While Paul is gallivanting around Guatemala (ok, to be fair, he’s studying and working) I’m holed away in Waco taking care of wedding stuff, studying for the Indiana State Bar Exam, and packing up my apartment to move to Indiana.
My parents were born and raised in Victoria, Texas. They met, married, and raised their family there. I was born and raised in Texas, never living outside the state lines for more than 3 short months. But, now the time has come for me to leave for longer. To pack my bags, move to Indiana for at least a few years, and proudly waive my Texan flag all the way.
As I packed, I started thinking about what I’ll miss most. Paul had asked me this question a few months ago, but packing gave me the opportunity to reflect further on the things I love so much about the Lone Star State.
1. My family. This is obvious, but I grew up in a community that both my parents, all of my grandparents, numerous Aunts, Uncles, and cousins called home. My grandparents and parents and often some other family members were at every basketball game, volleyball game, softball game, stock show, etc. They were an integral part of my life and I’ll miss their being readily available to visit with just a short drive or mini-road trip.
2. Texas A&M. Football games. Hullabaloo. Howdy. Gig ’em. Midnight Yell. All things Maroon.
2. Bluebonnets in the spring time.
3. The hill country.
4. The Gulf Coast. Years ago, I would have sworn to you that I would never have said that. But, over the past few years I grew to love the coast. Floating from boat to boat at Rockport, first learning to surf in Port Aransas, fishing in the Port Lavaca bay, and spending the 4th of July in Port O’Connor while taking the boat to Sunday Beach.
5. Mexican Food. Yes, everyone tells me I can get Mexican food anywhere. I’m sure I can. Actually, I’ve tried. I swear it isn’t as good. That being said its still rare that I find a place in Texas that reminds me of the real stuff I grubbed on in Mexico.
6. Floating rivers. Just you and your friends in a tube while someone in your group pulls a tube just for an ice chest full of beer (and maybe a radio). Simple bliss.
7. My friends. Most of them still live within driving distance. Its rare that I can go to a city without someone to call and a place to stay. I’ll miss their nearness, wine nights with them, and trips to see them.
8. My family’s ranch. I never got to go as often as I’d like, but I feel an overwhelming since of pride in my father every time I go. It is peaceful, remote, and beautiful.
9. Dancehalls and two-stepping. My dad taught me to two-step before I can even remember. I grew up in 4-H and all of the events had dances every night that were mostly country two-steps. And I grew up just 15 minutes from the second oldest dance hall in Texas. Its a meeting place for friends when we’re home and the place we went on weekends in high school.
10. Home. Horses in the pasture, the unique smell of that greats me as I walk into the door, outdoor karaoke parties, Mom’s cooking and so many other nuances that make my parent’s house my home.