Laura Bush: Life in Dallas Has Been a 'Slow Adjustment'

The former first lady discusses what's next for her family.

ByABC News
February 26, 2009, 5:05 PM

HOUSTON, Feb. 27, 2009— -- Commercial airline travel, trips to the hardware store for nightlights and walks around the neighborhood are all part of everyday life these days for former President George W. Bush and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Mrs. Bush said she and her husband were settling into a normal, post-presidency life at their new home in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas after spending a month at their ranch in Crawford while the house was finished.

Mrs. Bush said she has yet to cook a meal herself, because friends have been bringing over prepared dinners to welcome them back to town. The Bushes have had several large dinner parties with old friends, but they had to resort to borrowing furniture to accommodate their guests.

"We have very little furniture. We don't have a kitchen table or a dining room table," she said. "Friends loaned me a kitchen table and the other night I had 16 people for dinner, and I had to borrow chairs from the Secret Service next door."

After years of having everything they wanted right at their fingertips, the Bushes are finding that sometimes the little things are the most difficult to obtain.

"The only thing we don't have are the newspapers. It has been slow to get The Dallas Morning News delivered," she said. "People bring the newspaper to us later in the day. It's just not being delivered yet."

Despite the lack of newspaper delivery at their new home, the former first lady said they are keeping up with the news back in the nation's capital. But they certainly are not operating on Washington's clock.

In fact, Mrs. Bush said she did not watch President Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night because she "totally forgot about it."

"The next day, I thought it was so ironic that, for eight years, I would be a nervous wreck before the State of the Union, and for days before, as George would be preparing his speech, worried about it and thinking about what was going to be in the speech. And this time it came and went, and I didn't even think about it."

Mrs. Bush traveled to Houston this week for the launch of an exhibit of recently discovered ancient artifacts, on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.

Just like any other Texan, she flew there on a commercial flight.

"It's very difficult," the former first lady said with a smile, talking about giving up private flights on Air Force jets. "That was really, really terrific."

Mrs. Bush said it has been a "slow adjustment," especially when it comes to not feeling stressed all of the time. She noted that her husband had "every problem in the world on his desk one day, and then an empty desk the next day."