Someone told me once that the Native American word for Denton County (where I live) literally means "Bad Air." The allergens in this part of the country are like nothing I've experienced before and summer is the worst. These two are my weapons of choice.
I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania. Which really means that I spent Decembers going to Washington's Crossing on the Delaware, summers meandering through old town Philadelphia, touching railings touched by Benjamin Franklin, autumns in Valley Forge and Gettysburg, reading every piece of Revolutionary and Civil War literature known to man, and, of course, touring the Binney & Smith Crayola Crayon Factory no less than a dozen times.
This week is a back-to-school event sponsored by one of the divisions of the non-profit for which I work. So we spent the morning sorting through hundreds of thousands of school supplies. Which means that my hands smelled like Binney & Smith and, consequently, my childhood. I loved that.
I have found my fray. We are the nerds who gather around an Ikea table in a white kitchen every Sunday afternoon for a game of Settlers of Catan. We are waging war, we are building roads, and we are settling for nothing. Get out of our way.
My baby niece turned one this week. ONE!
The hardest part of Texas, for me, is not the flat endless land. It is not the Starbucks on every corner and the void of cute, fun coffee shops. It is not the hot, dry weather. It is not the traffic and road construction. It is not even the fact that it takes a half hour to get anywhere.
The hardest part of Texas for me is that I'm so far from my family. We are so scattered, so geographically spread out that it would be hard to live anywhere near all of them at the same time. But I'll be honest. The hardest part is that I'm missing this peanut grow up. She's walking now. And she's as teeny-tiny as I was at one. And I love her so dearly.
And I'm so, so far away.