Life in Texas from a Hoosier perspective
Let me preface with, this post ended up longer than I imagined due to the insufficient Internet we have around here resulting in far less frequent updates than I had planned.
We have officially been “Texans” for a little over two months now, so an expert on Texas I am not! But I have made some observations about this particular part of Texas that we are currently parked.
First…the roads…most lead to nowhere! It is nothing like Indiana, where you can just take the next county road if you miss your turn. If you miss your road in Texas, then you better just turn around and go back because the next road will not take you anywhere near where you wanted to go. Many of the county roads are “farm to market” roads and they literally go from someone’s farm to the nearest town. The roads here tend to move with the land and not through it (cars movie reference…you can thank Griffin for that!). So, if there is a railroad, river or bayou, then the road will just “wind” around rather than cross over it. Google maps can be either your ally or your enemy around here
Let’s talk basketball! I know Texas football is way more popular, but we decided to take the kids to a Friday night local high school basketball game because it’s not football season here. Let’s just say, when we got there, we weren’t even sure we had the right night. It did not hold a candle to Hoosier high school basketball games. There were no cheerleaders, no big production at the start of the game, the whole town wasn’t there to watch. It was definitely different.
Food in Texas…some of the best brisket and BBQ sandwiches around and one of those sandwiches was from a little roadside stand…it was excellent. And beef is probably never in short demand around here, because everywhere you drive you see pastures and pastures of cows.
While we’re on the topic of food, I’d like to give a shout out to the late Dick Freeland and his Pizza Hut franchise in Northeast Indiana! None will compare, not even here in the Lone Star State ;). It has got to be their breadsticks…we will definitely be making a trip (or maybe two) when we make it back up north this summer!
Ahh..”The Texas cold front,” says the meteorologist…makes me laugh every time and quite happy during winter! A cold front in Texas means lows may be in the 40’s and highs in the 50’s.
The landscape around here is nothing to get excited about between the oil refineries and various chemical and nuclear plants, it leaves much to be desired. However, a short drive south will bring you to the coast…and it is quite refreshing! Not sure I would swim in the water (note the chemical plants I mentioned earlier), but the beach in Matagorda is natural and somewhat untouched by tourists! At least this time of year (“winter” season). It makes for a secluded walk on the beach and sandcastle building wherever you like!
Another beauty around here are the pin/live oak trees with branches full of Spanish moss. There are silvopastures filled with them, which is much different than the pastures you see in Indiana.
And last, but certainly not least (also Griffin’s favorite part about our park)…the wildlife! The park we are staying at is home to an extremely large herd of rather small Texas deer (they do not compare to the size of Indiana deer, but then again they only have to survive the Texas “cold fronts”).
The turtles and their ‘master’, the alligator can be caught sun bathing in the area swamp/bayou/creek? Griffin loves walking to see if the alligator is out!
We have also caught the local armadillo scurrying around at night. They are quite elusive creatures and rarely caught on camera (at least not by me anyway).
And I can not forget to mention the famed bird of Indiana…the vulture…that flies south for the winter. According to our park ranger they followed us here to perch on the tall cottonwood trees they have in our park. Vultures by the masses can scare the crap out of you at night. When they’re perched and something startles them=me high-tailing it back inside.
A side note: Matagorda county (our current residence) has one of the most variety of species and number of migratory birds in the south.
I’m sure after a few more months in this state, I will gain a much greater perspective!