Eleven years ago, when Carol and I met, we made plans to move to Oregon in ten years, when my youngest daughter Maddie would be 16. Maddie, her mom, Jennifer, Carol, and I all lived in Austin and we figured when she was 16 she could either live with us or enjoy the adventure of going back and forth.
Along the way, our plans changed. At the peak of the real estate bubble we feared not only would we never be able to afford land in Oregon, but that if we didn't buy something soon, we wouldn't be able to afford land anywhere. So, we looked for and found affordable and beautiful land and bought 25 acres in Missouri - 15 minutes from Joplin. Hmm.
Then, about three years ago, while Carol was teaching at a workshop, I thought up the idea of selling our too large suburban home just outside of Austin and buying a smaller home in a rural neighborhood near Austin. That way we could have both our country dream and I could continue to be close to my daughter. I found the perfect place in Bastrop and we fell deeply in love with our little country home in the piney woods of central Texas. I was also able to survive a summer of 105 degree days and build Carol's perfect studio.
Well, now our plans have come completely and unexpectedly full circle and we have decided to leave Texas and move to Oregon. And, Maddie and her mom, Jennifer, who is one of Carol's and my closest friends, are coming with us!
On one hand we have lost a home and place, and in many ways a life style, we adored. On the other hand we have been given the opportunity to jump back and fulfill our original dream and move to one of the most gorgeous places on earth - where it rains! This wouldn't have happened without the fire and so I have experienced first hand our amazing human capacity to feel two completely opposing emotions at once.
I want to thank everyone who has sent us such kind and loving support through phone calls, emails, and comments. We are also profoundly grateful, beyond words, for the money raised in the fundraiser that my ex-wife and Maddie's mother, Jennifer, began. I want everyone to know that the money raised will be set aside to build a new perfect studio for Carol!
I can never say it enough - thank you.