Texas v. Michigan Perspectives

It’s that time of year again. Put up the rakes. Bust out the snow shovels.

Or…if you’re lucky, the snow blower.

This may seem like common sense to all of you Michiganders. But for this Texas girl, it was a harsh reality realized just a few years ago.

This will be my third Michigan winter and I’m finally getting the hang of a few things around here.

When I informed my family and friends that I was moving to Detroit, their response was similar to what I would picture if I had told them I was moving to Gotham City. The difference being that there is no winged superhero watching over the Detroit streets.

As the big move came, my mom made sure I had a new winter coat and thermal bedding.

Texans have this idea that in the winter, northern states shut down. The roads are treacherous, businesses close and people go inside to hibernate.

On the other hand, they still ride horses to school in Texas, don’t they?

I moved with my roommate Dec. 1, 2010. It rained the whole way and our moving van pictured a huge snake on it, which convinced my mom this was a bad idea.

A few years later, my mom couldn’t be more in love with Detroit.

So what changed?

What shocked me most were the similarities I found between the two, and the differences I cherish about each.

One big thing I miss about Texas: the food. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy? Well, that’s a once-a-week meal at home.

You people don’t have Kolaches? Look them up. Eat one.

If you think you know good Mexican food and you have never been to Texas, think again.

However, the longing in my heart for Texas food has been comforted by new dietary adventures such as Pierogis and Hanis.

One thing I was happy to leave in Texas: denim skirts and cowboy boots (together… not separate. Every respectable Texan owns cowboy boots).

But wait! Have you ever been to the Detroit Hoedown?

Apparently the daisy duke style swept the nation and silly old me was under the impression northerners didn’t succumb to the enchantment of Coors Light, Country music and line dancing.

The cold winters have been a challenge but there is nothing like watching the seasons change in Michigan.

Fall has become my new favorite season, partly because I wasn’t aware of what fall really meant for 20 years.

In Michigan it means cider mills, pumpkins, doughnuts, football, hockey, fires and leaves.In Texas, it means putting on a light jacket. The patios are still open and there aren’t too many leaves falling.

On the other hand, in Texas, people actually get to see your Halloween costume because it is not covered up by your scarf and jacket.

Waking up early to heat up your car was a new phenomenon for me, and the first winter I lived here I was late to everything.

I have learned how to defrost with the best of them now, don’t worry.

My favorite things about Michigan: the Great Lakes and Detroit. Texans, trust me. Our lakes are nothing.

The loyalty that citizens of Detroit have to their city is something that I haven’t found anywhere else, and it has shaped my view on life.

I have learned more about local talent, art, culture and loyalty than in all my 20 years in Texas.

The city definitely has several issues to work on, no doubt. But, to be here in these revolutionary times is a life experience and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.