Monday, September 19, 2011

First Month in West Texas

Well, Brendan and I have lived in Midland for exactly one month today. It's starting to feel a bit more like home, and I no longer am under the impression that our apartment is just a hotel room that happens to be furnished with all our stuff. There's no question that west Texas is different from anywhere either of us have lived! Here's a look at some of the best parts of our adventure.
Our First Place
There's no question that we all (including Lola and Zoe) love the new place. People have asked if living together for real feels any different or changes the relationship. We're enjoying it a lot, but that's a whole separate post that I'll wait to write.
Working hard!
So far we're both really enjoying our jobs at Midland College. We like all the other faculty members, enjoy teaching, and feel comfortable with the students. The flexible schedule makes me so happy I went into academia! I truly think it's the perfect place for writers to work.
"Anyone but Heather." 
I also find that people who work at Midland College have a great sense of humor. It's a fantastic work environment-everyone is friendly and respects each other, and I feel that people have gone out of their way to get to know us.
High School Football is King 
You've never experienced high school football quite this way! The stadium is bigger than the minor league baseball stadium, features a big screen for instant replay, and the money being poured into the sport is quite apparent- note giant mascots for the athletes to run through! Brendan and I were surprised that our $10.00 a piece tickets got us assigned seating in "real seats," no bleachers for these fans. We started to feel sorry for the team from Lubbock when the score was about 42 to 0, but they did eventually end up with 14 points.
Myth: It doesn't rain in the desert
Brendan and I were told it rarely rains in Midland, but since we arrived, we've had a couple of thunder storms. We're talking it rains so hard you can barely see. This surprised us, as did our first experience this weekend with a dust storm on a drive to the movies. I kept saying "oh my god, are we okay?" because we could hardly see the road for all the red dirt in the air.
Myth: there's no good sushi
We were told not to expect much in the way of restaurants in Midland, but we've been pleasantly surprised. We found a great sushi place called Bushido, and the sushi is just as good as that of my beloved "Thai Spice" in Austin.
Myth: nothing lives in the desert.

Truth: we have our very own duck pond!
That's right, to our surprise, Midland has a duck pond, which proves to be charming and the perfect place to go when you have bread that has gone stale.
Brendan feeds the ducks

Me, somewhat afraid of the ducks ("what happens when we run out of bread?")
Myth: nothing grows in the desert.
Truth-we found this tree. And there are other trees too. Okay, many trees don't last long here, but still.
Local business is still thriving here
I expected Midland to have mostly chain stores and restaurants, and there is that for sure, but there are also many local gems. This ice cream place Alfredo's makes hands down the BEST ice cream bars we've ever tasted. There's also a spectacular drive in movie theater here with 3 screens that shows new releases. We loaded Brendan's station wagon up with blankets and pillows and saw a movie on Saturday night. It was very romantic, fun, and much more cost effective than the regular theater. More on that to come.
Myth: there's nothing beautiful in the desert
Truth-There is so much beauty around us here. Check us this gorgeous sunset that we see from our balcony every night!

West Texas feels like a great place for us to be right now. We do miss our families and friends though! The month is flying by however, and we know it won't be long until we're seeing familiar faces.

Here's to our slice of desert life.
<3 S, B, L&Z

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