Thursday, August 19, 2010

When I dream, I dream in Charleston...

Even after being in Austin for over seven months, I am often homesick. Homesickness, thankfully, isn't debilitating. But it shows up in the strangest ways.

I still love to look at photos of my house in Charleston in Wagener Terrace. Not only did I love that house and lived there for eight years, I adored the neighborhood. I have some good memories of that house. I wrote my first book in my home office in that house. I got my puppy in that house and met so many wonderful neighbors walking that little furball around the neighborhood. I trained her in the side yard. She played with her dog friends in the back yard. Someone else lives there now.


I miss azaleas. I miss Hampton Park. I miss Lulu's dog friends. I miss my family. I miss my sunroom. I miss my sweet neighbor Therese, who used to bring me the loveliest leftover dinner plates with ethnic and organic food. She once cooked me Ethiopian food simply because I mentioned I'd never tried it. I miss Carl and Donna across the street. There was something comforting on weekend mornings about watching them work in their yard or on their house. I miss my monkey, who lived a block up the street after he moved out and used to bring me fresh tomatoes from his garden. I miss Tom and Ellie and Lulu misses Nando, their Havanese - the first dog love she had at only 8 weeks old. I miss my freelancer friends I used to have lunch with at Earthfare's cafe. I miss my BFF, who used to come over and eat Chinese food from Hot Mustard with me at least once a week. I miss Doretha, Angie, Linda, Janet, Jason, Aluette, Jay (and Tater!), Sabrina, Margaret, Ida, Amy, Leigh, Lee, Misty, Archie, Colleen, and so many more.

I never really needed my GPS in Charleston, since I grew up there, but in Austin, Samantha (GPS voice) and I communicate frequently. I couldn't find my way around Austin without Samantha. But I am going to confess for the first time here: My "home" setting in my GPS is still Grove Street in Charleston. I haven't changed it.

I haven't gotten a Texas driver's license or Texas tags for my car yet. My tags don't expire until next month, and my license is good until 2011, so I figured it was OK to wait. If I get pulled over, I figured I'd just tell them I recently relocated. Something about switching tags and getting a Texas license makes it feel so permanent, and makes me feel a little like I can't go home if I wanted to RIGHT NOW. I don't, but I like having the option.

Sometimes when I dream, even now, I dream in Charleston. And sometimes I wake up and I'm surprised to be in a room I don't recognize. Where are my blush pink walls, my 1940s glass windows, my high ceilings, my hardwood floors? And then I remember: I am in Texas.

So maybe I've been dragging my feet a little bit, literally and figuratively. But next month, I'm going to have to go wherever one goes to switch tags. I will also have to have my vehicle inspected, as they do that in Texas. And get a new license at the DMV.

I'm making new friends here, new memories, and there is a strong chance that someday years from now I will look back and feel so much nostalgia for Austin that I can hardly stand it. But it's new to me still and that's not a bad thing. I know it will eventually feel like home. And I needed this change of scenery. I need to be here.


  1. Come back for a visit! Or, maybe Madge and I could bring a little Charleston to you!

  2. Welcome to Austin (yeah, that's a wee bit late, but better late than never)! Hope you continue to enjoy it here and that you have many happy times!

  3. Sabrina, I would love to have you and Madge visit - both of you would LOVE Austin!

    Thank you, Jodi! It's starting to feel like home more and more every day. And my feet feel like they're finally on the ground. :)

  4. Isn't it sad that we can't be at least two places at once? I've always admired you for taking this leap. Charleston misses you, too.

  5. Your heart is always where your family and friends are!

  6. I can relate. I'm so close, but somehow we never make it down here. This week, while I'm here for 5 days, I'm struggling to just enjoy the moment instead of pre-missing it before I even leave!

    And, yeah, I still have my Charleston cell number and have NO plans to get a Columbia number. I've had this number since 1999 when I moved down here, and it makes me feel like I have one little bit of Charleston street cred. :)


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