Settling in, in Texas
Steinbeck talks about the cohesiveness of Texas and Texans. Nothing could be truer. In other states, you get reminded from time to time that you are in that particular state. In Texas, there is no need for reminding -- you saw the Texas Star, a Texas flag, or some product that is labelled "Texas" product -- you saw one or more of these in the past ten seconds. Texas is the only state that entered the Union by treaty. It has reserved the right to form several states, or to just plain leave and form its own country. But, no problem, no chance -- Texans are fiercely patriotic to America. And, Texas kindness pervades all the cities, and pervades the nooks and crannies of all the country, the backroads, and the woodlands.
Retirement, aside from the obvious problem of the advanced age that accompanies it, is quite a delightful time. It seems 'just right' to begin it in a new place with a bunch of new people. We now call ourselves "fulltimers." That name, little understood outside our Escapees community, is really on the tip of the tongue of every person here. And, the city of Livingston accepts these northern outsiders, snowbirds, fulltimers quite readily. It's probably all about economics. At any rate, the fit is good. I did note with interest a psychological phenomenon the other day. I felt like the next steps after this one, in our lives (wife and mine) were pretty permanent. Just like when parents die, the children realize that they are the "next ones out," so too does retirement place a thought of a person's own "last stand" in his or hers.