Aunt in TX

My aunt and her family are coming to Texas for Labor Day weekend to go house hunting.  Her husband, my Uncle Frank, is finally retired (for the second time) and she wants to see what it would be like to live out their Golden Years near her brothers.  It’s been years, decades really, since she’s been to visit us in Texas.  The last time I remember them coming here was when my grandmother was still alive and you could still make my cousin Eric behave by threatening to turn off the lights and/or tickle him.  He’s now 6’1, a senior in high school, and doesn’t scare so easily.

The draw of family isn’t necessarily the most intuitive for me.  As a strong introvert, a lot of my more serene and peaceful time is spent solo.  However, for others, I understand that having close family members around is a warm fuzzy security blanket.  Our extended family used to gather around the dining table, which we couldn’t fully fit around, and tell old stories about our grandfather when he was younger and about my dad when he misbehaved.  My grandmother was the queen of off colour jokes and my dad has inherited that title.

Despite the run up in housing prices in Dallas, the homes here are still a lot more affordable than California and without the raging wildfires.  Both of the houses my aunt is looking at are within walking distance to my parents’ house.  My college roommate’s parents live another block over.  There’s the opportunity to create their own walking community and maybe also encourage my dad to pull away from the computer every now and then.

I’m curious if that desire to live near family is enough to make someone trade the sunshine and temperate climate of southern California for the baked vastness of Texas.  She may not have realized that she’s going to have to drive everywhere or that all the bugs will try to bite her and tunnel their way inside her home.  That there’s no such thing as cooler nights and that tornadoes are a serious threat.  On the plus side, there’s shopping.  Tons of shopping.  Decades ago, we used to shop my Aunt Lisa’s closet, which occupied her entire spare bedroom, and most of her clothes still had the tags on them.

Coming to Texas in late August, when the sun is blazing and the ants are biting, should paint a stark picture of what it’s like to be a Texan and why we wear that badge with honor.  Or maybe escaping the snarl of Southern California traffic is allure enough?


  1. Aunts in Texas sound much better than ants in Texas. I hear the latter are huge! It sounds like the aunt is okay. It might be great for your parents to have her nearby.

    In my youth I didn't enjoy spending time with any of my cousins. Maybe I should give that another try. I might like it now--in appropriate doses.

    PS - Dad works blue??? That's a funny surprise. :)

  2. People in California don't walk anywhere, so a lack of a walkable community/shopping is not something a Californian will miss.

    The summers, and how you basically don't go outside for 3 months of the year (similar to Eastern winters, but it's a summer) will be an adjustment, for sure.

    Plus, being close to DFW. Sooooooo nice!

  3. I like the idea of having extended family be close. I have lived away from my aunts and uncles from both sides of the family for most of my life and always was envious of big family gatherings during the holidays, especially. The rare times I did get to see them (when I was visiting Korea -- last time being 1998..!) I did get to experience the big family gathering and hearing old family stories. I love family stories. Have a good time with your aunt and her family this Labor Day weekend. :)

  4. I agree with Ricademus' comment: aunts in Texas sound better than ants in Texas! Bahahaha...
    Anyhoo, I think it's great she's coming over, Rooth. I myself am an introvert and not as keen on big family gatherings, but nonetheless, I can see the appeal:D Did anyone warn her about the heat though?

  5. You make Texas sound terrifying - bugs, heat, driving everywhere, and tornadoes are all things I don't enjoy. Even so I know there are nice things that keep you there.

    There are a LOT of people at holiday gatherings in my family. A lot of the time I find myself sitting back and just watching the chaos. I'm pretty sure it's like watching a riot on TV. ;)

  6. Whenever I read about Texas I end up thinking about Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff", and the various astronaut training exercises out in the mid-west.


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