Having lived in California 98.2% of my life, there were things I obviously took for granted. In N Out. Yogurtland. Mexican food. 60 degree weather in the darkness of winter. The ability to purchase hard alcohol in the grocery store, even on Sundays. The Pacific Ocean, usually within an hour drive. Mountains, not only to greet me with their majestic peaks (with or without that beautiful snow), but also to help me remember which way north was.
So it’s a bit of a cultural shock to be reminded, day after day, that these things are not part of my daily life. Well, I don’t drink hard liquor everyday of course, but it IS weird to hear Deana say “well, I was going to make you Bloody Marys this weekend, but didn’t want to drive all the way to Plano to get the vodka.” And almost 50% of the mornings are filled with sharp, ripping winds that – at least internally – make me think a tornado is just around the corner. I cannot just get in my car to drive the coast, nor swing by Disneyland to see the fireworks, nor even make my taco salad with the green sauce I’ve been using most of my life. Some days, I just can’t get my wits about me…..I am off kilter a bit!
But there ARE nice things about Texas, there really is! I can buy a handgun pretty darn easily, and even carry it around. I can ride a motorcycle without a helmet. (Don’t worry, my California friends, I would never do that!). I can drive my car and talk on my phone and don’t need to hide it if I see a cop (of course, not in a school zone!). I can eat Tex-Mex food to my heart’s content. I can say “boy, I’d love some tri-tip today!” and see the baffled faces of the Texas around me, who have no idea what that is. (Seriously!) I can use phrases like, “he’s really buff” and also see confusion abound. And hey, gas prices here are still pretty darn low!
But I have to admit, as if you haven’t realized already, I am missing California. I am missing all the little and big things that have been home to me my entire life. I am missing the friends and family that have gladly partaken and partied with me and my kids for a long time. I am missing seeing joggers and bicyclists everywhere. I am missing you, Golden State, and all that you offer – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I am NOT missing Du-par’s! 🙂