So you see how confused I am with this blog, don’t you? I’ve been writing here for six months and am just now adding the Prologue to I’ll Call It Like I See It, which for any of you who are new readers is the book I can’t seem to get published and the ostensible reason for the blog. Sadly, no agents or publishers have jumped on my bandwagon despite my best efforts, but I continue to post. Actually, the Prologue is a fairly recent addition to the book and I’m not sure why I’ve become so preoccupied with houses lately. Regardless, this is my “test” Prologue which precedes the first section of the book “A Thousand Miles from Texas.”
Good grief. Too much information. By the time I finish explaining, no one will care.
The house that occupied the address at 1021 Timber Lane was an unremarkable story-and-a-half red brick structure with a bay window on the lower floor that jutted out toward the narrow concrete walkway leading from the front door to the driveway of the two-car garage facing the street. The first time I saw it in 1964, however, it reminded me of pictures I’d seen of English Tudor country homes with its dormered roof and cedar shutters, and I couldn’t imagine how it came to rest on a cement slab in Rosenberg, Texas. My schoolteacher parents took me to see the house initially when I came home to visit them for Christmas break of my freshman year at The University of Texas in Austin before they purchased the place the following spring. They were like happy, almost giddy children with a new toy and while I shared their excitement of finally having a home that belonged to our immediate family after eighteen years of rental houses and living with my mother’s mother, I was more interested in college life and the girls in Blanton Dormitory at school than I was in a house in a town I had never lived in.
The women whose lives intersected with mine in that house on Timber Lane deeply impacted the person I am almost fifty years later. My grandmothers, my dad’s sister, my mother, and her best friend who took care of our home and family through the Timber Lane years and beyond – all of these women walked the rooms of that house with me at some point in the time my parents called it home, and all of them loved me and supported me to the best of their abilities even though I was an absentee family member for over forty years except for random brief visits. Life is about choices, and I chose to leave the safety net of this house on the concrete slab and the family it owned to seek my happiness in other houses with other women in faraway places.
I live in two houses in two states today and label myself a bi-stateual. One of the houses is in Texas again where I care for my aging mother who has Alzheimer’s disease and barely recognizes me now. The other is a thousand miles away in South Carolina where I’ve lived my entire adult life. Recently I’ve realized we never really own our homes even though we may hold a title to them. We’re really just passing through on a journey from here to there. I haven’t quite made it to “there” yet, but I’m getting closer… and have earned the right to call it like I see it.