I've never felt more out of place in any place than I did living in Texas. Those five years were shocking! The shock of figuring out my identity as a first-time mom, on top of trying-mostly in vain-to figure out where I "fit in" took me by surprise.
As much as I struggled with loneliness while living in Texas, several things about it made a home in our hearts.
It's a super place to live! I'd give anything for that sunshine this morning, oh, and the sunsets-breathtaking! We miss the low cost of living, always enjoyed pretty drives in Hill Country & have fun memories in San Antonio and at the Fort Worth Zoo.
My breakfast this morning inspired these 5 Loves from our life in Texas.
#1: Love thy neighbor. I'll never forget the smiley blond gal, claiming to be my neighbor, arriving with a cooler full of "Cokes" (universal for all soda) and a vacuum cleaner when we arrived. The friends we did make, swung the doors opened wide for us to their homes & their lives. Many of them have continued to provide prayerful support and friendship across the miles & years later.
West Texas hospitality came in the form of waving at passersby, smiling at strangers, and sharing casseroles and anything else they have that you need. We have tried our best to emulate it ever since.
#2: Love thy local football team. This may be the best of all! I married a college football player, but he was burned out, so the religion that is Texas football re-kindled his passion and created a football fan for life out of me. The community support, the way the city is a ghost town outside of the stadium on game day, Tech beating UT-yes, it was my favorite thing about Texas.
#3: Love thy Tex-Mex. Breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, fajitas with house-made tortillas and lots of fresh lime & cilantro, yum! Putting fresh salsa on my eggs this morning inspired this post. BBQ was tasty and eating steak in Texas has ruined my husband for eating steak anywhere else in the USA, but I crave that fresh, Tex-Mex monthly!
#4 Love thy financial freedom. Millionaires wear Wranglers and drive pick-ups in Texas. Where I grew up, people were more likely to be decked out in designer duds and drive a Lexus, and have credit card debt & depleted bank accounts. These are generalizations, but my perception was that folks in Texas were less concerned with image and more concerned with building wealth & investing in local entrepreneurs than I'd ever witnessed elsewhere. Immersed in this culture, I learned the freedom that comes from living below your means. We quickly adopted conservative spending habits and lofty savings goals.
#5 Love thy back comb. Kidding. Not really. No, I am; it's not that bad. Who am I kidding? Yes, it is. But those Texas girls are so pretty, tanned-skin, gorgeous even for morning school drop-off, "full face on" even at the gym in the morning.
Yeah, it's no wonder I never fit in.