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“Home”

Well, I’ve spent the past week under boxes. It’s not an exaggeration really, since some of the boxes were as big as I am. By the end of it, there was a mountain of boxes in front of my new house. I nice man finally came by yesterday and hauled them all away and the lack of boxes makes me feel decidedly more settled. I even have a smooth surface on which to put my computer now and write to you!

It took 5 months for me to decide where I wanted to live. I knew it was time to leave the Bay Area, but I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to land. It took 5 months in part because I had to travel for various things… to write my book, to eat lots of delicious food as a judge on Iron Chef, to speak at conferences, yadda yadda yadda ya.

Here are some of the places that I thought about moving to as I traveled:

1.

Lake Village, Arkansas. This is where I visit several times a year. I love it and people often give me weird looks when I say so. But it’s one of those rare preserved places where time seems to stand still, where you can still find comfort in the simplest of things—in the wild tonic of the rain, and the salty crunch of a simple fried dove harvested with your own hands on an orange morning and consumed in the same night. And of course, hound dogs, always drooling and begging for attention.

The problem though, is that I needed to live much closer to an airport if I wanted to spend any time at “home” rather than driving hours in a car. But one day perhaps…

2.

New York City. There is so much action, so much fun to be had, so much walking down the street with headphones in your ears to be done. But… been there done that. I love New York and it will always be “home” for me in many ways, but I’ve had plenty of fun living there. I needed to stretch out a bit more.

3.

Hudson Valley, New York. I thought about moving outside the city so that I could spread my wings but still be near people that I know, (like my Grandma’s kitchen here) and all of that action… but I needed to stretch myself beyond what I knew. I needed to explore “new horizons” as they say.

4.

Oxford, Mississippi. I fancied myself living in an old plantation home. Next to Faulkner’s old house. I roamed around Oxford for a while and mingled in the streets with the kids from ‘Ol Miss. But there was that airport problem again. So I thought about Savannah and the Carolinas too. (I heard they had Oreo cows in North Carolina after all.) But I don’t think I was quite ready to manage a plantation home. One day though…

5. So this is where I ended up…

Austin, Texas. I love it. It felt like home upon my very first visit. I think Texas is in my blood a bit, it is, after all, where 95% of my relatives are from. My great-grandfather George W. Gray lived here until he went up north while in his 30s. One of my Texas relatives just told me the other day why my great-grandfather went up north… You see, he was a writer also. And the president of Harvard wrote to the editor of the paper my great-grandfather worked for and said that if he would send him up north to Harvard, all of his expenses would be taken care of. And so in his 30′s George W. Gray went back to college and that’s how I ended up being from the Northeast. It’s also probably how I ended up being a writer. And how I ended up moving to Texas. And it is where I got my name. Life really does come full circle sometimes, even if it takes a few generations.

So this is where I’ll be keeping my home base for a while. And when people ask me, “where do you live?” I can finally give them a straight answer. “Texas!” I’ll exclaim.


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Comments

  1. I just love that you considered Lake Village! I’ve lived in Little Rock, Hot Springs and Fayetteville, so Arkansas has a huge chunk of my heart.

    But Austin? AMAZING choice. You’re gonna love it!

    congrats on settling! (and I mean that in a good way)

  2. Congrats on the move – I am spit shinning my boots for a visit.

  3. Congratulations on your move. Austin is an awesome city. I thought about moving there, but couldn’t get my LA native business partner to go for it.

  4. Yay, Georgia! I’m so glad you are getting settled. That moving stuff is really not a task I enjoy. Glad you’ve got that part behind you. Enjoy your new home!!!

  5. YAY! I wanna come visit and find some good food and good tunes.

  6. What a great story about your grandfather, sounds like you take a lot after him – a writer and a traveler.

  7. Texas YAY! So basically you need to come to Oklahoma and do some hunting! I know some awesome ranches up here!

  8. Austin’s great–it kind of feels like ASHEVILLE! ;)

  9. Congratulations!! Some of my inlaws life in Jacksonville, Arkansas…it is beautiful there. I’d be too scared of living in tornado alley though.

    I’ve always been intrigued by Texas but have never been. My husband did a lot of business travel to Austin. I’d love to check it out someday. Can’t wait to see more pics of the area!!

  10. I have always wanted to go to Texas. Hope you love it there! :)

  11. Welcome home! Being a Texan myself, I think you chose well.

  12. Welcome to your new home. I have a feeling it’s going to look a whole lot more beautiful because you’re in it!

  13. Congratulations, Georgia! I am sure you will LOVE Austin. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. When you are back up in the HV let me know!

