Last summer, my husband and I made a small cache of new friends. They all lived in League City which is about 8 miles south of Clear Lake where we had lived since 1998. It was an exciting time – learning about new people, trying to find our place and realizing that life was morphing into something new. Then somewhere in late August, I got the itch to move.
We bought our house in Clear Lake when I was six months pregnant during the spring/summer of 2006. Have you ever bought a house while you were nesting? Let’s just say that your perceptions are a bit … off. CW wasn’t interested in moving and would have been perfectly content with living in our 1,200 sq ft, two bedroom townhome until he died regardless of how many kids we brought into the world. Me, not so much. So the only way I was able to convince him to move was to find a larger version of our existing house. And that is exactly what I did.
That house in Clear Lake had the same fireplace, same bathroom fixtures, same crown moulding. It was even built the same year. We loved it, but quickly I found that after six years and with our new little mobile family, we needed more space. So I started looking. And I hit the jackpot.
The house in League City was a foreclosure and it’s freaking huge. I mean, almost exactly twice the size of our house in Clear Lake. It’s beautiful albeit a bit closer to the freeway than we wanted and a two-story versus a single. But, the best part is the fact that we’ve met so many new people since we moved in.
The Clear Lake house was in an empty-nester ‘hood. With each house at least 20 years old and mostly original owners, there were pretty much zero little kids anywhere. Well, we’ve got them all over the place here. Ava has a bike gang of about five kids that play with each other every single day. They share the same affection for popsicles, ringing doorbells at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and the occasional head cold. We swim in our neighbors’ pool on the weekend and I drink wine with another neighbor in lawn chairs in my driveway while the kids ride bikes in the street.
I have to admit, that wine-drinking-driveway combo is pretty freaking sweet. I never thought I’d live somewhere where I actually know the neighbors and love it as much as here. And best of all, I made a new friend and her family is even awesome. It’s the icing on the cupcake.
Besides us both being 5′ tall and built almost identically, we also love wine and endurance competitions. I’ve only done one MS150 bike race and one mini-tri, but she’s done more. It’s motivating and fun to share similar interests with someone and be so close every day. I share my wine with her and she shares hers with me. It’s a given. And we are mindful of both of our loves of reds and disgust for sweet wines. A match made in Napa.
Tonight we hung out in her kitchen and drank Cupcake Red Velvet and shared stories about our childhood experiences. We bonded over wine, which is one of the 1,000+ benefits of drinking wine. I like my reds a bit chilled and Red Velvet is smooth perfection at about 65 F. Red Velvet is a California blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. It has hints of blackberry, chocolate and a bit of mocha. For under $10, you really can’t beat it. And best of all it goes really well with budding new friendships.