Tag Archives: Texas

Tuesdays with Texas

I lived closer to my second friend that I met in Miami when I lived in Dallas, than I do now.  Texas moved to Florida, from East Dallas with her family in June. Just like me Texas’s husband was offered a job here in the Magic City that he could not pass-up.

I didn’t know her before I moved, but when a friend that I have known since I was in diapers in the nursery at church facebook messaged me and told me that Texas was moving to Miami I had a feeling we would be tight; those who choose to live in East Dallas have something in common.  I can not pin point exactly what it is, but there is something that made us, and others, choose this more expensive, eclectic, area of Dallas, “inside the loop”

When Texas arrived in June, I didn’t waste anytime.  We went and bought beach towels for her kids and showed up at their new front door.  I welcomed her like I would have loved to have been welcomed to a new city and hoped that my eagerness did not come across as stalkerness.  My gamble paid off.  Texas seemed to appreciate the calls of support and our kids enjoyed playing with each other.

I would have prefered that she moved right next door (I know, I know that might be a little too much togetherness for a new friend, but I’m telling you if my neighbors would talk to me they would really like me. I’m good at neighborly conversation with great instincts for how much is too much), but the promise of excellent public schools, and a well located office building,  took Texas and her family to a great neighborhood about 30 minutes south of mine.  Even though it was not my first choice to have my second friend live so far, the milage between us might have some advantages.  If Texas ends up loving The Falls and reports a much easier time with getting to know the Miamians in her area, there is nothing stopping us from buying a house down there when our Coconut Grove lease expires (except for a little hour+ commute for my hubby but he could get over it right? Well, maybe that is too much too ask, we would miss him).

Thus far at least two of Texas’s neighbors have spoken to her and one even invites her little cowboys to play ANYTIME THE GARAGE IS OPEN, and it sounds like it is open quite a bit.  We have agreed that we will probably decide there is simply a trade-off.  It looks like The Falls might be more friendly like our former home in East Dallas, while “The Grove” is probably one of the more beautiful parts of Miami, the classic brains vs. beauty debate.  It was love at first sight when my husband and I saw the Grove, but we wonder if the size of her coconuts, so to speak,  might not be enough in the long run to make us happy.

Texas is still enjoying the anonymous stage of her move (described here), so there is still a lot to learn about The Falls.  Time will tell.  We look forward to comparing notes.

It would be easy for a married mother of elementary school aged children to find no time to see her friends, that is why Texas and I made a commitment.  We have a date each Tuesday to explore a new part of Miami.  We’re going to kill two flamingos with one stone: we’ll catch-up and get to know this crazy place at the same time.

We started our Together Tuesdays this week and thought there was no better place to begin than the epicenter of the city: South Beach (some locals may not agree with that statement on “epicenter” but us newbys have gotta start somewhere!).    Texas and I went on a walking tour of the Art Deco Historic District that stretches about 10 blocks wide, and maybe 5 blocks deep in the heart of Miami Beach. Trip Advisor rated Christine Micheal’s small group tour as the second best tour of ALL AVAILABLE tours in Miami (it would be hard to compete with a boat on the beautiful bay waters, but she beat all but one).  Not surprisingly in the 90 degree weather and 150% humidity, Texas and I had this delightful tour guide to ourselves.  Christine talked history, architecture and design while she crab-walked through the district.  We just loved it.  We learned so much about both Art Deco and Miami and we promise to share our new knowledge with you when you come visit (I noticed from her recent facebook posts that Texas really listened to my success stories of heavy campaigning for out-of-town guests). Click for a link to the Art Deco Walking Tour here.

And this is just the beginning.  Texas and I have a lot of  places we want to explore and week by week we will start crossing our Miami must see spots off our list.  This is something that you could do in your own city, even if you have lived there your entire life.  It seems like locals of every city do not always take the time to explore or take advantage of their home town’s treasures.  Many Miamians have admitted to rarely going to the beach  and usually say they wish they could find the time (if they only knew what it meant to be land locked I bet that wouldn’t be the case).  But the truth is, you’ve got to make the time: sit-down, carve it out, and make it happen.     Even if you aren’t on a new friend search like me, I am sure there are hidden gems in your town waiting to be uncovered.  Experts say that friendships are based on shared experiences and even if you think you don’t have room in your life for new friends, I bet you have a few bonds that could use strengthening.  So what are you waiting for?   Call a friend, or take a risk and call someone you hope might be your friend, and make a commitment to go see or do something new!  I don’t think you will regret it!

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Fear Me I’m a Mother

For the second year in a row 11 mothers from Dallas, Texas joined forces and competed in a 203 mile relay from just outside of Austin, to Houston, TX.

I have been running for about 6 years now and I can say without a doubt that this is my favorite race I have ever done!

When I moved to Miami the first of January I had already committed to my team and had this event looming over me at the end of March. There were many times that I wanted to skip a run to organize boxes or not get out because my usual partners weren’t there to meet me. It has been so nice to have a goal to work toward with the extra incentive that others would suffer (someone would have to pick-up my part) if I chose not to compete.

Needless to say I gave a far worse performance than I did the year before… for a number of reasons my training had made a dramatic change which really caused me to slow down.

