So, I have made it to Texas. I fully intended to blog about our trip while we were actually on the trip, but I couldn't find the power cord to the computer the first night, and a major Texas Tech upset left me in no mood for conversing the next night. And we have no Internet at the new house. But now I am in Fort Worth with the Fentons celebrating Thanksgiving, and lucky for me, their neighbor has some powerful service. So I am pirating at max potential (I do feel a little guilty) now and will have to write about our trip in the past tense.
We packed up the truck (with the help of 3 amazing movers) on Friday, spent the night in the hotel, and left before the sun came up on Saturday. I was too tired to be sad. We drove to Dickson, TN (west side of Nashville) before we finally stopped for the night just in time to see kickoff of the OU-TTU game. Mom, Dad, Jason and I made the drive just fine. It was the two cats (Jack and Jake) that had a problem. And who could blame them. The poor things were stuck in kitty cages the entire drive.
The last time the Fentons made the drive to Texas we let the cats roam around in the car freely. Not smart. So this time the good lady at Petsmart assured us that putting the kids in the cages would be safer for them and for the driver. She even talked Jason into buying this Kitty Calming Spray that you spray in their cages to calm them down. I am not convinced it worked, because our cats were super mad at us the entire time (until they finally wore themselves out). They cried and cried, and towards the end of the day...Jack somehow figured out how to open the cage and escaped David Copperfield style. It was quite impressive for a cat.
What wasn't as impressive was the dismantling of my undergrad Alma matter, Texas Tech, by my grad school Alma matter, OU. Even though I have an advanced degree from the University of Oklahoma, I am in no way a Sooner. I really don't know if it is factual to say I even went to school their. OU has a room in a strip mall (satellite campus) in Washington, D.C. (believe it or not) where I attended classes for a year to get my degree. My parents bought me a plane ticket to Norman so they could come see their baby girl walk across the stage, but other than that one time, I have never stepped foot on campus. I guess you could say I am the step-child of OU. I am, however, a die hard Texas Tech Red Raider fan. I love them with all my heart...so much to say that I will be disappointed if my kids decide to go to school somewhere else.
My dad always tells me that Texas Tech will break your heart. And that night he was right. Riding high off of our winning streak, Tech fans across the nation were slammed back down to earth when we were literally creamed by the Oklahoma Sooners...pretty much ruining our chances of winning the Big 12 South. The only slim chance we have left is if Oklahoma State beats OU, knocking them out of the running and leaving it between Tech and Texas. Since Tech beat Texas, we would go.
But back to the road trip. Day two of driving was a little easier because the west side of TN on into Texas is a lot flatter. Jason and I spent most of the day in the Budget Rent-A-Truck, which was kind of fun. Until we got to Arkansas, where the roads are just as rough as the people (no offense to Arkansas folks who may be reading this).
Around 3:00 we finally rolled into Texas (I swear the sun shined brighter and their were angels singing). We spent our last night on the road in Fort Worth with Jason's parents. The next morning we woke up super early, borrowed Jason's little sister for slave labor, and headed South to Austin. That was pretty much out trip, not to eventful, just really long.
But in the present I am in Texas enjoying the first holiday with my new extended family. I am so thankful to be here, and thankful for all the friends I have both in Texas and in Washington, D.C. I am thankful for my wonderful husband who gave up his career to follow mine all the way back to Texas. I am thankful for my family, who is celebrating in White Deer today. I am thankful for our new house and our huge kitchen. I am thankful for Mike Leach, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree (even if they did lose last weekend). I am just thankful...thankful for all the blessings in my life and for the plans that God has in store for us here in Texas.
My desk is packed. My inbox is empty. My blackberry is no longer in use (this includes my cell phone and the ability to text), and I am sitting at my empty congressional desk at 2:05 p.m. with absolutely no responsibility.
I could get used to this.
Leaving Washington, D.C. after 4 and a half years is a lot like leaving college or even high school. Just like I did then, I really don't know what to expect now. Of course, now, at age 26 I have a devoted husband, a new job waiting for me, a new house and even a new blackberry, but the uncertaintly of "what will be" comes back strong, just as it did 4 and 8 years ago. I am so excited to be headed back to Texas, my home, my state, my resting place, but part of me is a little sad to be quitting my exciting life. And part of me wishes Jason and I were headed for one last adventure before we settle down.
But deep down I know that this move is what God wants for us, what he has planned for us, and since, after all these years, I still don't know exactly what he wants me to do, this move is a little scary.
In a few hours, I will walk out of the Carter office for the last time. I will say goodbye to all the co-workers I love like family, and will bid farewell to the halls of Congress. In a few hours, I will no longer be able to tell folks, "I work in Washington." In a few days, I will be in a U-haul with the three men in my life (Jason-husband, Jack-old cat, Jake-baby cat) and will be driving down 395 for the last time.
I will miss you Washington. All your prestige, all your power, even all your games. I have graduated from this time, this place between adolescence and adulthood and am headed for a new life in a familiar place.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)
I have a confession to make. It is my fault that Obama is President.
You see, the night before the Texas Tech, UT game I made a deal with God. I told him I would trade an Obama win for a UT loss. Of course at the time I wasn't really thinking clearly, and was more wrapped up in the Tech football season then the prosperity of our nation.
Well, if you ever think that God doesn't answer prayers...think again. Because not only did Texas Tech pull up the biggest upset in college football history, but Barack Obama did indeed win the presidency.
As much as I disagree with President-Elect Obama on just about everything, I have made a promise to myself that I will not call him names in public or on my blog. I don't agree with his policies and I truly think he is bad for the country, but he will be the President, and I will respect that.
But enough about politics, let's talk football. More specifically let's talk Texas Tech football. The UT game was huge and the OSU game was equally as satisfying. For the first time, since I can remember, Texas Tech has a 10-0 record. Does anyone know how awesome this is! I am sure those UT, OU and all the other schools who expect their teams to march to greatness every year know what it feels like, but for those of us who have consistently rallied behind a team that has a history of breaking hearts, it is clearly a major thing.
So, for all the Texas Tech fans out there, take the weekend off. Concentrate on the next big challenge (the OU game in two weeks), and let's pray for another Texas Tech victory.
It has certainly been a bad year for Republicans, but I have a feeling it will be a great year for Texas Tech. Wreck 'Em!