Tales of Woe from a Misplaced Texan in Maryland

By Melvin Edwards

cowboy
Melvin Edwards

 

 

I’ve lived away from Texas for 10 years now and except for the humidity and mosquitos, I try to recreate some of my old Texas experiences every day. Al Gore’s internet makes that so much easier than ever.

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The courageous inventor of the internet

Each morning, I wake up and open the Houston Chronicle site to see what’s going on back home. I’m a long-distance Texans and Astros fan, though the Rockets have dropped off my radar lately. I can’t really explain why. Occasionally, I also check out the Austin American-Statesman site because I lived in that city for a few years when I worked for the current land commissioner and governor.

Austin-Skyline
The Austin Skyline

With simple clicks of my mouse, I am back home and well-informed. I know what diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve is doing on the field and in the community. I can listen to or watch games in real time. Back when I was a kid, if I wanted to listen to an Astros game, I had to tune into a local AM station and listen through the crackles of the reception that didn’t bother me at the time, but would probably be unbearable now with modern technology. For an annual subscription, I can watch games on my phone, computer, or TV screen. Thank you, Al Gore!

 

All during the fall and early winter on either side of New Year 2013, I was struck with Texans’ fever believing they’d reach the Super Bowl after they shellacked the Baltimore Ravens. Living in Baltimore where the Ravens became the eventual Super Bowl champions, it was of little consolation that Houston beat the team that won the league title. But each weekday of the season, I could plug my phone into my car speaker and listen to local Houston sports talk radio and feel a part of the crowd. I was in Baltimore traffic listening to Houston traffic reports.

 

I try to give my children a feel of living in Texas, while living in Maryland. Watching the news and reading the papers here on anything political always ruins that experiment. And when I see the huge chunk that state income taxes take out of every paycheck, I’m starkly reminded that I’m not in Texas anymore. Still, I try to pretend I am. I have ordered shipments of Blue Bell Ice Cream from Brenham. I have bought – and regularly eat from – dinnerware with the design of the Texas state flag on them. Have you seen the Maryland state flag? Anyone trying to eat off dishes that with design may get motion sickness and lose their crab cakes.

 

Even sports are different here. My son made his high school baseball team as a freshman just last week. My friends’ children back home have been playing spring sports for over a month already and we couldn’t even have tryouts here until March 1 because of the weather. His best chance of eventually getting recruited to play college baseball will be in playing in expensive summer leagues.

 

The high school baseball season begins next week and the temperatures will likely be in the 40s. That’s been the hardest part about living so far away from home for me. Al Gore has made it easier to feel connected to Texas from 1,500 miles away, so I’m counting on him to bring in a little more global warming during the winter months because I’m not a fan of cold and snow.

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Nothing is quite as good as Blue Bell Buttered Pecan Ice Cream

I’m always looking to connect with new and old friends back home, so if you ever want to send messages to cheer me up when I’m freezing, please feel free. Blue Bell Buttered Pecan would also be warmly embraced!

 

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15 thoughts on “Tales of Woe from a Misplaced Texan in Maryland

  1. Hello fellow displaced Texan,
    I totally agree with all that you have said, except I’m a Rangers fan. I live in Northern Virginia and everyday I log onto the DFW news websites to stay up to date on things back home. In fact, I am more informed about DFW than the DC area. People here just don’t get what is so amazing about Texas. Good news is that Blue Bell has FINALLY made it’s way up here! Now if we could just get some Whataburger, we might be able to survive!! God bless TEXAS!!

    • Hey fellow DFW-er, -ite…not sure 😛
      OMG you had me “Whataburger”!! (lol) I have lived in the RTP-area of NC since 2006, and no, people don’t get it. It’s frustrating when you were born and raised in such an amazing place, then relocate to what seems like another planet. Even after all this time, there’s not a day that I wake-up, that I don’t wish my eyes were opening to a gorgeous N. Tx morning! Recently though, I did have a friend testify to the awesomeness that is Whataburger…dear lord, if they could come FedEx or opened here, my waistline would be in some serious trouble! Now- if I could get investors to open a REAL barbecue restaurant, life would be close to perfect. BBQ should MOO not OINK…And DEFINITELY NOT be covered in red pepper vinegar sauce!!!

