Settling down in Texas

I am writing to give you an update that is overdue. Boys and I are doing well. They have started going to school.

I didn’t realize that the word RELOCATION means so many, many things. Despite my freakish super-organized persona, I am having such a crazy time handling all the curve balls that this move is throwing at me.

I have had so many calls and messages asking how we are doing. I am so sorry. I haven’t been able to return your emails and voicemails. I promise. I will call you back in a few weeks and give you all the updates.

This message wouldn’t be complete without thanking all the folks who have been reaching out to help Kumar and me.

Here is a shoutout to my great neighbors who have been helping Kumar for the last few weeks while I am away in Texas.

Ami, Rajesh, Trushna, Swapnil, Kavita, Vipul, Subha, Veda, and more – You guys have been taking such good care of Kumar that he doesn’t want to leave. He is been telling me “I am getting such good food while you are away wink emoticon So, I have changed my mind. I think I am going to stay back in San Ramon”. Thank YOU Friends for watching over him.

Here is a shoutout to all of the Texas folks (family, old friends and new friends) who have been welcoming us and helping us setlle down.

Rema, Adi, Sridhar – Thank you Rema. I wouldn’t know what I would do without your steadfast support. You have been answering my questions and putting me in touch with all the right people. It is so AWESOME to have family close by. Trust me – the “scrabble-cheater” has met his match with the boys wink emoticon

Sukanya, Balu, Dhravin – Thank you Sukanya for all the “Austin Insider” chats. I cant’ wait to go see Temple Texas with you. The boys have been asking me when they can meet Dhravin again.

Raghu, Prabha, Kavya – Thank you Raghu and Prabha for sharing so many useful Austin tips. The boys have already fallen in love with big-sister Kavya and they can’t wait to see lil-boy Kapil wink emoticonThey have got their eyes on your air hockey setup as well wink emoticon

Vivianne – Thank you Vivianne for all that you do to help me. We have to continue our “Came with 1 suitcase” stories while we get Bella and Rainbow together. Soon?

Joe, Rose, Gloria – Thank you for the warm welcome!! I know we’ll keep bumping into each other.

Joe – I have fallen in love with your community. So, I am going to keep on my dark blue nail polish as a sign of my loyalty to you. I’ll just have to remember to keep my hands in my jeans pocket when treading on “other” territory. Does that sound like a plan?

Anbu, Akila – Thank you for making us feel a part of the Austin Tamil community already!!

Poornima, Suja – Thank you for the insider scoop about Austin. I am looking forward to meeting you in-person soon.

Tony, Sheela – Yeah!! I know which highway to take to come visit you in Dallas/Plano and partake of the Christmas festivities.

Shanti – I can almost taste your Christmas cake. I will come visit you during Christmas.

Vidhya, Malar, Gayathri, Palani, Ebby, Swarna – Thank you for all the “Texas” chats. We’ll come visit you soon. Drop by to see us in Austin.

Avinash – Thank you for offering to help us move and settle down. Can’t wait to take the boys kayaking with you.

Courtney, John – As per the pact we made couple of days ago, I can’t wait to grow (more?!) grey hair besides the both of you in the new couple of decades. Are you whetting your appetite for the Indian food that we spoke about? I will drop by for coffee soon.

Thank you all for the tremendous support!!

The person who has stolen my heart in the last 3 weeks is Ravi (Rema’s friend). He knew that Kumar and I were driving 1800 miles over a span of 3 days from San Ramon, CA to Austin, TX with 2 boys, a dog and a few (and by that, I mean, VERY FEW) bare essentials in the trunk of our minivan. So, to show his support, he showed up 15 minutes before we arrived in our Austin apartment. He told me that he just wanted to be there “To welcome you. To make you feel like you belonged.” Thank you Ravi. Thank you Rema for the great introduction!!

Moving to Texas The Lone Star State

Dear Bay Area Friends,

There are many things I suck at. Saying goodbye tops that list. I just can’t bring myself to say goodbye to anybody.

I can’t break away from a friend’s hug. You have probably noticed by now that I will let go of our hug only after you have done it.

