Gar's Texas Home Gar's New Home, 2016

Marguerite's Visit to Gar's New Texas Home, June 2016

In late April 2016, Gar (Marguerite's son), his wife Chandi, and the grand kids Grace and Crawford moved to Texas! The move was prompted by job opportunities for Gar and the chance to buy a large home on a large lot on a large lake for less than a condo would cost in a marginal neighborhood in Orange County! Clearly, a genuine quality of life improvement even with the heat and humidity.

Their home is in the small town of Heath (7000 people) about twenty miles north east of Dallas. The communities of Heath and Rockwall (about 40,000 people) have an excellent school system, lots of lakes, many large homes, and a population of prosperous, educated people, many of whom work in Plano and Garland (lots of biotech businesses in these towns). Of course, there is a Costco, a Target, and many other stores and amenities, and lots of churches too (after all, it is Texas). The home is in the Praries and Lakes region of Northeast Texas.

The neighborhood in Heath is ideal for families with children. Grace and Crawford have made friends with several children near their age and Gar and Chandi are getting to know the families. One neighbor family has twin girls (7) and graciously shares their pool with Grace and Crawford for play dates. The lake front is right down the semi-circular driveway and has open space for picnics and fishing.

The Jackson home was built in 1994 and has been remodeled by the original owners a couple of times. The original owners sold the home to Gar and Chandi. The home is on an acre of land, almost 3300 square feet, and about 500 feet from Lake Ray Hubbard, a 35 square mile lake with lots of boating and fishing opportunities. The house is full of custom cabinetry and built-ins created by the original owner who was a retired physicist and wood worker. The third bay in the garage was turned into a woodworking shop, complete with heat and air! A couple of miles away is the Rush Creek Yacht Club where the family has a membership. The Yacht Club focuses on sailing and has an excellent sailing program for young and old sailors. In fact, some of the young sailors from this Club have qualified for the Olympics!

Grounds of Gar's Home

All the homes in Gar's neighborhood have at least an acre of land and many have more acreage. This makes for a very nice spacious feeling. After being crowded in Orange County for most of the past 30 years (since Gar was a freshman at the University of California Irvine in 1987) it is a welcome change to be away from the stresses of "armpit-to-armpit" living as he says. These photos show various aspects of Gar's house. The home is grey brick and grey-blue siding and has several stained glass windows created by the wife of the original owner. There are lots of trees and lots of grass, nourished by lots of rain much of the year as well as an irrigation system.

While EE was visiting, she and the grand kids had a picnic one day and also tried, unsuccessfully, to fly a big kite. Before EE came to Texas Crawford had caught his first fish in the big lake near their home.

Kite Movie

Picnic Movie

Inside the New Jackson Home

The inside of the home is still "a work in progress" as they brought minimal furniture from California and will be getting more furniture when they visit Chandi's folks on Long Island in August and pick out pieces that are currently in storage. The first photo is of the stairway going up to the second floor where Gretel loves to "hang out". The next row is the front door, Gretel in Master Suite upstairs, and kids playing in kitchen. All of the cabinets and woodwork will soon be painted white and the walls will be painted various shades of blue. Once painting is done and furniture is in place, this website will be updated. The downstairs of the home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large living room/dining room, a lovely kitchen and family room with a big fireplace, and lots and lots of storage (EE is very envious!!). The upstairs (about 800 square feet) is a master suite and lots and lots of storage space under the eaves, including one large storage closet that is heated and cooled (this seems to be critical in those parts where it gets quite cold in the winter and hot/humid in the summer).

Both kids now have their own rooms and enjoy having their very own space for toys and everything else!

Upstairs View

The upstairs Master Suite was remodeled within the last few years. There is a bedroom with a balcony looking over the lake and a huge master bath with large tub and shower. For now, the bedroom is serving as a home office for Gar as they use one of the downstairs bedrooms for themselves.

Rush Creek Yacht Club

The Rush Creek Yacht Club is located about 2 miles south of the Jackson home. It has a club house, pool, beach, docks, boat ramp, restaurant/diner/bar, and dry storage for boats. The family often uses the pool and while EE was there, she and Gar and the grand kids spent a couple of afternoons getting cool in the pool. The trophy case behind Gar, Grace, and Crawford is full of trophies from the various sailing team events over several years.

EE's Visit to Texas, June 2016

EE went to Texas on June 11 and stayed for 10 days. Gar and Chandi were away on business part of the time she was there, so she also enjoyed her EE time alone with Grace and Crawford very much. Grace is learning to sew and EE had sent a wonderful sewing machine and serger to Texas on the moving truck. Grace and EE made two satin nightgowns, complete with embroidered images and ruffles, and Grace worked quite a ways through the exercises in a sewing book for kids. One day Grace, Crawford and EE also made cupcakes for Gar for Father's Day! Both Grace and Crawford love to dress up in costumes. As a treat, EE ordered Grace a Star Wars Princess Leia costume and Crawford a Star Wars Kylo Ren costume from Amazon. Of course they needed to be altered! The last photo is of them both dressed in their swimming "rash guard" spandex cover-ups to protect them from the Texas sun!

One afternoon EE, Grace and Crawford and the neighbor twins and their grandma (Nana Delores) had a Grandma Party organized by Grace. The kids all dressed in costumes! A couple days later they all went to the movies to see Finding Dory. What a delightful movie! The theater ran out of regular seats so upgraded us to the 3-D theater for free! Along with the popcorn, sprite, and a few trips to the bathroom, we all had a wonderful time and enjoyed the AC as it was very hot outside.

Grace (she will be 7 in October and in first grade then) is a participant in a local business called CORE that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for children ages 5 through teens. Young graduate engineers and engineering students staff the center where kids can go after school and on Saturdays. The CORE concept was developed in Heath a few years ago and hopes to franchise to other parts of the country. While EE visited, Grace built a crane from legos while being mentored by a graduate engineer. Her next session (after EE left) included writing computer code to make the crane work! Grace goes to CORE twice/week for a couple of hours each time. Crawford can join in when he is 5 in January. This is a fantastic learning experience and Grace absolutely loves it. Crawford can hardly wait to be old enough to participate too.

Another day, Grace and Gar refinished the old cedar chest that was Gar's great grandmother McMillan's hope chest for her marriage in about 1914! The cedar chest was given to Marguerite by her father when they lived in Mississippi and it traveled to California with them. When Marguerite and George got married, Gar inherited the cedar chest and has used it as a coffee table ever since. The inside smelled of mothballs so they sanded it down well to release the cedar smell again. The top was also banged up so some good sanding and a liberal dose of Old English scratch cover made it as good as new. With EE they also refinished the top of the old cherry sideboard that has been in the family for many years. And completely on her own, Grace created an "octave" of 7 glasses with different levels of water to make different sounds and she and Crawford played a concert for us!

It was a wonderful trip for EE and she is thrilled to see Gar and his family getting settled and so happy having their own home, lots of space, and being part of a wonderful up-scale community. Marguerite plans to visit every 2-3 months to help with sewing projects and give Gar and Chandi a chance for a little R&R weekend away now and then.

Return to Home Page