Suburban forest.

Christmas trees, H-E-B grocer. © Ryan Schierling, via iPhone.

We're exploring, as new settlers do. Finding the great grocery stores, the great hardware stores, the great cat food stores, the great garden stores. Austin is vast and full of promise.


Home - Austin, Texas.

(L) Home is where the heart is. (R) Gnome is where the heart is. © Ryan Schierling

Before this journey began, Julie and I made a list of places we could potentially live. We knew we didn't want any more wet, cold, dark winters. We knew we wanted more than 60 days of summer a year. (Q: You know what I forgot about when I was living in Seattle? A: ISO 100) The Pacific Northwest's climate was finally taking its toll on us, and as much as we loved the Emerald City, it was time to try something else out – a new town, a new region. A new start.

I flew to Austin for a week last April. Julie came to visit in June. We made a trip together at the end of September and decided that South Austin was where we wanted to be for a while.

And here we are.

The house is small and adorable. The deck and backyard are large and especially well-suited for entertaining and a proper garden. The previous owners left a barrel smoker behind, which was a definite bonus for me. The wee wooden gnome (a Ghetto Melrose icon/legend) made the trip with us and is excited that he won't have to be weather-sealed every fall. The cats are settling in and learning how to meow with a slight drawl.

It's going to be really, really good.


On the road - Vega, Texas.

My chariot (w/ corn dog air freshener). Vega, Texas. © Ryan Schierling

We had to pull over for a quick pick-me-up cup of coffee in Vega, Texas. But, somehow, I always end up with the same thing at every convenience store when we're traveling... beef jerky and strawberry milk.