  14. Bryant AuCoin says:

    I think you chose a great city, well I hope you did, because my bro-mantic roommate and I just moved to Austin from Charleston, S.C. ourselves!

    So far this place is amazing. The triple digit Hot Sauce festival was a total surprise with the spicy jams and my favorite – candied Jalapenos.

    If you like italian, and food trucks – hit up That’s Amore on Riverside road – deeeelish sandwiches. (http://www.thatsamorefoodtrailer.com/). She’s about to add soups and Bolognese for the fall.

    • Wow, I totally will. So far I’m obsessed with Torchy’s Tacos… the one called “Dirty Sanchez” in particular with fried avocado, and the truck called “King-something” at the Liberty Bar. It’s part of Uchi. They have some of the best tasting things in the universe.

  15. WOO HOO!!! Congratulations!!! Seems like Austin is the happening place these days!!! I am definitely going to have to check it out now that my son is at school in Dallas!!
    Can’t wait to see what you discover in Austin!

  16. Yay! Now I have even more reasons to visit Austin. So excited for you.

  17. Congratulations on your new home! Hope it turn out to be everything you want. Let us all know when you get ready to throw a house warming!

  18. So funny! Stumbled upon your website tonight after lusting about tomato water–and it truly is a small world. I went to school in Oxford and travel through Lake Village! Both are wonderful places.

  19. I’m happy to hear that you’ve found a home base, but the Bay will miss you!

  20. What an adorable post (and photos), Georgia. Congrats on finally being moved in down in ATX!

  21. My Dad lives in Houston and I lived there for a year. I didnt care for it really but Ive been back a few times and its grown on me a bit. I hear Austin is very different and Ive always heard good things.

    Congratulations on the move!

  22. Yay, Texas!!! We LOVE Austin…and go there as much as we can. We’re down here in H-town, but trying to convince the hubby to get us back to Dallas or over to Austin.

    Happy moving! ♥

  23. welcome home Georgia! i’ve never set foot in Austin but i am sure that you will love wherever you set your boots . . . i hear that Texas is THE place to live these days – loads of culture and great food!

  24. How did I miss this post until now?! Georgia, this is one of my favorites. It is so tricky, confusing and exciting to figure out where to live. We reside in the OC because it is easy for now…..my heart is of course in CO. One day perhaps. Congrats on hanging your hat in Texas! xo

  25. Welcome to Texas, Georgia. You know what we say, right?
    “If you’re lucky enough to live in Texas, you’re lucky enough!”

  26. This is so awesome! I’m so happy you are going to be staying in the same city I am in. It’s like having my favorite celebrity around, and in many ways that’s true. I really look up to you and your “pioneer ways.” You’ve been such an inspiration to me to learn more about hunting and food, so I guess I’m just excited. :D

    Really hope you enjoy your stay. Austin is a wonderful place. Just gets crazy hot in the summers though.

  27. Texas – good for you. We have thought about uprooting our family, making a new start and Texas has been on the radar! I cannot wait to see how Texas inspires you. Enjoy!

  28. Congratulations on finding a new home Georgia. Nice choice. Thought you might like these views of Texas. http://www.wymanmeinzer.com/

  29. Yes… Texas girls are the only ones I know who can return from the salon with their perfect nails and then throw shells into a 12 ga and shoot ducks out of the sky faster then the guys. Some how the nails stay intact and look none for the worse? I am not sure what it is down there… they must give them a Barbie doll and cap gun when they are little girls. Gotta love Texas !

  30. Hilary Hines says:

    Austin is an awesome city. This is so awesome! So far this place is amazing.

  31. Gerald Reasor says:

    Howdy Georgia! Glad to hear I have a new neighbor. I live just north of San Antonio in Schertz. Retired marine, with lovely wife, daughter, and grand daughter ( she just turned three ). Just finished “girl Hunter”, and loved it. I have to say, I got a kick out of your dramatic acting to get away from Stan the Man. Have been a hunter scince I got my first BB gun. I hope to inspire my grand daughter to be a “Girl Hunter”. Can hardly wait for bow season to start. I want to try some of your delicious sounding recipes.:-)

    SEMPER FI ! Hunter

    • Suzi Dunning says:

      Loved your moving story Georgia and I also loved your book “Girl Hunter” so sorry you had a bad experience in Northern Wyoming. If you ever go back hunting elk or deer there I could hook you up with great people that eat real food.
      Best to you! :)