    • I was in southeast Tennessee and saw and ate Blue Bell ice cream. I was quite surprised to see it. I am a displaced Honorary Texan in northeast PA with my news coming from either Austin, Houston, and Dallas news feeds. I know more what is going on in Texas, including the weather than I do up here. People just don’t understand how Texas can have such a heart and soul effect on me. I am listening to the All Texas Radio right now…GOD Bless Texas!!!

  2. I am a fellow displaced Texan living in MD, outside Baltimore. Been here off and on for 4 years (all outside Texas). People look at me funny when I explain the importance of March 2nd and 6th. Chants of “Remember the Alamo” around that time are always met with bewildered looks. Like you I try to live a little Texas all the time. I display my TX flag and tell people the great parts of Texas.

    • Had to smile when I read about the importance of March 2nd and 6th (also my birthday). Every year I tell people that its Texas’ Birthday–Independence Day and of the Alamo. People just understand up here in northeast PA of the importance of these days either. Love Texas!

  3. I have lived away from Texas for only 8 months and I miss it more every day! I know exactly how you feel about the weather. I am in Missouri and I am worried about my daughter being warm enough in her Easter dress, while all my family in Texas will be hunting eggs in shorts and spaghetti strap dresses. I’m not big into professional sports, although I am a Longhorn and Rangers fan. My son will start track this week and only has one pair of athletic pants. I think it might still be too cold to run in shorts so I guess I need to buy him some more pants. Little League baseball doesn’t start until April!!! The school band programs are a concern for us. My son is in Middle School and his band here is no where near where he was as a beginner last year in Texas. I worry that when we do move back he will be behind all his peers in band! By the way our grocery store, Hy-Vee has BlueBell but not our Wal-Mart!!

  4. I’m sooooo homesick!! I’m from El Paso, living in Wisconsin. Moved here in 2005 and because I’m allergic to the desert southwest, i can never go back without the risk of death! Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger, Chico’s and football, are greatly missed. Yeah, they have the Packers here, but we are force fed the Packers. Try force feeding a Texan anything and you got a fight on your hands. To make themselves feel good about anything, a Wisconsinite will replay the “Icebowl” on his VCR, Reliving leatherneck days and totally trying to ignore SuperBowl statistics. I drive a Blue minivan and it wears the Cowboys Star proudly. Unfortunately, there are a few, (only a few) who thinks it’s wise to spit on the window to show their displeasure. Does this get me down? Nah, I run the van thru the car wash and my star sparkles shinier than ever and they see me coming for miles around. Don’t mess with Texas, or a Texan!! LOL I’m used to football from Friday night, thru Saturday and all day Sunday! Not here!! If you don’t pay extra to get the extended football lineup on cable or satellite, you only get the Packers. Please, someone, send me a Whataburger with Bluebell Icecream for desert!! LOL Take the taste of winter out of my mouth! LOL

  5. I am so homesick too. I’m from South Texas and I have lived in London for 27 years. I love seeing the posts and photos of Texas shared by my former high school friends and other Texans. It is a different world and I am so glad I grew up in Texas. My daughter was born in London but she is an honorary Texan since she lived in Texas for a year when she was 16. I miss real Tex-Mex enchiladas, barbecue brisket, real venison sausages, Whataburger and of course Blue Bell peach ice cream. I am booking a trip back soon!

  6. Melvin anytime you want another Chicken Fried Steak dinner leave me a note. Really enjoyed, but wished we had more time to talk. Maybe heading home for good soon. Loved this Blog you wrote.

  7. Hey all y’all. Checking in from England. I dream about Texas every day. I miss Texas every day. Since I’m from the Cross Timbers section and live in Cambridgeshire, there are some heart-stopping moments when I think I’ve stumbled on a small corner of Texas by accident. Y’all ever read the His Dark Materials trilogy? If so, you’ll surely remember Texan Lee Scoresby’s death scene, where in his last few moments before he’s overwhelmed by his enemies he beholds the the landscape and it looks SO much like Texas he thought that he had been granted extra grace and favour. Yeah, those moments are like that…

  8. You would probably love some Texas stories – heartoftexastales.org. Mostly about the early days of central Texas. Outsiders don’t understand that being a Texan is not a state of mind, but a state of heart. I may still be in Texas, but, remember, we miss y’all and will have a dip of Blue Bell for y’all.

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