I thought it might be fun to go back and read what was going on around this time five years ago, when we'd owned the place for a year. We've come a long way, baby!


Yippie-kai-yo-kai-yay! They're coming to pave our driveway today! I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it - even if it does mean we will probably be trapped here at the house once they start work. Now if only we had a washer and dryer here, things would be perfect.

By Monday, the day after Christmas, we were running out of food and underwear, so Lex loaded up all the dirty laundry and hauled it over to the laundromat in San Marcos, and I went to exercise and do the grocery shopping. Unfortunately, the dryers at the laundromat don't actually get things completely dry, and since Lex was going straight from there to Austin, to meet up with friends, she stuffed all the damp clothes back into the laundry bag, and it spent the night in the trunk of her car. Tuesday morning we pulled them out of the bag, and had to spread them out all over the bed, and drape them over chairs. They are finally dry now, but the wrinkles are something else! Let me think, do I even have an iron here in Wimberley?

Once we finished with that, I went with John to get his hair cut at the old-fashioned barbershop in town. It shot me straight back to the sixties, when I used to accompany my little brother for haircuts occasionally. The shops were almost identical, except for one major difference. At this one, one chair was manned by your typical good ol' boy, who just loved yakking about fishin' and huntin', but the other was manned (or should I say wo-manned) by a young gal with very long legs, and a very, very short skirt. Looks like she's pretty popular, too. I heard her taking lots of calls while I waited, and it sounded like she was booked way ahead, whereas John was able to walk right in and get a cut from the guy with no appointment at all. Hmmm, go figure? Oh yeah, there was one other big difference from the shop of my childhood. We didn't get any Double Bubble gum when they finished John's haircut, or even a lollipop. Bummer.

* * * * *

Well, I guess my excitement about the excavator was a bit premature. We waited around all day on Wednesday, and finally, sometime in the late afternoon, we heard someone chugging up the driveway. When we looked out the door, we saw a truck pulling a trailer up the hill, with a tractor loaded on it. The driver proceeded to unload the tractor, but then got back into his truck and just drove away! That was it. Zip. Nada. Well, I reminded myself, what the contractor actually promised was that the tractor would be there by Wednesday, not that they would begin working then, so I can't really say he was lying, can I? The next day, we waited in vain all morning. After lunch, another tractor showed up, but again, the driver turned around and left. Round about supper time, a piece of pipe showed up. So, we're zipping right along on this project. "Remember Becky", I remind myself again, "you wanted a slower-paced lifestyle!"

* * * * *

It is now Friday morning, and my hands are shaking so hard, it's difficult to write. I had been working in the kitchen earlier, when I heard a loud crash from the direction of the bedroom. I had all the windows open, so I assumed that something big had blown over. When I ran in there to check it out, I discovered that was not the case. What I had heard was the sound of the ceiling beam (or rather, the huge board that forms the base of an artificial one) that runs across the 20 ft. peak of our ceiling, crashing down onto our bed. In fact, one end of it was propped up on the wall at the foot of the bed, and the other was resting smack-dab in the middle of John's pillow, as if someone had aimed a huge javelin directly at his head. It's not even 10:00 a.m. yet, and if I had not awakened him early, John might well have been lying there now, with this beam embedded in his skull!

After John's third or fourth mishap here, my brother-in-law Bud said "Has it ever occurred to you that this place might be cursed, and you need to git while the gittin's good?" At the time, we just laughed, but now I'm beginning to wonder. The couple that actually built the house turned out to be friends of my sister-in-law's family. We found out from them that shortly after the house was completed, the husband discovered that he had lung cancer. I don't think they ever even moved up here full-time. After his death, the wife decided to stay in New Braunfels, and put this house up for sale. It had been on the market for at least two years before we came along. It was kind of a strange house, obviously built with their specific needs in mind, rather than an eye towards resale. However, it had everything that was on our wish list, and the price was right, so we decided to go for it.

After moving in, and learning all of this from Jack and Alma, I decided to write a little note to the wife, telling her how much we adore the place, and how grateful we are that she was willing to sell it to us. She wrote back and said that building this house had been her husband's life-long dream, and that we would never know how much love, passion, and attention to every tiny detail, he had put into it. Out next to the pump-house is a marble bench with a great view. This is now John's favorite place to sit after supper, smoke a cigar, and survey his new kingdom. I would imagine that it was the previous owner's favorite spot as well, because there is a little plaque on the ground in front of it, bearing his name. One day John and his buddy Tim were out there chewing on their cigars, and discussing how that plaque resembled a grave-marker. They went on to postulate that perhaps his family had scattered his ashes over the hillside there, if that was, in fact, his favorite spot in the world. I started imagining his spirit wandering the property. In a way, it was comforting, but it also made me a little bit nervous.

When we decided to call the place Seasonality, even though we knew he had dubbed it Fox Hill House, I couldn't help but wonder what he would think about that. When we painted the kitchen yellow, I wondered again if he would approve. One of the only things that really bothered us about the house was that the outside was totally beige - beige stone, beige stucco, beige trim, beige doors, beige porch rails... I kept trying to picture what I could do to give it a little more character. If only they had stained the porch columns a nice, natural cedar color, or if only we had room to add some rustic louvered shutters to the windows - anything to break up that sea of beige. Now don't get me wrong. I think they had excellent taste. They built a beautiful house, and we love it. It's just that John and I love color, and since we spent so many years being transferred from place to place, we always swore that once we settled down, there would be no more neutrals! Eventually, we decided to paint the porch rails a nice sage green, and that is exactly what John was working on when the beam came crashing down on his pillow. Think maybe someone didn't approve of his color choice?

Oh, by the way. It is now January 8th, and our driveway still isn't finished!

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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5