The Big Divorce Adventureby Bridget Stuart
Message to my blog buds: you may not have noticed, but I'm not in Texas anymore.
Farewell, Texas cops who give me actual speeding tickets instead of smiles; so long, big rolling estate with a swimming pool which cost about a dollar and fifty nine cents; bye-bye fake Christmas trees and scorpions in my shoes; sayonara SXSW Festival and the bluebonnet hill country. I'm back in Massachusetts with the kids, but without the Professor. No, he hasn't gone on to that big university in the sky, he's just…in Texas, and plans to stay there. Have fun, Professor.
…as I plan to do.
The kids and I have returned to our picturesque little New England fishing village on the rocky coast. This village is chock full of tiny houses so humble, so simple, so charmingly ramshackle and shabby, that their prices would gag a Gates.
But we need to live here. This is the only home the kids have ever known, other than the brief Texas fling. It's where we have all the friends, schools, and support we need to start again without the Professor. And so begins a new adventure: how to pretend to your kids that this whole radical downsizing thing is really, actually a whole lot of big time fun.
"Mom?" My older son asks, looking around the living room that is smaller than his bedroom was in Texas. The floors are covered with carpet tacks and someone's incontinent pet was clearly without any reverence for the hardwood, if the large black stains are anything to go by. "Is this…poverty?"
Ha ha ha! Mom launches into an explanation of "Location, location, location" compounded with the virtues of a huge lot with room for expansion (an expansion that will happen when Mom suddenly starts pulling down the big bux)--all delivered with a jittery smile.
"It'll be GREAT!" I laugh. "You can help me pick out the colors, and figure out what to do with the furniture, and…"
Silence. In fact, my younger guy is giving me that sideways squint which means he's figured it all out. Scary, I tell you. And they haven't even seen the hole in the floor upstairs yet--the one where a toilet is supposed to be.
The good news: contrary to popular reports, Massachusetts is the friendliest place on earth. In accordance with this friendliness, it contains some of the nicest plumbers, electricians, contractors, and other such talented people (yes, some of us have *useful* talents) on earth.