I've been singing all day the song, "Deep in the Heart of Texas". I'm not sure why I love Texas so much, but I do. While Kentucky is our home now and really does feel like home, there's just something about Texas that gets me excited and puts a smile on my face.
After a VERY long drive (13 hours!) we finally made it to Garland around 6:15 this morning. The drive itself was pretty uneventful, with the exception of the drive through Tennessee. There was construction on every inch of the highway, which made for a lot of fun (yeah, right) as I am sure you can imagine. Also, we saw a burning car on the side of the road. Really-- flames ablaze, smoke everywhere, and one lone fireman trying to put the fire out. I hope he was successful. It was the front end of the car that was on fire-- obviously the fireman was trying to put it out before it made it's way to the gas tank and blew the whole thing up.
Arkansas is BORING. The interstate is pitch black with very few stops along the way, and has VERY few mileage signs. So we drove for about an hour and a half wondering just how far we were from Little Rock, because there were no signs to tell us.
We got to Billy's parents house and went straight to sleep. I only got to take an hour nap before waking up to meet my old boss for breakfast. I'm really glad I got to see her. She's a good friend, and I haven't actually seen her since we moved to Kentucky!
Today, I am dreaming of Mexican food. And the family fun has already begun. I love our families. LOVE THEM. And I can't wait to spend the weekend seeing all kinds of people in my family-- parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. Life is good.
So those are some of the things I love about Texas. Here are some of the things I'm not quite ready for:
Making the rounds to see the family. It can get stressful and exhausting trying to see everyone in just 5 short days. In fact, it's almost impossible to do. Plus, the amount time we get to spend with them is never enough for me! Then there's the fact that we're in town, and because we have such large families to see, there's no time to see our friends-- our friends who are so very important to us. If only we could come here more than twice a year. But one day we won't live in Kentucky, and we'll be back in Texas. That will make things a lot easier. Of course then we'll be longing for our Kentucky friends! :)
Consumerism. Especially in Dallas. I struggle with this. I've become quite accustomed to our very simple lifestyle and very meager budget in Kentucky. I like it. I'm happier and more content. Yet for some reason, when I come to Dallas, I get tricked into longing for the life we used to have here. It wasn't an extravagant lifestyle really, but we could buy stuff. I could buy new clothes pretty much when I wanted them. We could go out to eat for every meal if we wanted to. We could even go out to eat at nice places. We had a way bigger apartment, that was always stocked with name-brand foods in the pantry and fresh flowers on the kitchen table.
The last time we were here, I was in a store and had to leave because I almost had an anxiety attack. I thought I needed STUFF.
As I drove through the big city this morning, some of those same thoughts came back to me, though not nearly as much as they had been before.
Stuff isn't bad. But it is bad when it becomes your idol. I think that somehow in our former Texas life I had let it become that to me, to an extent.
I'm looking forward to the next few days-- to sharing meals and laughter with our family. To cheering for my sister as she walks across the stage on Saturday and graduates from high school. To meeting my nephew Logan for the first time, and seeing just how much my niece Kayla has grown. To driving along the Texas highway, surrounded by cars with Texas license plates. To stuffing my face with chips and salsa and pretending that the calories don't count because I'm in Texas.
I'll be in touch in a few days. In the meantime, sing this with me:
The stars at night, are big and bright (clap clap clap clap!)
Deep in the heart of TEXAS!
Reminds me of, the one I love (clap clap clap clap!)
Deep in the heart of TEXAS!