Today is the day Patty and Jim Howe (my husband's parents) sign the deed away to their home of 33 years on Guava Avenue in Seal Beach, CA. Later this month, they will become Austinites. My husband grew up in this house on Guava. We went back in May to say goodbye to the house, and strangely it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be. Steve says "the house has been changed so much, it's not the house where I grew up anymore."
I have been with my husband for 10 years and I remember meeting my MIL for the first time in that house. It is the same house to me, most of those changes were made by the time I came into their lives. I have so many memories in that house. I remember the drive from the airport to their house the very first time I ever went to CA, specifically the vegetation. When we got there I was beyond thrilled with my MIL's garden. Flawless. Patty and I had many glasses of wine while we sat in the garden and learned all about each other. We had wine and chatted while we made meals together or pruned the garden and chatted. We did a lot of chatting.
Now I have a whole flood of memories coming back to me... I remember coming home from Brad and Anna's wedding, for no particular reason, I just remember that night as being something special. My bridal shower was a year or so later, held across the cul-de-sac at Holly's house. Patty's four best girlfriends Holly, Lois, Katharine, and Ginny got together and created an amazing wedding shower for us. After our wedding in NY, Patty threw us a reception in the backyard with all of her cousins and close friends from CA who couldn't trek to New York. While my husband did a show in NY, I went to stay with my in-laws for a week alone for his cousin's wedding. Patty and I had a great time! There was the wedding, but also the small dinner party we threw for Grandma Peggy and Kitty in the backyard. It was an awesome night, though maybe we had a little too much wine! We over-cooked the pork loin and completely cremated the vegetables and Kitty asked, "where are those gorgeous veggies I saw on the counter?". And as if it were on queue, Disneyland's fireworks started firing. Amazing night! The next year we went for Thanksgiving and the dining room was a little small for everyone so we folded out a couple of kids tables (mind you most of us are in our mid-30's already). It was at that dinner that we discussed our readiness to have a baby and within months of that chat, Brad and Anna announced their pregnancy and within 3 months of them, we announced the same. B has been to CA several times since he was born: once for Christmas and many little trips here and there, including Grandma Peggy's memorial in 2009.
The things I'll miss most about that house and Southern California? The weather. That glorious weather! The way the air feels in the morning blowing through those curtains in the guest room. Coffee and the paper in the breakfast nook. The Beach. The flowers, all the colors. The fountain and the smell of the backyard. Ralphs. In-N-Out (duh). Red Vines. The way you feel when you set down your luggage. Walks around the neighborhood. Grandma Peggy's beach house homeyness. Now it's Brian and Janet's house and it's just as comforting to be there. I'll miss seeing Kyle and Kelsi so much, I've known them since they were in Jr High. Brian and Janet, Steve's crazy hilarious aunt and uncle, I will miss them very much too.
Over the course of the last week, Patty and Jim have collected and packed all of these amazing memories into boxes for storage, while they make their way to Austin and a new life. A life that includes watching Baby Bishop growing up on a daily basis. She'll make all new friends and find new organizations, buy a new house to make all new memories. She and Jim have never lived more than one hour from where they live right now. Her Women's Club friends have been with her for 40+ years. She is passing it all up for B. He better be a good boy. No more toilet brush eating kid. The pressure is on for sure!
This is why they're coming!
Seal Beach pier; the bay at Belmont Shore; the garden; breakfast nook coloring
Brian and Janet's deck in Belmont Shore; Video chat with Uncle Nolan; Seal Beach Pier; Cousin Kelsi
We'll miss you all! Holly (TL); Kelsi and Brian (TR); Lois and Patty (BL); Mike (BR);
B and Mocha (TL); Uncle Brian the way EVERYONE thinks of him (TR); Aunt Janet on the beach *perfect* (BL); Steve being himself. I love that man (BR)
Patty's Garden; backyard; Seal Beach Pier; Seal Beach Pier
Family dining in the backyard, just the way I'll always remember it (TL); Jim (TR); B leaving the Beach (BL); Family time (BR)
View from the kitchen; B; Dining room; cleaning our feet
Coffee and the paper.
We'll miss it.