Travel and big houses.

Across these miles I wish you well.
May nothing haunt your heart but sleep.
May you not sense what I don’t tell.
May you not dream, or doubt, or weep.
Other Stuff

November 22, 1998
Years ago when I lived in Biloxi every weekend we would drive nearly three hours to Evergreen, Alabama to see my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. We would also work on the house we planned to move into when my parents retired. Biloxi being probably the best city I have lived in so far, we spent so much wasted time (it seems) travelling to and from Alabama for what finally resulted in nothing. The house we were renovating is sitting there rotting with for sale signs hanging in its windows and almost all communication has been cut between our family in Evergreen. We only hear from them when someone dies, and that’s usually days after the funeral. So you can imagine our surprise when we suddenly get a call saying our grandmother is taking a trip to visit her brother in Dallas. Most surprisingly is that even when we were only living three hours away from them they only visited us maybe four times in the nine years we lived there. But now she’s riding thirteen hours (they’re slow; lots of stops) to visit?

We’re tired. Trying to get ready to move — packing, working, etc. — can really start the exhaustion engine. Did we really want to drive two hours to Dallas? No. But hey, why break the tradition now? Of course we’ll drive two hours up there to visit her and the rest of the family. We have nothing better to do. Except, you know, move.

The trip to Dallas seemed much longer than it was. We left around 8 AM and got there around 10 AM. But inside those two hours days passed. I listened to CDs on my portable CD headset and read the rest of my Kinky Friedman book (about 100 pages were left). My uncle, whose house we were visiting, was in the Foreign Service and worked in American Embassies all over the world. Obviously, the Foreign Service pays damn well as his house and the nineteen acres surrounding it was damn nice.

Positioned on a hill overlooking Benbrook Lake and in the distance past the lake the Fort Worth downtown skyline. It was his wife, who is from France, and his dream to design their own house and then watch and take part in its construction from start to finish. Inside, the house was absolutely stunning. All hard wood and marble floors. Bolivian marble fireplace, Italian marble floors. All imported directly from their respective countries. Beautiful knickknacks, statues, and art from all over the world. Almost to the point of his 4000 square foot house being cluttered. The upstairs was little different from the floor below, three bedrooms and two bath upstairs. Out back sat a large pool and an area separated from the pool which contained rather large, goldfish-looking Japanese fish. A high fence protected the fortress on all sides and contained a medium female dog which my aunt and uncle had adopted as their own when she wandered onto the construction site one day and refused to leave.

When asked whether they liked living in Texas they both replied that it didn’t really bother them. Except that in Dallas everyone worked so much that it is hard to make any real connections or friends. They both said they are not ready to settle down yet. Had he not been forced into retirement at the age of 65, my uncle said, he would have remained with the Foreign Service and continued to travel the world. And thus, he plans to sell the house as soon as it is completely finished (there were still a few places needing touch-ups). He didn’t mention a price, but we did drive down the road a bit and look at a 2 bedroom, six car garage house that was on the market for $1.2 million. He’s sure to get a good deal.

Both my uncle and his wife agreed with my plan to pass on enlisting in the military and instead going straight to college. Now I need only to decide on a major.

May what my pen this peaceless day
Writes on this page not reach your view
Till its deferred print lets you say
It speaks to someone else than you.

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