- Not fearing the clock when you are deciding to drive somewhere or not. There is no traffic. Doesn't matter what time. I literally was so nervous that we'd be late to everything... the movies, a friend's house, church, family dinner, rushing home to meet another friend...you name it. But no, in Dallas, everything is 5 minutes away. I have no idea how that is possible but it is.
- Not wondering if you will find a parking spot or not. Parking will be there. You have no need to pray for a parking spot -- a daily ritual here in the hood. It will just be waiting for you. Amazing.
- Forgetting something at the grocery store and going out to get it and being back in 10 minutes. IMPOSSIBLE. No folks, as I live and breathe, I saw it happen. I have no idea how it's possible but it is.
- Jogging through the neighborhood and not dodging cars or angry pedestrians. THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM FEELS LIKE. And we were in shorts and T's. In late November. Fancy that.
- Texas. The warm air, the friendly people, men who actually know how to properly wear jeans, Johnny Football, Mexican food, "Secede" bumper stickers (let's disregard the fact that a state cannot succeed from the Union), SUVs, the Dallas skyline at the stoplight on Preston and Lovers, HP village lit up for Christmas ("I hope Heaven is like this"), and naturally, Blue Bell Ice Cream.
Being in Dallas is restorative to the soul for all of the aforementioned reasons, but clearly and obviously there is a no-brainer reason that I haven't yet mentioned:
Family! And "family" includes friends!
Here I am with Skippy and Barbie at a new park downtown. It's pretty cool. The trees are somehow knitted.
My mom threw me a mini-surprise-early-birthday party with new friends and old. She's a tricksy one.
Even Chris showed up.
Don't worry, he only barks. No bite.
We also celebrated sweet Bekah's real birthday with seriously the best chocolate cake maybe EVER.
Here's Michael with our sweet adopted grandad, big Joel, who has the biggest heart in the whole world.
And here I am with my new "sister" Tess. My mom gave us matching sewing kits. You can tell that I am utterly thrilled with this.
Does this mean I have to learn to sew?!??! Oh lordy. Here goes nothing.
I got to hang with Claire's baby G. She ate dinner while sitting on my lap. It was an experience.
I found mashed potato on my leg several hours later. Love it! And Gwenny Bear!
And I got to hang with the the likes of these shady characters:
"Ah! How good it feels, the hand of an old friend." - Mary Engelbreit
But alas, we are back in our little abode in the big city. But we are full of
and joy because of the many people we are thankful for! And for getting to spend time in Dallas. And because really, DC isn't that bad either. Except for the traffic. And the parking.
And the politicians.
Oh don't get me started.