Monday, July 27, 2015

A Few Things I (Slightly) Miss About Texas-and A Couple I Don't Miss at All

There is no perfect place to live, at least for most of us. In my case, moving further north and adjusting my lifestyle was so very much the right thing to do, on so very many levels. And even though it has winter, most of the time I am thrilled with Denver. It has more sunny days than almost any major city, including those that are hotter. You get to see the mountains virtually every day, even when you don't live in the hills, and the lifestyle is overall healthy and a great place for retirees to live. Colorado remains one of the top states to retire in, for more reasons than I can count.

Still, most places have things, people and experiences you miss, and Texas is no exception.  After just a couple days with my daughter, I am reminded that among other things, I really really missed the triple digit heat-at least in short spurts. I can promise you that after a week I'll be more than ready to return to what is simply eighty or ninety degree weather. But for a week or so, embracing the heat beyond heat of a humid Texas summer is just what the doctor ordered.

Other things I miss on occasion?

Market Street.  Yes, it's a store and yes I miss it. We don't have it in Colorado.  For those unaware, Market Street is rather like a Whole Foods with all the regular grocery food added. I'm not sure how else to say it. It has a sushi bar, all kinds of deli and take out and prepared foods, a great bakery, and you can still buy Campbell's soup. Today I had a chicken salad sandwich on sunflower grain bread while doing basic grocery shopping.


Stores, stores and more stores. Now, I am not a shopper, however, on occasion I miss some of the opportunities of the suburbs of a huge city. In Denver, for example, there are really only one and a half quilting stores near me. While visiting my daughter, I can find up to ten in easy driving distance.  The old saying is that in Dallas at least, people shop and eat out-and that generalization is not inaccurate-economy or no economy.  On any given day you can see ten restaurants from any car vantage point. Again, this is not what I would want as a permanent lifestyle (which is why I changed it) but it sure is great for a few days. 

The German Deli.  What can I say, you can only appreciate it if you can appreciate it. While this is a large online store, their home base is here in the Dallas area, and it has things that may not be available elsewhere.  While here, we will purchase brotchen, uniquely German mixes, and liquor filled chocolates. We'll also purchase curry ketchup and mustard and mayo and foods for traveling. The best parts for me though are the non food items including my German home and food magazines, and the Christmas specialties.   I can and do order year around, but my annual in person visit is a highlight and a taste of home. 

The Dallas Botanical Gardens, which are on of the top ten botanical gardens in the US on some lists.  While I won't make it this trip, I'll come back for the fall and plan to experience this in full as I try to every year. 

A few of my old social groups and my former church.  While I've made a new church home and am very happy there (actually I have two church homes in Denver), my Dallas church was unique in many ways.  As a very large, extremely progressive church whose primary purpose was outreach, it was unusual for north Texas, and on some level I miss a large church and all the social opportunities it offered. 

I also miss, on occasion, my small quilting group.  Dallas was so big that every town had it's own quilting group, while Denver is just small enough that it has one really really large group, without the opportunity for small group socialization. I've been fortunate to find other small groups in Denver that more than meet my needs, but I do occasionally miss the old bunch. 

Now, as to what I do not miss, let's begin with sweet tea. I just don't understand. Somewhere in Texas I decided I would not make it until dinner at my daughter's and pulled off to get a McDonald's apple pie and an iced tea. After three misunderstandings between the person on the other side of the intercom and I, I finally ended up with iced tea. Plain iced tea. This of course is not just a Texas issue, but a southern one-and as I have learned (but have yet to understand), iced tea with sugar is, well, not sweet tea.  Let's just say not only do I not miss sweet tea, I don't miss the effort I have to make to get the alternative!

Other things I don't miss include those stores-after about a week, Dallas traffic and toll roads, Texas conservatism and rattlesnakes and armadillos.  But life is short, and I'll live with them all, because after all, I am here to visit family-the most important thing.


  1. I've been to Texas exactly twice, in the early 90s. Don't know much about it; but I imagine it's your old friends and social groups that you miss the most ... but Market Street sounds like a great place to shop!

  2. I had the pleasure of visiting Flower Mound, a suburb of Dallas, last fall. I was struck by the preponderance of retail and restaurants. Shopping and eating out was very much a part of my relatives' lifestyle. I was struck by the population density but I guess that's relative coming from rural Alberta. I was happy to get to a park on the Red River between TX and OK and have some respite from the constant traffic and population. The next time I go I will certainly look up the botanical gardens. As you say, connecting with family and friends is very important and I realize that's the main impetus behind many of my travels.

  3. I have been reading your blog since I retired 18 months ago but I have never commented until today. I live in Allen, Texas but want to live in Colorado so I feel we have a lot in common. I, too, love Market Street and do most of my shopping there. There are things to love here in Texas but the traffic and heat are getting to me more and more each year. My 10 year old grandson, along with my daughter/best friend who live 5 minutes away, are what keeps me here for now. My boyfriend and I visit Colorado yearly in September and I just feel happy there. The sky is so blue, the air is crisp, and I can sure see myself living there. We are considering the move when bf retires in a couple of years if I can leave the family. I enjoy your blog.

  4. I'm glad you commented.I was happy for the time in Texas asvmy kids got tyimed with their late dads family but the truth is I always should have chosen Colorado or te east coast (too far away). I do need to plan to do more warm weather travel in March and April, but other than that I am happy. And I can drive to Texas as often as I want in retirement!

  5. Sounds like it is a good visit. Your daughter is probably soaking in all she can. Your in laws were so blessed that you chose to "come home" to them after they lost their son.
    Missing a church community is my most difficult challenge. It seems to me I am never happy with the new home until I find a spiritual home.

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