Ever since our family moved to Texas four years ago, we have traveled north to visit family and friends in Indiana, Michigan, and the Chicago area for a portion of each summer. It is a family ritual. I never used to consider myself a “midwest girl” while living in these parts, but after leaving them I realize how strongly the midwest ties are a part of me.
At first it seemed almost cruel to return each summer to the midwest because the weather was so much cooler, the flowers were blooming all over the place, and the grass was greener (literally) in the north. It felt like salt on a wound when we came north those first two summers. Returning to Texas was especially hard as my grass was brown, my garden dead, and knowing I was still facing at least a good month of hot weather before things cooled off.
I’ve noticed though, especially last summer, the wound didn’t feel as painful. Yes, it was just as beautiful as ever in the midwest, but this time I was ready to come home to Texas and the ensuing dryness and heat. Texas, for the time being, is my home, and even though summers can be rough I have learned to appreciate the other aspects of life in Texas such as mild winters and a gardening season that allows for a winter and a spring garden.
So, over the next three weeks I get to savor cool walks in the mornings, sitting outside at all times of day (not just at 5 am in the morning or 11 pm at night!), flowers and plants that would wilt and die after a few minutes of Texas sun, and, of course, extended visits and outings with people I love dearly. But come the end of July, I will be ready to pack up and head home even if it is 100 degrees in the shade!