I can’t do short goodbyes. You have probably noticed by now that it takes me a full one hour to say goodbye at parties.

So, please forgive me in advance for what I am about to say.

Side story: Cowboys. I have had a lil girl crush on them since my childhood days. Too many Clint Eastwood movies during my childhood. I figured it is about time that I go check out some cow boys. When I discussed this with Kumar…he said “Yes”!! Turns out he has had a big crush on cow girls too. So, it all works out, right?

Here is the news: We are moving to Texas. Without saying goodbyes.

I am excited. But, I am also feeling sad at the thought of leaving all of you and our beloved Bay Area.

Thank you for all the amazing moments you have given us.

Every fun and sad moment,
Every crazy and wild moment,
Every meaningless and momentous moment,
Every moment that became beautiful because we shared it,
Every moment..will be etched in my memory for a life time.

I know what you are going to say “Ambal, Cowboys, seriously? Really? I could have arranged for a few hundreds of them to be dropped off at San Ramon Valley. That could have helped you crush that childhood crush. Don’t leave. Stay. There is so many decades of togetherness for us.”

Hear me out. Please.

During my childhood, besides the cowboys, I also grew to love Ulysses and his buddies as I poured through Tennyson. So, I am heading East for more adventure.

“To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”.

I know you will come visit us soon. So, I am going to setup an awesome looking guest bedroom. I am also going to urge Kumar to learn and perfect the Texan bbq. Deal?

I will be waiting (as always, impatiently) at Austin airport with my “please forgive me” grin and open arms. So, come visit us soon.

Thank you to our sweet neighbors who have been feeding us and helping us in the last week and thank you to all our Texas friends and family who have been welcoming us with open arms.

I am truly sorry I didn’t call and stop by to say goodbye. I know you have a big heart. So, I know you’ll forgive me.

Postnote:

Thank you for the good wishes and messages. I couldn’t return many messages and voicemails today because I am overwhelmed with all the curve balls that a move bring into one’s life. Please bear with me.

Some of you asked how you can help with the move. Thank you for reaching out to help. Here is my ask. If you have a friend or family in Austin, make an intro to Kumar and me. We would love it.

Here is a sample of the reactions to the move that made me laugh the most:

  • Don’t you dare BS me with that cowboy story.The Democrats secretly hired you to paint the red state blue. There you go. That is my conspiracy theory and it is a damn good one.
  • Traffic into Austin is going to increase starting today.
  • WTF!? Is this some sort of mid life crisis? Forget the cowboys. Stay with nice guy Kumar.
  • Are you kidding me? There are no pictures to shoot in Texas. You are going to lose your mind.
  • Do you realize there are no mountains to hike on that side?
  • Why are you doing this crazy? Are you afraid of the “big 4” (surprise) birthday party? Ok. Tell you what. We will cancel the party and pretend that you are 20. Will that do? Damn it. The things one has to do for you.
  • Are you going to start carrying a g** now? I have to warn Kumar to not start an argument with you.

Thank you for all the love. Thank you for all the laughs. I will miss you’ll very very much.

Summer Trip to Texas

1 Heart to take to Texas.
2 Eyes & Ears to soak up Texas.
3 Boys to give me company during the Texas trip.
4 Chatted each night with my cousin until 4am.
5 Days in Texas – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
6 Families that we meet in Texas – The Chinni’s (my cousin), The Tony’s (my Cisco buddy), The Palaniswamy’s (Kumar’s college buddy), The Ebby’s (Kumar’s school and college buddy), The Venky’s (Kumar’s school buddy),The Rema’s (Kumar’s cousin).
7 Cities/Towns visited during Texas trip – Dallas, Irving, Plano, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin.

I had a great reunion with friends and family. I was overwhelmed with the hospitality and the love shared on us during this trip. I laughed till my guts hurt and cried till my eyes hurt. I fell in love with Texas…despite the 100+ temperature.

Thank you to my buddies for being such gracious hosts.

Thank you to my friends Lalitha, Ganesh and Abi for providing a loving, caring house for our dog Rainbow while we were away. Thank you to my friend Vandana and her lovely girls for watching over Adi’s betta fish named Little Guy Jr while we were away.