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.