How do you like Texas?

We moved to Texas the last week of December 2015. And since we’ve been here the question that I’ve been asked the most is “How do you like Texas?” Well… there’s the polite, “Texas is fine,” or even better, “Texas is great!” But I’m a writer and words, well… I like to use them in creative ways. How do you describe your impressions of a new place in only a sentence or two?
It’s a lot warmer. There’s half a foot of snow on the ground in Utah while it’s raining here in Texas. It’s been the hottest winter of my life, with most days in the sixties or seventies. I’ve done the week in Southern California around Christmas time before. That was novel, wearing short sleeves and no jacket even at night during the winter. I’ve only been asked about five times “Aren’t you cold?” I can remember only one day in the last two Texas months that I wore my jacket outside early in the morning. My morning routine in Utah was jacket, heavy overcoat, shoes, zip up the coat, pull the hood up and shiver to take the kids to school. Here I grab my keys and purse and if I’m feeling really lazy I use flip-flops instead of shoes. One wet Texas morning I had to wipe the dew off my side windows so I could see. Compared to the scraping ice off my windows that I was doing in December in Utah, Texas is heavenly.
H.E.B’s are everywhere here. I had never heard of the store before. No Harmon’s or Ream’s are here. Of course there are wine aisles in the grocery store. They don’t have those in Utah. I remembered them from when I lived in California as a pre-teen.

The real question they are asking “Is how do you like the people?” The people of Texas are great, they are from California, Iowa, Michigan, Utah, Georgia and some are even from Texas. I’ve been called “Ma’am” more times in the last two months than I have in the last twenty years.
I do live in an interesting city, near Austin, where the recent population growth means that I meet more transplants than Texans on any given day. Which brings me to my biggest question: How long do I need to reside here before I can claim that I’m Texan?
So when you come on by I’ll say, “Howdy you’ll. Welcome!” and then I’ll have to ask, “How do you like Texas?”

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