Not so Empty Nest…

When Daughts moved out for the first time she really didn’t move out.

She returned from dancing on a cruise line in the Mediterranean to an America where she no longer had a family home to retreat to.


Her blue-eyed Pops and I had sold up and were living in East Texas.

She didn’t want to live 80 miles away from her Dallas life, who could blame her at 21?

She moved in with her brother to a flat that, while not in the most desirable part of town, had gated entry (when the gate was working).

Their building had to be accessed through locked doors into the lobby area or through a garage where they both had parking spots.

Their apartment was on the third floor, via elevator.


An added security plus was she was living with her oldest, male sibling…

…until her bro-mate moved to Los Angeles and she found herself a place close to where her new life was which, when we returned from Florida, we found to  be quite a distance from family and friends and in an even more undesirable part of another town.

We visited her lovely little home and saw that it was on the ground floor with her patio overlooking the parking lot.

The community was not gated.

We insisted she use a wooden dowel in her French window to deter intruders (without bricks) and bought her curtains for privacy.

My teacher daughter had also lived on the ground floor in Corpus Christi overlooking a pathway, palm trees and neighbors wearing wife-beaters.

Hubs and I had lived on the ground floor in London, overlooking manicured gardens and in earshot of church bells.

There are varying degrees of Ground Floors.

Personally if I lived alone I would prefer interior access on the top floor.  Carting furniture up the stairs would be a distant second to my feeling of safety.

However, back in July, when the move was taking place, we were in Florida and kept our concerns to ourselves choosing to enjoy her excitement as her independence expanded its horizons.

In due course fear came knocking at her door.

It seemed the parking lot was more than a stopping place for cars it was evidently a favored hang-out for gangs of thugs and dealers.

The police, when called, were ineffective, moving them along without issuing tickets to the under age drinkers and smokers, or arresting them for possession.

When Daughts heard a reference about one of the men having been jailed for a felony involving a gun she called us,

“I just want to let you know I am moving out…

“…and in with you.”

Understandably she’d been getting nervous about arriving home at night with the possibility of a car load of noisy revellers outside her patio window.

She reluctantly declined to renew her lease.

She had seen the light.

She mentally prepared to vacate her beloved apartment all festive with Christmas cheer (blinds blocking the view of illegal activity),


comfortably decorated to give the impression of a safe haven.


At our ground floor flat in Garland, overlooking gardens for dogs to walk, we cleared my office to await her arrival home again after 17 months.

And when she brought round a carload of clothes, groceries and bathroom paraphernalia a couple of days ago, she looked at it all scattered on the floor of our apartment and said,

“All of a sudden I feel overwhelmed,” and I jumped to her assistance.

Luckily, although we’ve been in the flat for almost two months, we’ve hardly made a dent in the cupboard space and not unpacked a lot of stuff.

We placed the opened foodstuffs in a couple of kitchen cupboards and stored several boxes of non perishables in the garage,

“When you find another place you’ll want to take it with you to save going shopping all over again,” I observed.

My heart was soaring.

“I’m not going to make this room my own,” she said of her pretty bedroom, “it’s your office and I’m just barging in on your lives.”

I knew her heart was heavy.

“A very welcome barger-in none the less,” I answered with a smile and a hug.

I’d cleared out the closet, returned the sleeper sofa to Ikea and cleaned the bathroom.  She looked outside the window, overlooking the courtyard where dogs were walked, and saw a schnauzer frolicking in his wooly coat.   After some more unpacking she said,

“Maybe I will make it a little bit mine….”

My singing heart cracked a tad as she resigned herself to reality.

“2014 wasn’t really my year…” she said.

Growing up is very hard to do.

Last year’s happy plans seemed lost to the truth.

Dreams don’t always turn out the way they should.

Or maybe they do…

“Forever Room-mates” she wrote in a thank you note.

“It’s London all over again!” said Hubs as he hung pictures on her walls.

It’s all about being parents, I thought and my heart thrilled.

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