Christmas in Texas

As many of you know, this past summer I moved from my long time home in Colorado to my new home in Longview, Texas. I was excited about the warm winters and lack of snow. I’ve never been a winter person. Give me 70-80 degrees, and I’m happy 🙂 What I hadn’t anticipated is how the seasons just blend together. In Colorado, we have four distinct seasons. One ends and another follows (that is, except for spring when it’s been known to snow on Mother’s Day, but that’s another story).

Anyway, in the fall freezing temperatures appear in September, sprinklers are turned off, mowers are put away, and the grass goes dormant for the winter. Then the fall leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, and quickly fall off of the trees. The end of September and the month of October are spent raking leaves. By the time mid-November hits and it’s time to put up the outside Christmas lights, there’s a clean slate. Nothing much interferes. Oh, we had an occasional snow, but the snow serves to make the lights more festive–the bright colors shining through the white.

Not so in East Texas. I enjoyed putting up the lights without the need for my down jacket, mittens and scarf, but the grass was still growing. I carefully staked the Christmas ornaments into the front lawn, only to have to move them to move the grass underneath. And then, the leaves finally turn and begin to fall- IN DECEMBER. Lot of leaves. Tons and tons of leaves, that gently fall to the ground and cover the ornaments. Once again, ornaments are moved to rake underneath them.  Every week, more and more leaves fall.

We’ve been in a basic drought since I moved here in July with very little moisture. That is until this week. The weather has decided to make up for all of those sunny days. Three days ago we had four inches of rain and today is predicted to be much the same. Why do I mention this? Because of all of those nice little extension cords criss-crossing my lawn. Everywhere one cord meet the other, moisture gets in, and shorts out the lights resulting in blown fuses. Just when they were all dried out, it’s raining again. Hard. The other night I did something I’ve never done in the month of December, I didn’t turn on my Christmas lights! I didn’t want to spend the entire night flipping breaker switches.

All in all, I’m happy to be in Texas. I admit, I do like a white Christmas, preferably with all the snow melting by the 26th, but when I saw the 9 degree temperature in my former town this morning, I didn’t miss that. I guess I’ll take 70 degrees and soggy lights.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you from me. Whatever your beliefs, or whether you’re in snow or rain, sun or clouds, warm or cold, its the loving spirit of the season in our hearts that count. May you all have a blessed start to 2018!

I LIVE IN TEXAS NOW!

Well, my move is complete and after almost a month of not writing, my office and computer are set up and I’m reconnected with the world 🙂 I now live in East Texas. It’s a change from Colorado. Most noticeably, the humidity. I think I’ve lost ten pounds since I got here just from sweating! It’s hot! I know I moved here at the worst time of the year. I’m already looking forward to autumn! Honestly though, its not so bad, and we even had a couple low humidity days the beginning of this week.

On a positive note, everyone here is so friendly, y’all. I feel very welcomed. And there’s no traffic in this small town, ever. Not even at “rush hour”. It’s nice. People here are proud of their state. The shape of Texas is everywhere. From Texas-shaped waffles to all sorts of Texas shaped items like this cutting board I got as a present when I arrived. We didn’t have that in the beautiful state of Colorado, however, to be fair, Colorado is the shape of a rectangle. If they made products in the shape of Colorado, no one would know. (I’ve eaten rectangle-shaped waffles my whole life). Texas is a great shape though, there’s no mistaking it for any place else. So I’m embracing all that is Texas and life in East Texas.

cutting board

Stay tuned . . . I may even place a place a romance here one day. But for now, my writer’s mind is back in the cool Colorado mountains, furiously trying to finish Colorado Summer Stars (Peakview series book 7) before summer ends. I’ll let you know when I have a release date. Stay cool wherever you’re spending your summer.

Moving on down

It’s a time of change for me. After 22 years in the same house I am in the process of downsizing. Yep, 4000 sq. ft. to 2000. I’m excited, this house had gotten way to big for me since my children all moved out. But, holy crap, I have accumulated a lot of stuff!!! (hint, don’t ever live in a house for 22 years).  This house was great: lots of walk-in closets, a full basement and a three car garage, so many places to put stuff, lots and lots of stuff! I didn’t get rid of things-buy a new couch? move the old one to the basement; buy a new bed? move the old one to the basement; old work files? store them in the basement! What a nightmare. My house wasn’t cluttered, just full. And now it isn’t. After three months of countless trips to Goodwill and ARC, and the landfill and various recycle centers around town, I have started to make a dent in my “treasures”.

My moving date is fast approaching, two and a half more weeks, the roughly 590 pictures that hung on my walls are down. Things too precious to give up are packed in stacks of boxes and my house looks bare, so bare! Will the remains of my life really fit in a 26ft. moving van? I hope so. It was time–probably past time. We all need to declutter our lives once in a while. I feel good about the thing I let go-mostly.

I’m excited for a new chapter in my life. This time I swear I’m not going to accumulate anything I don’t need. Will it work? Time will tell. Check back with me in another 22 years!packing pic