One month in Texas

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This week, my wife Angie and I, along with our four kids marked one month living in Texas. What has transpired in the days leading up to and after leaving Oregon has been some of the most intense change in my life. We left friends, family, and church, not to mention the mountains, beaches, and trees of Oregon that I had known most of my life. For anyone that has ever relocated to a new state or across the country, you know making it through the first month in a new place is reason to celebrate. Good times. C’mon.


To prepare for moving across the country, we sold, gave away, or donated every last item we thought we could part with (yet as we unpacked the trailer later, it was obvious we didn’t). What remained soon occupied 11’ of trailer space, which was shipped separately by a freight company. We squeezed into our minivan, hoping somewhere in those 2,300 miles before us to shed both the rainy dreariness Oregon and the uncertainty of leaving.

In four long days, we arrived. The landing was softened by the generosity of my wife’s sister and her husband. They insisted we live with them until we had things in order. And Texas gave us a warm welcome – at least for one week. It was all sunshine and shorts right until the moment we had finished unloading the trailer and slapped a padlock on the storage unit. Then the rain started and it’s been cold and often rainy since. Pulled quite the fast one there, Texas.

Weather aside, I think the concensus, at least between the wife and I, is that we love our new life here. Home in Oregon was a town of more sheep than people. One stoplight, no gas station. The Austin metro area is a wee bit bigger. This is mostly a blessing. Everything we need is within five minutes rather than 30. There are highways that let you drive 80 mph when you need to go farther. And Texas drivers are great at helping polish up the defensive driving skills.

There was some anxiety about finding a new church. Making a cold call to a church of total strangers can be tough. I’ve never had to take that step until now. But the second weekend here, we found ONEchapel, and immediately felt at home. Nothing to worry about after all (and should we ever?).

Lastly, the food. Oh golly miss molly, the food. Sushi, burgers, Pho, Northwest-grade coffee, and food carts everywhere you turn mean finding just about anything you might crave. But the BBQ is straight from heaven’s own table. With a little Yelp help, I had no problem finding my go-to spot. But I have yet to be disappointed from any of them.

So, if you can’t tell, we’re happy. We know this where we are supposed to be. And I’m glad it’s Texas.

Photo courtesy Lotus Carrol

Matt Riopellemoving, texas