Sunday, July 22, 2012

Leaving San Angelo

Our household possessions are stored away now. We ate our last meal earlier today in San Angelo -- the Sunday Fest at Zentner's Daughter. We'll spend one more night in our house, roughing it on a blow up mattress. In the morning, we'll do some final cleaning, load up our few possessions, make a final run by the storage room, then head to the title company to close on our house. We'll soon be leaving San Angelo behind -- at least, for now.

Admittedly, Donna and I have never felt "at home" in our house here in Angelo. Don't get me wrong -- we love our house, and we love San Angelo; we just haven't had that homey feeling we've had other places. Despite that, there are many things we will miss about living here. We may even find ourselves returning one day once we get the wanderlust out of our systems.

San Angelo at almost 100,000 people has everything we need, yet it doesn't have a big city feel about it, and I like that. The medical services here are outstanding; we are going to miss our doctors. We have really received excellent care.

It's easy to get around Angelo. It is bounded by a freeway-style loop on the western half of the city. Other roadways are wide, and there is less traffic here than in other cities of comparable size, such as Midland, Longview and Tyler.

Shopping is what you would expect of a city this size. There is a modern mall with all the usual collection of shops. We have 2 super Walmarts and a Sam's Wholesale Club, along with other notable chains, such as Lowe's and Home Depot.

Dining out is a pleasure, with perhaps more locally owned eateries than in other Texas cities of comparable size. We probably don't have the number of chains other towns our size have, but that's not a problem; regardless, we have enough.

Entertainment is plentiful here, at least for old folks like Donna and me. You've read about our outings to see the local professional baseball team -- the San Angelo Colts -- as well as our nights out visiting the community theater and the Angelo State University (ASU) Theater. We've also visited the planetarium at ASU as well as local museums and places of interest. And we haven't done everything there is to do.

I guess most of all, I'll miss the people. We've lived in West Texas off and on since the late 1970s, and I've always argued that the people in West Texas are the friendliest in the state. An extension of that is that I believe service in the business place is better here than where I previously lived. Yes, I'll miss West Texas friendly.

On the negative side, we do suffer from dry weather year round, but especially in the summer. People still have a grass mentality here, so they want to have green lawns and lush landscapes. That just is no longer possible, I'm afraid. At one time it was possible, but with the growing population, there just isn't as much water per capita as there once was. There are also more businesses today that use heavy volumes of water than there once were -- and not just in San Angelo. There are golf courses that want daily watering, oil companies using water for fracking, car washes, and many other businesses that require large volumes of water. So, anyone wanting to live in Angelo needs to consider low-water landscapes.

It does get hot in Angelo, with the thermometer hovering around 100 degrees throughout most of the summer. But because of the low humidity, it really is more pleasant outside here than in the humid eastern portions of the state. But the sun does bear down relentlessly day after day, draining life from plants and drying up water sources. I miss the long, all-day rains the eastern half of the state enjoys. And when it does rain here, it tends to be a bit more violent, with high winds and pounding rain for a short time.

I'll miss this town; it's a good one, and it has much to offer, especially to retirees. We just may find ourselves back here one day when we get tired of wandering about. We could certainly do worse.

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