Learning

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There’s a new twist in my Texas Education. It’s formal now. Official. I’m an undergrad … again … at 60. As I peruse my first class syllabus I’m transported back in time, back not as far as many will think. For my first degree I took the long way round … 17 years long. Graduation day for me was right after my oldest graduated 8th grade. I remember doing homework, at the kitchen table in our house on Selma Ave in Fremont, California. Jesse and Andrew were often studying at the same table, sharing chips and guacamole. Brain food.  Without my boys, my hubby and absolutely amazing in-laws, I wouldn’t have a degree in psychology.

Why am I starting again, now, at my age? Because I’m in Texas; because it’s a benefit of Steve’s place of employment; because God plucked us out of the Rockies and planted us in the Piney Woods.

Never, ever, did I think I’d go back to school for another bachelor’s degree, but I’m so thrilled to be an undergrad again. As my first course begins, I’m overwhelmed, scared and excited.

I’m not too old! I can do this! This is AMAZING!

My heart’s cry … Oh God! Please help me do this well!

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Lesson 3 – Double Wides and Wet vs. Dry

Just in case; Wet or dry isn’t a reference to humidity. It lets you know whether or not you can purchase alcohol.

I remember learning about Blue Laws when we moved to Colorado. If you live in Colorado you still can’t purchase a car on Sunday, but since 2008 you can stop by a liquor store, on Sunday, and buy a six pack, although you still can’t buy wine, any day of the week, in the grocery store. I don’t get the point.

I didn’t know anything about Blue Laws when we moved to Colorado, but they became normal in no time. Since moving to Texas I’ve learned a bit about wet and dry counties and cities. There were some articles recently that caught my attention in the local paper. A wet county allows alcohol sales, but if you live in a dry county, you’ll have to cross county lines to buy your dinner wine.

We live in a wet county, and a wet city, so much so that while shopping in Albertson’s I was offered a sample of a white wine spritzer, and I can buy wine or beer in any grocery store in town, which was a pleasant surprise for this Irish lady with deep Lutheran roots.

There are still 11 completely Dry counties in Texas, according to Wikipedia. Funny thing, if you live in wet county, it’s still possible to live in a dry city. I find this fascinating, because Texans, as a general rule, hate being bossed around.

One of my new friends, who’s also our real estate agent here, told me that Texans hate being told what they can and can’t do on their own land, so zoning regulations are rare. The newer neighborhoods are sometimes built with covenants, but they aren’t as common as neighborhoods without rules and covenants. For instance, a home on 5 acres that sells for a million dollars could be next door to a double wide on 10 acres, that sells for significantly less. The value of the million dollar home isn’t brought down by the double wide, neither is the value of the double wide increased because of the sale price of the mansion. That’s something to ponder before we purchase a home. Like, maybe it’s best to purchase the double wide and then build a nice home on the 2 acre lot right on the lake, which may be next door to the nicer home.

It’s all hypothetical, we’re not ready to buy, but definitely ready to ponder.