Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just because everything is different, doesn’t mean anything has changed…

I am glad to be back in Austin. It was very cold in DC and as we all know, I don’t do cold. Well, I don’t do it very well, since I whined and complained most of the time we were there. However, I did take a nice walk through capitol hill and learned to ride the metro. It wasn’t until the next day, when the wind started, that the whining began.

There are a few of you who never comment that know we have been stationed in DC before. When CGMan and I were first married, we packed up the new family, along with the cat and headed east. That was back when CGMan was still in the Coast Guard and I had my first taste of a PCS (permanent change of station).

We found a lovely house in a suburb of Maryland to rent. We loved it there. The only thing missing was the white picket fence. Eventually we bought the house, because CGMan got another tour in the same building, and then another. We were so lucky to get three tours without having to move.

Our last winter there, we received 17 inches of snow in one day. Then we got a few more inches the next day. We had to dig out a path for our bulldog, Winston, because the snow was taller than him! While the kids were ecstatic, we parents were at our wits end. Okay, I take that back. What really happened was that all the parents came to my house for board games and hot toddies. The kids played in the snow and we were drunk before noon made fried pickles. It was actually pretty fun.

Things change, and so do people.

After that tortuous winter, we were transferred to the Caribbean, where I became instantly in tune with my inner Arawak princess. Talk about heaven! I was in it. I never wore shoes, only sandals and sundresses. I learned it is perfectly acceptable to have Christmas without snow. In fact, one of our Christmas traditions was to go to the beach on Christmas Eve and eat shark and bake.

When it came time for CGMan to retire, we thought long and hard about where we wanted to live. I wanted no snow, as I had become quite accustomed to nice warm Christmases. Neither of us wanted to live anywhere we had lived before. We are into adventure that way. So we threw a dart at what was left of the US (because the Coast Guard said we had to move back to the states to retire- stupid rule). And that’s how I came to be Dawn in Austin.

So here we are, on the brink of another adventure. We’re moving back to DC.

We are at a crossroads, though. Because we are empty nesters, our choices are more broad. Do we want to live in the suburbs and have him commute to his job (like the other 93478276345 people who live there) or do we live in the city, where he can take the metro?

There are plus and minuses to each. I think we may try city living for a year, if we can find a place to rent that will allow us to have the dogs. It will be quite a challenge to change our lifestyle so completely. I’m not sure I’m how I will do.

I am looking forward to seeing the city in a different light. Before, it was usually in the midst of a field trip with 38474673 eighth graders. Now I’ll be able to do all kinds of grownup things in DC. Like eating my weight in mussels at a pub that is within walking distance. Spending as much time as I like in the Smithsonian, reading every plaque and sign (yes, I really do that). And having dinners at the country club, of which we are a member, because who can afford that when you have three kids, two cats and a dog?!

I guess I have learned that no matter where you are in life, there is always room for change adventure. If nothing else, this will give me something to write about.

“Dawn and CGMan’s Adventures in Moving”

Stay tuned…


  1. You know I'm terribly sad that you are moving... for purely selfish reasons. I'm happy that you guys get to take another adventure. And I'm looking forward to my many adventures to DC to visit! Besides, with Skype and instant messaging, the world is a much smaller place than it used to be.

    And bonus... I will still be down in Austin with my non-white christmas... maybe even wearing shorts while greeting Santa! :)

  2. this blog ALMOST makes me want to cry.......

  3. I'll miss you. We're practically neighbors.

  4. Dawn, we lived as ex-pats for 12 years in Mexico and South America. That's how we raised our kids. We did the whole live-near-the-school-and-other-expats thing.

    And I always swore if we got the opportunity to do it again, I would lighten my load and take the bare essentials and live in a high-rise apt. building right smack downtown in the busy hub-bub of it all. That seems so attractive to me.

    Try something different! If you don't like it, you can always re-evaluate and switch it up. That's the thing about life, it is so fluid and constantly changing.

    Wishing you great luck on the new adventure!

  5. Ugh, if you get city life I will be SO JEALOUS! My husband and I have plans (well, I have plans and he's stuck with them) to live in downtown Portland for about a year after he graduates from school. I'm so excited for this. And yet, while waiting for him to finish school (about two more years) my friend in Arizona just moved to downtown Phoenix and now you're going to be living the city life! I can't read these blogs anymore.

    Okay fine, I'll read them but I won't like it.

  6. First, yay for a new adventure. I cannot wait to hear how it goes for you.

    Second, J and I went to DC last year in the winter and were all "we must go back when it's warm and REALLY check things out" because we were there for about five hours. So, thank you for giving me an excuse to go to DC.

    And last, I am truly in awe of your sense of adventure. You rock!

  7. Awesome! Hooray for new adventures, and a great job for CG Man! I look forward to when The Man retires and the girls are eventually out of the house so we can be a bit more adventurous.

    You know you have to find a big place to rent in the city because we ARE coming to visit. :)

  8. I think you'll get used to the cold - just think of the cherry trees in the spring! I may have to make a jaunt down after the big move!

    PS. I love mussels and frites too, those looked yummy!

  9. How exciting! I hope you and CGMan will be very happy in Washington.

    Just keep in mind - cold is relative.

  10. Oh, I'll miss you and I haven't met you yet. Boo hoo. But I'm glad if you and CGMan are glad.

    I feel exactly the same way you do about cold and snow - which is why we are retiring to the Austin area in a couple years. We are also having the same discussion about whether we want to do the urban or suburban living when we retire.

  11. Did you know that I lived in D.C. for 37 years? And I grew up in the suburbs in Montgomery County (DON'T DO IT!) and lived 20 years as an adult in the city (DO IT!) in an adorable house WITH a white picket fence?! I'm happy to talk to you off line about anything and everything having to do with living in D.C. - just shoot me an e-mail!! BIG ADVENTURE!!!

  12. Congrats on your new adventure!!! Can't wait to follow you there too...

    Merry Christmas!

  13. Ms.Bee is a little behind - life is an adventure - live it! Love the idea of the city - I have heard the Fairfax area has gotten so back with traffic it's insane. Just remember - it's not forever!

  14. Yay yay yay!!!!! So excited that we'll be neighbors! I totally recommend the city thing - I love being in dowtown B'more and DC has some great neighborhoods. Or course Arlington and Alexandria are good options too. Can't wait for our first puppy play date!

  15. So funny --I see a lot of familiar names on here! Congratulations on a new adventure. I've got little kids still, but you helped me remember this isn't my whole life (although I love my life), and I'll get many chances to reinvent myself.


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