of humor.  Which my father takes responsibility for - even when it is used against him.  The rest of us don’t know whether to be grateful or maybe consider some kind of legal action at some point.  Though - I’m not sure who we’d be without it. 

We love each other - and we show it emphatically with our sarcasm, bad references to movies from the 80’s and 90’s and (in my case) beating up on my little sisters. 

One of the interesting things that I’ve realized in the last couple of years is how much more alike we are than we are different.  We have a shared history and vocabulary (again mostly comprised of references to our favorite movies).  And we all think a lot more alike than any of us would have cared to admit when we were all living under the same roof.

Speaking of that shared roof - my parents recently sold it….along with the rest of the house.  The story leading up to this is what I want to explain.

Several years ago - during one holiday or another, we were sitting around, probably with some unwrapped Christmas presents on the floor and full of ham or turkey and probably some of Mom’s famous asparagus - we started to talk about moving away from Poulsbo, Washington - where we all grew up and where we had all been more-or-less close to for the last 5 or 6 years.  We had lived in Texas when Dad was in the Army - and we’d all developed a natural affinity for the place.  And so - it became the natural destination, with its wide open spaces, and warmer climate.  For years we joked about buying a compound so that we could all live on it.  I’m notoriously not handy - so many jokes were made whether I’d be able to survive in the wilderness compound that we were jokingly planning.

Cut forward a few years - through life change, some personal growth on all our parts, and a different perspective that came with a few more years of living, some things began to change.  My wife and I began thinking about other opportunities and adventures, either locally in Washington, or even elsewhere in the US.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the same thoughts were going through the hearts and minds of my sisters and my parents. 

Then things really began rolling in typical Rowland fashion.

I had breakfast with Dad down at the bowling alley in Silverdale.  It was the first time I’d eaten there - the pancakes were sooo good.  I drank several pots of coffee.  And we chatted about everything - probably about politics, and history - our favorite topics.  And then he said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this…but…”  It turns out my sister and her husband and my parents had a plan together to move to Texas, contingent on a job opportunity. 

This sparked a conversation with my wife - as I said we’d been planning on looking for some new adventures somewhere.  So we began looking for a place to live, and for work for me in Texas - just to see what was available.  And it turned out that the economics and the job opportunities were VERY much in line with what we were looking for. 

At the same time - my youngest sister, her husband decided to and pulled the trigger to join the Army about 4 days before the age limit cutoff. 

The rest is mostly details - some of which was how much to communicate to each other, so as to keep us all on the same sheet of music, without unnecessarily raising hopes in case things didn’t work out.

So far my parents, my wife and I, and my youngest sister and her husband are all living within 2 hours of Austin, Texas.  The Texodus is still ongoing, but this has been the beginning of a great adventure, and we’re so glad to have made the leap.