Marla Cooper

BRB: There’s something I have to go do!

So, guess who accidentally bought a house in Austin? That’s right: Me!

I say “accidentally” because we didn’t have any plans to move there and we weren’t actually looking for a house. In fact, we’d already lived in Austin back before we moved to San Francisco but a) we needed to branch out and try new things, and b) it got up to 112 one Labor Day weekend and we thought we were going to spontaneously combust.

But life is funny sometimes.

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When we were in Austin last spring visiting close friends, we went to an open house in their neighborhood. We had no intentions to buy the house; we were strictly there as lookie-loos. But I had a serious house crush, and even after it sold, I kept thinking, “Wow, that would have been so cool if we could have made that work somehow.”

Then, just a couple of months ago, it came back on the market on my birthday. (The couple who bought it back in May decided to move to Dallas instead.) Long story short, renovations are in full swing and we’re moving in early April!

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It’s still going to be hot, but that’s what frozen margaritas are for, right?

So, in the meantime, I have a lot to do. I have things to pack, things to sell on eBay, things to take to Goodwill, things to paint and repair, things to pick out for the new house… so many things!

So this is — well, not a farewell post, but a BRB post. I’m going to take a little hiatus from blogging until I get settled in. I’ll miss the Chicks and I’ll miss our readers, but sometimes you’ve just gotta go do life stuff, you know?

Readers, have you ever done a long-distance move? And what’s your best packing tip? 

 

39 thoughts on “BRB: There’s something I have to go do!

  1. Congrats on the new house! Is that it in the picture? I love it! That yard is a dream. I have moved long distance twice now. The first time was right after college. Except for some crumbling furniture, which I sold for approximately $10, everything I owned fit in my car. The second move was more painful but still not too bad. Now, I would have a much harder time of it, mostly because it wouldn’t just be me moving but the cats too. I hope yours don’t complain too much!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Marla! That’s the house! I love the big old magnolia, and there’s a stream running along one side so the back yard feels like a park. And the cats are going to HATE me. I wish there was some way to get them there via teleportation because that is going to be one long, sad car ride. Thanks for the note!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. We hired someone for our one and only long distance move. They lovingly wrapped and packed everything, even trashcans with dirty kleenex inside. Felt immediately like home as soon as we unpacked … ha! I’ve never been to Austin, but I lived in Phoenix, so my only real advice is MAKE SURE THE AC WORKS! And enjoy the adventure!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Congratulations!! And ohmygorsh I LOVE the house!!

    Sending good packing and “things” vibes. I have absolutely no moving advice. We’ve been in our house for more than 20 years and the only way I see getting our stuff out is through a nice, cleansing fire.

    See ya on the flip side!

    Liked by 3 people

    • “A nice, cleansing fire” — LOL. We have a basement at our house which is like a big magnet for stuff. I’ve been trying to get rid of the accumulation but I do fantasize about someone breaking in and taking everything.

      Thanks for the congrats! It’s exciting and terrifying. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on the new house, and welcome back to Texas! My family moved from Texas to Maryland when I was in the first grade. My dad worked for a defense contractor and was sent there on a special project. We lived there about a year, came back to Texas for three months, then got sent back for about 9 months. Since I was a child, I don’t remember much about the move.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Christi! Texas to Maryland and back is a long trip. Are you still there now? It’s cooled off a lot, right? LOL — don’t answer that. I’m trying to pretend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I’m still in Texas. It has cooled off now…we will kind of have all seasons this week. Tomorrow highs in the 40s with highs in the 70s by the weekend.

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  5. Marla, how exciting — I have a crush on your house, too! I loved visits to Houston/Galveston and had an aunt who lived in Killeen. Somehow I’ve never made it to Austin, but I always thought it would be fun to attend a taping of Austin City Limits! 🎶”I want to go home with the armadillo…”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Good luck with your move! Just think how much more house you will get for your money in Austin! Do you know Karen MacInerney who writes the Gray Whale series? She lives in Austin and I’ve commented to her that you will be her new neighbor. I guess we won’t see you at LCC this March since you will be busy with your move. Hopefully another convention in the future!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s true! Austin is way less expensive. Not just the houses, but the food. I don’t know Karen MacInerney, but I’m eager to meet some writers there. You’ll have to introduce us! Sorry I’ll be missing LCC. I’m still so tempted to go but it’s right during the height of the packing frenzy. Keep in touch! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with your move. I’m attempting to plan a long distance move..it’s not going well..not at all. Hope everything goes well

