Chapter 06
The New House
01a - Introduction
01b - The Mysterious Ski Rack
01c - Wheres the Other Half of That Moose
01d - Scorpions Scorpio
01e - The Waiter Who Didnt Yall
02a - Can I Get a Diet Soda
02b - Riding Into the Sunrise
03 - Modesty at Any Price
04 - Driving Down to Houston
05a - What Does That Sign Say
05b - The State Tree
05c - They Call It the Sunbelt
05d - Just Follow Your Nose
06 - The New House
07a - Billboards
07b - Billboards Again
08 - Stereo Upgrade
09 - Local Wineries
10 - Unintentionally Left Blank
11 - CBW in TX
12 - Ice House Radio
13 - Goats and Cotton
14 - Dig We Must
15 - Dan Moody
16 - Dry Heat
17 - Dead Animals We Have Known
18a - Bookstore Culture
18b - On the Open Road
19 - Weather
20 - Sightings in Bertram and Buchanan
21 - Too Many Birds
22 - Road Hazards
23 - Sightings To And From Houston
24 - The Great Wall of Train
25 - In the Heat of the Day
26 - Bite Me
27 - Bid on This Skeleton
28 - Willie Al Fresco
29 - Rural Countryside
30 - SUV SUX!
31 - Kinky on the Texas Monthly Hour
32 - Strange Yellow Sky
33 - Football is a Serious Enterprise in Texas
34 - Remember the Alamoo!
35 - What Was That on the Radio
36 - Trip to Houston Through Small Towns
37 - Shoe Story
38 - Unintended Fireworks
39 - Flash Flood Warning
40 - Sin City
41 - Live Music in Austin But Not in Clubs
42 - Fear of Overpass
43 - The Big Sneezy
44 - New Texas
45 - Front Ended by the French Fry Mobile
46 - Dirt Farm
47 - Heard at the Texas Book Festival 2008
48 - Heard at the Texas Book Festival 2009
49 - Central Time Sucks
50 - Temple Texas
51 - Christmas in Austin
52 - Pennants in the Wind
53 - The Road Less Traveled
54 - Texas-size Thunderstorm
55 - Cool Van
56 - Your New House is That-A-Way
57 - CSI Austin
58 - New MTV Game Show
59 - Equine Technology
60 - Look at That Prairie
61 - Get Your Water Here
62 - Corporate Anniversaries
63 - College Sprawl
64 - Hire These Guys
65 - Preparing for Winter
66 - Careful What You Overhear
67 - Bonnie Raitt
68 - Perfume
69 - Questionable Skills
70 - All-American Day
71 - Read Me
72 - Weird Fog
73 - Overpackaged Food
74 - What Town Was That
75 - Texas Book Festival 2010
76 - Bulletproof Roof
77 - The Oldest Photo
78 - Cheesesteaks Part 1
79 - Cheesesteaks Part 2
80 - Sure We Got Culture
81 - A Message to Gyno-Americans
82 - The cathedral of Junk

They grow 'em bigger in Texas

The move into the house was truly amazing. How can 650 things -- pieces of furniture, boxes, shelves, ladders, brooms -- possibly have fit into this new house, however large it is? There is stuff everywhere. The tougher question is, How could that many *things* have come *out* of the house in New Hampshire, which is so much smaller? The assembling and unpacking and putting away will occupy Ms T for the rest of the week. I get to go off to work at a 60-hour-a-week job, and she thinks I'm the lucky one.

There will soon be a Tale of Texas about the house. For the moment, the fifty-cent tour: large 4-bedroom, big rooms, Texas-style with very high ceilings and fans in almost every room. Brick over frame. Currently over-filled with stuff, some loose stuff, some boxes full of stuff, but we're hoping that when everything is unpacked and put away, we will be tastefully under-furnished.

New neighborhoods around here tend to be built with almost all the houses on cul-de-sacs off a main street, so there is no continual traffic past the houses. We're at the end of the cul-de-sac on a wedge-shaped piece of land, twice as much lot as the neighbors, just by accident. So it's too large, has too much land, has much too much grass that has to be maintained, and is barely affordable. But it eventually will be a home.

House1 in 2000

Three weeks later:

The unpacking has occupied Ms T for nearly a month, forget the week. Most of the general stuff is unpacked, but not necessarily in the right place. The kitchen is functional. The bedrooms and bathrooms are mainly functional. Our offices are mainly functional, though many files and books are not yet in evidence. None of the art is on the wall. (Well, almost none. There was a small picture in the kitchen in a plastic frame. Fell off the wall the other morning at 1:30 AM. Plastic frame flat onto the tile floor. What a noise. Everyone came awake instantly, and, due to the level of blood in the adrenaline stream, could not get back to sleep for an hour.) The windows all have shades. (The previous owners left all the "window treatments" and we had to add only a couple.)

The garage, made for two medium-size cars, is not quite solid boxes, but neither can we put even one car into it. That will be a while yet. Most of the boxes remaining in the garage have been nominated for relocation to a long-term storage locker. (I was joking about the garage with several people from work. One of them said that he still wasn't able to park in his garage yet, and he has been here a year. The other said that his garage was clean three days after they moved in. One of them will probably become a friend; guess which.)

Because of the crazy hours I have been working, I have been unable to hold up my end of the moving-in process. Ms T has taken over many of the duties. She dug out the hammers, screwdrivers, drills, and wrenches, and put up shelves, constructed workbenches, amazing what one can do when one has to.


Downstairs a small bedroom and bath for guests; dining room, living room, family room, kitchen, utility room. Patio out the back, garage to the side. Too-big back yard that someone is dying to landscape. We will have to replace some of the grass with trees, cactus, or some other garden that requires less maintenance.

Upstairs another big family room (her office), two small bedrooms (my office and the gym), a small bathroom, and the master bedroom suite.

A few closets, not nearly enough, of course. No attic save one storage room, and no basement, so there are still a lot of boxes around to trip over. Most of them will have to go to storage, and it will require a lot of sorting and/or a lot of trips to the locker.

More later.


Humans disappear and the plants take over, right? A few years after we moved in, those scrawny little trees that the developer planted have decided that they like it here. By 2007, you can barely see the front of the house.

House1 in 2007, obscured by trees

By the time we left Texas in 2011, the house was almost not visible at all any more. The trees could probably use some pruning, but still, from ground level, there are now three trees there and almost no house. Not only can you not see the forest through the trees, you can't see the human-built structures, either.

House1 in 2011, if you can find it among the trees

By 2014, there is almost no hint of a house behind the trees. The rooms on that side of the house (the east side) must be very dark in the mornings. I would suggest that the current residents call a tree service to prune a little.

House1 Google Street Level View May 2014, well hidden


Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, Richard Ball Landau. All rights reserved.