But you know what, that is OK… I did it! I finished my 17.5 miles worth of legs and when I did, one of my best friends was there for a shoulder to lean on when I wanted to hide my tears of, well, I’m not sure… joy, relief, PAIN. The accomplishment felt good.

And the interesting part… it looks like I didn’t really need to go any faster because our team WON… the all women’s division anyway. An unexpected surprise that showed me that it was so smart not to give up on myself even though my training did not go as well as I thought it should.

Take a peak at the fun we had! You’ll see we ran all 203 miles in a pink tutu. “Tutu up,” someone would yell as team member approached a relay exchange. In the dark, our pink tutus lit up! At the end of the race a competitor from team Sole Sister told me, “at 3 am, when I thought I couldn’t run anymore I just followed that pink tutu. It was all I could see on the pitch black highway but it was just enough to lead me to the end of my leg.

And like my Sole Sister, when a run is tough and I would just rather walk than push through to finish my goal for a day, I look to the tutu too (I couldn’t resist the triple “to”!). I picture Sandy high kicking with that tutu on as she cheers her friends to their finish or visualize Liz pulling herself up the hill even when she was seeing stars because of the extreme heat and it gets me through. Team Fear Me is my inspiration and I am so proud to be a part of this crazy pink group.

Now, I better start getting in shape for next year!

My grandmother’s gift

We recently put our house on the market. The house I bought from my dad 13 years ago. The house his parents moved into in 1952. I am selling my grandparents’ house.
We receive automated responses from the realtors that tour our home through the Multiple Service Listing. The last response I received said “Nice house. Family previewing neighborhood no decisions yet.”
Part of me wishes I could talk to this couple that is previewing my neighborhood because I think they probably missed one of our greatest assets: the people!
The people of Lakewood all share a secret. Something we are extremely proud of but would never boast about… it’s just not the Lakewood way. We all truly believe that Lakewood is the best place to live in Dallas. We are all proud of the beautiful landscape, the numerous historic and conservation districts, and our fabulous schools. We think of ourselves as eclectic, open-minded, inclusive and artistic and we look out for each other! We give East Dallas friends and organizations, our business, our support, our encouragement and our friendship!
There are so many organizations in our part of town, that I know a new home owner would find their “niche,” their sense of community. I found mine within two groups: the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA and the White Rock Lake running community.
I overheard a new comer telling a friend, that “I have never met such a diverse group of highly educated, professional women as I have at an LECPTA meeting.” It’s so true! Many times I sat around a room with 10 other women bouncing babies on our knees who were attorneys, doctors, counselors or teachers with probably more degrees than we had burp cloths.
The LECPTA represents the mothers of preschoolers in the neighborhood. Our membership is over 350 women strong comprised primarily of women who have chosen to take a few years off from a variety of careers. Not only did I find companionship during that sometimes lonely time of new motherhood, but I also learned! I learned how to be a better volunteer, a better mother, a better leader and a better friend. I know, that any job I take on in the future, I will put into practice management and implementation skills I gained from the LECPTA.
I started running about 5 years ago to help lose the last of my baby weight (then I had another baby, so that went out the window.. but another story). I agreed to meet a friend for a pre-dawn Saturday morning run at White Rock Lake and was amazed at what I saw- HUNDREDS OF OTHER PEOPLE! Literally HUNDREDS!! They descended on “the Lake” from all corners of the Metroplex.
Were they driving to our intercity lake for the beauty? Well, yes… but it really isn’t get out of bed at 5 am beautiful. I believe they come for the comradely. for the encouragement and motivation that comes from their fellow runners that show-up at the lake on the weekend.
The PEOPLE that call White Rock Lake home, are my cheerleaders! They are literally what gets me out of bed in the morning before the clock hits 5 a.m. The friends I met at the Lake encouraged me to believe in my power, my strength… to believe that I can run. And when I run, I feel good.
I just don’t think these potential home owners will see the best parts of Lakewood when they are getting the grand drive by tour. And when our home is sold… and the new home owners move in, I will just think of it as my gift to them: the people of Lakewood! Maybe it was my grandmother’s gift to me? I think so… and for that gift, I will always be thankful!

Footnote: If you haven’t been to Lakewood, the wonderful characteristics, that will become obvious on your drive-by tour are as follows:
The storybook architecture: The Spanish Mediterranean, the Hutzell, the English Tudors and even the rambling 1950s ranch style homes all add to the eclectic style that makes Lakewood so beautiful.
The large towering trees: which is some what rare in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, but bountiful in Lakewood because we are one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.
White Rock Lake, the largest lake in the Dallas city limits, with all of its tributary creeks, that create some gorgeous backyard views (including mine, to be honest!).
The Schools: Lakewood Elementary, whose architecture transports you back in time, but who has stayed ahead of the curve and received the highest honors from our state. Woodrow Wilson Highschool, who just adopted the International Bachelorette degree option, St. Johns Episcopal School, Lakehill Prepatory Acadamy, St. Thomas Catholic School and Bishop Lynch High School
The shopping: Grocery shopping includes Whole Foods, Central Market, and I believe the best Tom Thumb in town. The boutiques are amazing! Tallulah Belle, Dallas Affairs, Blow Salon, Tee-Hee… I could go on, and on! If you somehow can not find what you need at one of these places every Lakewood resident knows the short-cut to North Park mall, via Fisher Road which puts you at Neimans’ front door in under 10 minutes!