February of 2015 (almost 3 years ago now) I moved from Ohio to Texas. I was born, raised, and lived in Ohio for most of my life until then. I had moved away from time to time but Ohio always called me back, always felt like home, and always was where you could find me. Which sounds strange from someone who never liked cold weather, was never really fond of snow, and hated winter with a passion. The snow, snow drifts, ice storms, driving in snow, snow down your boots from walking in snow were the price that had to be paid to live in Ohio.
Younger days of building snow forts, snow men, sledding down snowy hills, warming gloves on heating vents, and shoveling driveways clear of snow certainly makes you tougher as a kid but it in no way ever guarantees you will get to the place that you just love the stuff. Snow looks nice falling down (unless its like a blizzard), on trees, rooftops, in open fields, and on Christmas morning. That sums up my very, very short list of when snow has any use at all. (Basically Christmas morning and never)
I moped, cried, complained, B****** and moaned about snow, cold, winter, snow in winter, driving in snow, shoveling snow, scraping ice and snow off cars, frozen car locks, freezing my bleep off in winter pumping gas, waiting on buses, waiting in line (outside), and well honestly any chance I got (or made up) to do so. In fact, the very last winter I spent in Ohio the temperatures were going down to a bone chilling 20 to 30 below wind chill. All of this during a time I did not have a car and had to rely on public transportation. I had to wear shorts, with thermal pajama pants, underneath Khaki cargo pants, t shirt under dress shirt, with scarf, hoodie jacket, gloves, hat, and winter coat on top of hoodie in an effort to hopefully survive and not be found in Popsicle form later.
February of 2015 that all changed. I was able to buy a car (700.00!) and found my way to Houston Texas. It did not take very long at all to figure out the people of Houston take food very seriously. I instantly felt like a missing member of a tribe or family I never had any idea I was a part of. There were more “big guys” it seemed and blending in was really not that difficult. Finding larger men’s shirts and pants did not seem as difficult as I remembered. When you live in Ohio for most of your life it seems the local TV stations like to feature stories about Big Steaks, those who eat big steaks, and that Texas is famous for big steaks. What I did not expect was sandwich shops galore, obsession with German and polish sausage, and Deli’s. They don’t advertise these German, Polish influences in Ohio and I honestly had no clue what the heck a Kolache was, and the only time I ever even remotely had hear of a Tamale was on a old Looney Tunes cartoon. I now know better. Killens has the best BBQ brisket, Alamo has the best Tamale’s, Soliz casa de tacos has the best Tacos..like ever, Lopez has the best Enchilada’s, Vincek’s Smokehouse has the best Kolachi’s, smoked meat, and pecan pies, and dressing is made with cornbread. (never with bread)
My mom passed away almost year later after I moved to Texas. I found out (and now have photographic evidence) that I come from a long line of family members on my mom’s side that lived in Texas. That is until a small group including my Grandmother eventually found themselves in Ohio. So.. yes.. It turns out I was a Texan after all.