• Elizabeth Brummett

An Inconvenient Move

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

My parents and their two little dogs came down to Austin for a visit the weekend before Thanksgiving. We had a great time, and showed them around the rapidly progressing construction at Mueller, where my talented photographer father tried out the new camera he’d just bought.

Unfortunately, almost as soon as they’d left, we started having major electrical problems. We’d been renting this adorable 1950s, asbestos-clad house from a couple of old women with little interest in maintenance. Despite its small size and deteriorating state, it had a lot of charm – an abundance of windows, hardwood floors, original cabinets and countertops. It also had the original wiring.


After a small electrical fire, two visits by an electrician, ongoing shorts and an exploding light bulb, we realized the problem was not going to be fixed, or at least not easily. We’d lost multiple electronic devices with the first big surge, and, more importantly, were worried the house would burn down if we turned the power back on. Both times the electrician came out, he gave the house a clean bill of health, and during the second visit, he checked wiring in the attic. If the problem wasn’t there, it had to be in the walls, and the landladies made abundantly clear they had no interest in rewiring the house.


We had no choice but to move. We really appreciate the help of family and friends, who put us up over Thanksgiving and the week thereafter while we waited for December 1 to come around. Our new apartment is up north, with a 20-30 minute commute fighting traffic on Mo-Pac in the mornings. It’s a nice place (with working electricity!) at a reasonable price, but I’m sure the quasi-suburban lifestyle will make us that much more grateful we’re buying a place so close to downtown. We’re certainly relieved to be buying a new house, and to know we’ll never have to rent again.

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