By Sally Torbey
About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the challenges of having a satisfying family life in a community where parents set a high bar for themselves, their children, and the schools and organizations that educate and socialize them. I grew up in the Midwest, attended a small liberal arts college on the East Coast and graduated from medical school in Chicago. I left a pediatric residency to care for our then infant son and spent the next dozen years contentedly gestating and lactating while having four more children. My husband grew up in the Middle East, came to the US for graduate school and works in high tech. Our eldest son graduated from a UC, and after working in the Middle East for a few years, now attends law school in NYC. Our eldest daughter graduated from a Midwestern Big Ten University and is a journalist in Texas. Our middle child studies engineering at a UC. The youngest two girls are in middle and high school in PAUSD. We are celebrating 20 years as PAUSD parents! I volunteer in the public schools, our church, and scouting. (Hide)
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Houston here she comes!
Uploaded: Jun 12, 2015
It is immediately obvious whether the person to whom I'm speaking has ever been to Houston when I mention that our soon-to-be-college-graduate daughter is moving there for a job. Folks that have lived in Houston or visited for longer than an overnight business trip are actually pretty enthusiastic. Those with less knowledge or personal experience in the city, not so much. They give me this incredulous look that says it all. "Houston, really?"
I admit, when I first heard the news I made the same kind of face. I didn't have anything against Houston, in fact, other than watching the Apollo launches as a child, I had never given Houston more than a few moments' consideration, but now Houston is front and center in our lives!
The first challenge of having our daughter move there is that it is the only major metropolitan area in the US where we don't know anybody. Not a single third cousin, business associate, or former college roommate settled in Houston. So, we made a point of telling everyone we know that she has accepted a job there in hopes of finding someone who knew someone in Houston.
In the end, it was our youngest daughter who hit the jackpot by sharing the news of her big sister's plans with her swim team carpool. The mom driving that day had not just one, but two, very friendly friends in Houston who both immediately responded to an email introduction with recommendations for livable neighborhoods, great restaurants, and offers to meet for a meal or a tour. Eureka!
A few weeks ago my daughter and I met in Houston to scour the city for an affordable apartment in a walk-able neighborhood. To our surprise, we found a number of apartments that met her requirements, and her apartment will be the envy of her friends living in San Francisco in apartments half the size and twice the price. Did we mention she has a pool, too?
We also ate amazing food, drove by a lot of museums we intend to return to, walked along the bayou, shopped at an authentic upscale Middle Eastern market, and on a balmy evening stumbled upon the Houston Opera's performance in the park of The Magic Flute. The luckiest thing about our trip, though, was that we flew home before the freeways were submerged under 14 feet of water. Torrential rains swept through the Houston only hours after we departed causing flash flooding, deaths, and extensive damage. We were assured by the locals that this happens only once every 10 years. Hopefully she will be back in California before then!
What is it worth to you?
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