Welcome, pull up a chair an’ sit a spell. It’s been a long time we’ve waited to move back to Texas, but here we are, we made it, most of us. First I’ll give a little history so you know who you’re reading from. I’ve always written poetry and did drawings, as far back as I can remember. I taught myself to write with a very distinctive handwriting in cursive, it was one of the things we did as a passage into the teen years. I grew up with my brother George, Mom and Dad in the Air Force most of my life. Mom was very talented in the stay at home genre, cooking, baking, sewing, hugging and generally being everyone’s cheerleader. It’s only now, that she’s gone that I see the cold facts that were always before my eyes and I was so lost in myself I didn’t notice them. She needed a cheerleader too, she needed love back and to feel appreciated and adored (as she most certainly was). Being a single Mom of two adults and one teenager, I know beyond question, how alone and sad it can get being the main parent who is always available for all the issues, questions and needs they have.
Dad is and was a master craftsman. Originally, he was a pilot trainer, as he was a pilot in the USAF. However, when they came up with flight simulators, they had to find him a new job. He rose up in rank, ended up being one of the main guys in control over a missle silo in North Dakota for most of mine and my brother’s teenage years. When he was home, he liked to do blacksmithing, trade guns, go hunting and trapping, whittled about anything you can imagine, work on his laithes (metal and wood) and put puzzles together. He didn’t drink much and couldn’t stand smoke, Mom smoked so that was always a funkiness between them.
My Dad would always be making something, usually out of wood, unless Mom was in the hospital, then he’d come up with the weirdest things for us to eat. I think that’s when I cracked open Mom’s cook books and started learning it for myself. When I was younger, we lived in Colorado Springs and I would sit on the counter when she was cooking or baking and read the boxes of mixes or a cookbook laying open. I was always wanting to figure out how to make things like she did. It worked, I cook, bake, sew and give way more of myself than I should, just like her. Every other weekend, we’d all go up to eleven mile canyon or lake George to camp and fish. All my school days were invaded of visions of schools of fish, a rainbow in the valley from way up on a mountain and deer beds my Dad pointed out on a hike. Then we moved to Minnesota and all of that changed, no mountains, just a lot of snow and sun, I missed the mountains like crazy.
Thanks to Dad, I spent a lot of my teens in his friend’s taxidermy shop, drinking mountain dew, which I hated and still do. We skinned everything from raccoons to moose, tanning and scraping deer hides and even mounting and painting the skins stretched over a form. For some reason it didn’t bother me at all, but now, don’t think I could do it. One time we painted our two story house (scraped it first), all for the money for a new ten speed, that was a long summer! He taught me to loom bead, so I had something to trade at the rendezvous with the Souix indians and at gun shows. When we went to shoots, my Dad would put up a lean-to for me to sleep in and he, my Mom and brother would sleep in the tee-pee. I was sixteen and he figured I should have my own place I guess. It was a very interesting growing up season and oh yeah, my Dad also used to play guitar to knock us out when we were younger. He’d sing to us until we were asleep, then he and Mom would put us to bed. Go figure, now both my brother and I love music like crazy.
My Brother, is an amazing human being, I will never understand how he’s still single. He’s got his Master’s in Music Education and has his own Scottish roots band with our cousin Nathan. We’re in Texas and He, Dad and my oldest daughter are still in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Here with me are my son, David and my youngest daughter, Holly (though this week she’s going by ‘lyle’). My son and my oldest daughter, Samantha have graduated High School, now there’s one more to go with my youngest. Holly considers herself ‘transgender’ and changes her name weekly, sometimes monthly. Here, she’s having a much better experience in High School than she did it Tennessee, but the ignorance is here too. Even teachers join in, in the bullying, and understandably, she gets annoyed at everyone’s smartass comments. It’s not easy watching her go through these things, I’ve been praying in warfare for her, she used to openly love Jesus and something just snapped one day. In a way, I’m a little glad I saw it, or I’d be completely lost as to why she’s going through these things. All I can say is I love her and I will always be her Mom, supporting her and trying to inspire all the good ideas and creative outlets she has.
Working full time and having no day habilitation services for my son is not easy. Thank God he’s ok by himself and doesn’t need me to be here all the time. There is a five year waiting list, which he’s on, to get him services. Much to my surprise Texas is way far behind on getting help set up for adults with autism, if he had to be in a care giving home, he’d be sitting on a ten year waiting list!
Ok, that’s enough background for now. Going forward, we have been here for just over a year, and finding home is not as easy as it sounds. This area has a huge issue with racism, sexism and there’s a lot of crime. When our family was all together, and I was married to my children’s father, he was in Killeen, Tx at Ft Hood. This area has changed drastically, but to be fair, it was never really safe in Killeen. I thought we moved far enough away from that town but the violence is seeping out and slithering into peaceful towns now.
The great things about my home state are: You can swim almost all year ’round, most people (neighbors) are actually neighborly!! there’s always awesome mexican food and bbq’s goin’ on all around ya, no matter where you are. I’m making more per hour than I’ve ever made being a Cook, though it’s hard work, I’m grateful for the increase.
The sky and it’s temper, peacefulness, amazing colors and fluidity can just keep you in a daydream all day or night. I love watching the sun rises and sets here, both are inspirational and give you a huge Texas sense of being free and having the world wide open to you. There are a LOT of entrepreneurs here, just on our street there are at least four or five trucks with services on them. They work from home and couldn’t be happier to be their own bosses. People generally drive a more courteously than North Carolina, Tennessee or Arkansas.
The not so great things: The way the electric is set up here you have to know exactly or ball park figures of what you use. Hell, I just paid the dang bill in Tennessee, never even considered what I used. Here, you have to choose an electric company, it’s not just the city utilities anymore, just beware! My first bill was $335 for like two weeks, but the nice thing about that company was they didn’t require a deposit.
Also, your car registration, inspection, condition of your tires etc are all very important and expensive to maintain yearly. Snakes, spiders and massive cockroaches (those frightening giant water bug things). I haven’t seen many of any of these (thank you Lord), just dead snakes in the road, small spiders and haven’t really noticed very many roaches. #1 worst things I can say for certain are the mosquitoes and fleas. As far as work goes, there are fairly good jobs here, but the slant comes in when they prefer males over females and anyone over a caucasian person. I’ve been here over a year, and at first I was in denial that people still think this way, but I can see it’s just that some are so used to ignorance, it becomes the norm and they pass it down through generations.
All in all, Texas is my home. This is where I am supposed to be, I love it, good and bad. Not this town, but definitely my state.
Even so, my children and I miss their big sissy, I miss my Dad and Bro. So, in conclusion I would say, it’s easy to find home if you’re around family. Moving more than 1,000 miles away with no family around you is not really that bad to begin with, but after holidays and birthdays pass and it’s just us three, it kinda blows.
We’re most likely going to move back to the mountains, my oldest daughter needs us and we need her and my family. I will end up with the same achiness I had for fourteen years waiting to come home, but if I ever come back home to Texas, they’ll have to have the care my son may need and I’ll make sure to choose the next place much more carefully. I grew up with all kinds of people around us, no matter what race or ethnicity they were, my Dad always said, ‘if they’re nice to you, be nice right back, if they’re not, don’t have anything to do with them’. It didn’t matter who ‘they’ were, he meant just anyone around you (at the time I was in school).
I recon that can go for anyone anywhere, good advice, thanks Dad.
Thanks for reading and may God Bless You Abundantly, feel free to drop some words in the word cafe at your leisure. It’s a big bowl of soup, what do your letters form?