Our Community Is Growing

As a winter storm is barreling its way toward us, it brings hope and possibility. Thanks to the rising costs of housing and the never-ending gentrification of affordable neighborhoods in Austin, my son and his partner have made the hard decision to come out here and start over.

A place to start

In a lucky coincidence, our sweet tenants in the old cabin on the ranch property we share with Sara’s family moved to south Texas right when Declan and Rollie ran out of Austin options. We agreed to offer it to them as a more affordable option.

Such a fine deck

We all have good memories of this place. Ten years ago, this is where we celebrated New Year’s, while Sara’s house was being built. It’s quirky, but cool, so we weren’t sure what our young folks would think. So, they came up last week to look it over.

I was so touched to see how much Rollie was charmed by the place. Rollie has experience with basic living conditions. They can see potential and charm, like I can. Declan will have a harder time, but we think we can work it out. He will have his own music room! And hobby space.

We met to figure out rent and expectations. The plumbing is sensitive, so much must be taught. Vlassic helped.

Tonight we had our traditional meal. Those young folks ate a lot. That always makes me so happy.

Pork loin, cornbread, black-eyed peas, rice, collard greens, cole slaw (bonus cabbage)

Declan and Rollie wanted to go back and look at the cabin again. Did I mean toon it’s the oldest structure on the property? It predates all the neighbor houses. So we went, even though it was getting dark.

Ten years after my first New Year’s sunset, Rollie enjoyed one.

They took lots of pictures to help them figure out where to put stuff. That’s when I let myself believe they will actually move up here in a few weeks. That lowers my concern for them so much. They can find plenty of stuff to do here to meet expenses.

I’m glad to be able to provide options for these two as they figure things out. They can have their independence but not feel alone. And they can plan their next steps.

Meanwhile, Harvey is glad there are no steps to get into his new giant water dish, and Goldie says thanks for the sandbox.

I have no expectations. We talked about it tonight. This weird time has helped us learn a lot about ourselves. We don’t have to expect others to be anything other than themselves. But if I can help, I will.

One day at a time, with intention, off we go in our expanded family compound. Thanks to Sara and her family for helping us help our family.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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