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  8. I considered moving to Austin back in the 1990s when I had my country-rock band (yes, I did dream of performing on Austin City Limits, Vickie). I’ll miss you hangin’ with the Chicks for the time being, but maybe I’ll just have to take a trip to Austin for some barbecue! (Did someone say Franklin’s?) Love you, M! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Okay, Leslie, I’m going to take that as a firm commitment! We have a guest room and an endless appetite for barbecue. (Robin and Ziggy are invited, too!) We can also explore all the amazing varieties of breakfast tacos; my favorite is practically walking distance.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Dru. I’ll miss the spring conferences this year, but I’m planning on being at Bouchercon in Dallas. Not sure if that’s on your rotation but it would be fun to see you there!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Congratulations, Marla. If nothing else, Austin should be a cheaper place to live. At to long distance moves–we once moved from England to Denver and then to Washington, DC in nine months. Lesson learned, get rid of stuff that will cost you more to move than to buy again. Good luck, and enjoy your new home and community. I hear Austin is a terrific place to live.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Austin is definitely cheaper, and more relaxed, and closer to my family and friends…so many good reasons to be excited. Wow — England to Denver to DC — that’s major! I’m trying to get rid of stuff and I feel like I’m doing okay but I know from past experience that when moving day comes I will have twice as much stuff as I think I do. Thanks for saying hi! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Good luck with your move, Marla! One benefit of working for the federal government was that the moves were done by professionals and paid for by work. My last move was 5 years ago from Toronto to Ottawa. The movers always freaked out (a bit) when they saw how many boxes were needed to pack/unpack my 1000s of books, LOL, Will miss seeing you at LCC but I hope you are going to Bouchercon in the fall!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my gosh, YES! The books alone could have their own moving van. And yes, I will be at Bouchercon this year. Since it’s only a three-hour drive from Austin and since I’m missing all the spring cons, it was a no-brainer. See you there!

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  11. So excited for you!! Your new house looks amazing, and I hope that you have a smooth and peaceful transition.

    My only tip (we’ve moved three times in the past ten years) is to label the boxes with more detail than you think you need… Like instead of “kitchen,” write “colanders and forks” or whatever.

    Once spent a month eating salad with chopsticks because we couldn’t find the forks. True story.

    Will miss you so much while you’re on hiatus but am sending lots of happy thoughts. Best wishes on your move, M. xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is such a funny image, eating salad with chopsticks for a month. Okay, I will be super specific. Wish you lived close by so I could take advantage of your expertise! Thanks for the kind thoughts, and start looking into flights to Austin! 🙂 xoxoxo

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  12. Congrats on the house! Hope you come back soon!
    House moving? Been there done that. For 35 years I moved every few years. Longest was from Fairbanks Alaska to San Antonio Texas.
    Best advice for moving?
    If you haven’t used something in over 2 years, give it to charity unless it’s a family heirloom. Tax deduction if you get a detailed slip of what you give away.
    Do you have china? Get one of those china containers. Less breakage.
    Get wine crates or Uhaul glass boxes for glasses.
    Keep only one winter coat, and get rid of the majority of the other winter clothes. Be rough on going through your clothes. If they are ripped, toss them. Austin ain’t that cold. Again, give them to charity. Clothes is not a big tax deduction, but every little bit helps.
    Do you have some assembly required furniture, such as IKEA? Get rid of it. Except for the beds of course, which are always assembly required.
    Liquids like shampoos and lotions go in the trash. Too cheap to move them! Only keep prescription liquids.
    Light bulbs, any other “replacement house things” get rid of. You don’t know if they will work in the house. And they are cheap.
    Go through all your electronics. You will be surprised how many extra ‘cords’ you have, that you don’t need.
    Depending on the mover, most things that melt, like candles, won’t make it. Get rid of them.
    Agree with Cynthia about over labeling. It’s really helpful.
    Books are killer, so pack them in small boxes. Means more boxes, but easier on the back, and you can unpack a few at a time.
    So sad I won’t get to meet you at Malice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many great tips here. You should be a concierge moving consultant! Thanks for all the great advice and for always being a friendly presence around the blog. Hope we get to meet in person one day!

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  13. What a gorgeous home! Love the pic of you and Tim at the door. Looks as if Better Homes & Gardens will be calling soon to book the photo shoot. I’ve moved from NYC to Atlanta and from Nashville to NH and my parents from FL to NH. My hint? DO NOT move in heat!! Everything melts when the moving companies change trucks midway. Like, they take everything out, store it elsewhere, and repack on another truck. Oh, and forget those cardboard wardrobes. They hold about 3 blouses each and they’ll all fall off the hangers to a wad on the bottom.

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    • Oh boy, there’s almost no avoiding heat in Texas, but at least it won’t be August, AKA the month you try not to leave the house. Thanks for the tips, and come see me sometime! Xoxo

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  14. My moving tip is to pack your books in your suitcases with wheels. No lifting required. Your back will thank you.
    Hope your cats don’t scream the whole trip! Our last move, only about 300 miles, but the cats carried on the whole way. But, I didn’t mind, because they were in the car with the husband. I had the U-Haul & the dogs. 🙂
    We lived full time in an RV for years, was so much easier, just hook up & go.
    Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great idea about the books, Barbara! And sounds like you picked the right vehicle to be in. I’ve got nearly 1,800 miles to drive. Wish me luck! LOL

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