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A boomer’s joys and woes with a vacation home

We’re always interested here at BoomerCafé with the many ways baby boomers today fill their lives. Sherrill Pool Elizondo is filling hers with two homes, and seems to have mixed feelings about it. Especially since her “vacation home” was threatened in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey. Happily, it survived.

“To whom much is given, much is required” a friend reminds me when demands of two homes become overwhelming.

My parents bought a home in Rockport, Texas, while I was in college in the 1960s. Eventually it was sold.

Sherrill with youngest grandchild (at the time) on July 4, 2015

In 2008 I drove back to Rockport and checked into a motel. I went sightseeing, visited an old shell shop, and reminisced. My husband and I returned in 2013.

We were interested in one home. After inspection we decided against it. I cried bitter tears thinking we’d never have a home near the water and we weren’t getting younger! Our realtor, while bike-riding, saw an area she thought we should see. We had been specific on location: windswept oaks, higher elevation.

One of Sherrill’s granddaughters. September 5, 2015

Home construction began 2014 … built L-shaped to save two old live oaks. The “bridge” to the front door was not a disability ramp but built so as not to back-fill an area of oak… backyard oak surrounded and undisturbed by a deck. By 2015, long day trips to inspect work and meet with the builder or supervisor were over.

More grandchildren on Mustang Island. Spring Break, 2017

But now, maintaining two homes is challenging. I make lists of what to stock up on, I clean two homes, and I don’t return to either that hasn’t been cleaned and linens changed. After an unusual hard freeze for South Texas, we replaced shrubs… then deer tasted new plants! Gophers made a mess!! Once I even found piles of Lovebugs in my hermetically sealed house!

Endless responsibilities with home ownership. Two homes, more so. NO, my home is NOT available for rent. NO, I’ve no need of a caretaker yet. NO, not fun to work at a vacation home. YES, I miss attributes of each home while at the other. YES, it’s difficult to choose one over the other should the day arrive but I was adamant our vacation home and possible retirement home would be a one-story house.

Oldest grandchild catching a big fish before leaving our Rockport home. Spring break 2017

Rockport is a refuge and a place for my husband to enjoy photography. I support local by shopping downtown. Grandchildren enjoy fishing, trips to the local beach, and Mustang Island. I’ve stayed alone or invited friends and relatives to our “beach house.” I enjoy the art community, looking for sea glass, talking with locals, seeing fantastic sunsets and a wide array of sea birds.

Sherrill with friend of 50 years. Who reminds me: “To whom much is given, much is required.” September 18, 2015

In September 2016, my husband and I took a road trip to western states. A good trip but tiring. We stopped at our coastal home to decompress, do laundry, fill hummingbird feeders, and relax before going back to Houston. So peaceful, after weeks on the road, to once more hear the soothing sound of waves come ashore as I sat on our deck one evening.

Still making memories…“To whom much is given, much is required.”