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We have been in our new apartment for one week today. We still haven't finished unpacking and have only just started hanging pictures and decorating.

Trish's commute is exactly the same as her old one. It takes her an hour to get home, but now she jets up I35 instead of weaving through backroads at 40 mph. Her gas mileage has actually increased. My commute? What commute! Ten minutes does not qualify as a commute! Sitting in class Thursday night, I almost fell asleep (too many 18 hour days piled on top of each other and all the sore muscles that accompany moving) and felt my stomach knot up -- man, an hour drive through skunk infested dark back roads. Then it hit me ... duh! I only live two miles away now. Feeling my stomach relax almost finished me off and I had to excuse myself to get a Coke.

The atmosphere in Denton is totally different from Fort Worth, even though it is only half an hour away. The physical air is clean. My sinuses are starting to turn loose after eight years of smog, dust and pollen. As Trish drives toward Ft. Worth in the morning, she can see a brown bowl settled in over the city, hafway between where we live now and where we used to live. And we breathed that every day! Ugh!

The spiritual climate is totally different here, too. How can I describe this? Every city seems to have its own spiritual vibe. Ft. Worth had this almost manic fundamentalist anxiety about it, even though I never ran into very many people who were fundamentalists or extreme evangelicals. Still, I could feel it in the air. Denton, however, for lack of a better term, feels liturgical, like an Anglican, Lutheran or Catholic presence dominates here. Does that makes sense? I guess because Denton is home to two major universities, the general spiritual climate has to be more accepting and open and relaxed. Certainly, there is a large evangelical presence here -- it is Texas -- and Baptist and independent charismatic churches dominate, but the attitude that seems to exude from the buildings is one of "Hey, there. How can I help you?" instead of "You're going to hell!" And Denton lies outside the sphere of influence of Kenneth Copeland, so that may make all the difference in the world right there.

In a few weeks (let the sore muscles relax a bit) Trish and I want to explore the churches here. We want to look into the Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches, but we have a slight problem that I'm not used to having lived in Azle for two years. We have to choose WHICH Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran -- Denton has several of each. And there is a large Orthodox church near us (I'm assuming it's Greek and not Russian). We are particularly interested in one of the Lutheran churches. The pastor is a woman, and during the hulluballoo of the pastor in Florida wanting to burn the Koran, the pastor here wrote an article that said the most and the best of the whole argument. She simply asked "Would Jesus have burned the Koran?"

Last Monday, we ventured out to Wal-Mart to buy groceries, and I was dumbstruck. There were BLACK PEOPLE in the store! Azle was lily white. Literally. No black people, no latinos, and only three or four Asians. When you grow up in the deep South, black people are a part of the communinty and culture and when you move to an area that doesn't have any, there is a void. I wanted to go up to the first black man I saw in the produce section and hug him, but that would have freaked everyone out!

Now that we're up here, away from the chaos of packing and moving and stress, I can turn my attention to getting published.

Y'all have a great weekend.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
YAY! I am glad that you two are now in a better place for you guys physically and spiritually. :) It makes all the difference. I can't wait to see pictures. Now I need to get off the computer and go do more unpacking myself!
Feb. 12th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
Pictures will be up as soon as we get the rest of the boxes unpacked and out of the shots. Perhaps by tomorrow.
Feb. 12th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
It is good to know you are both doing well, and feeling happy in your new home town :-)
Feb. 13th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
I used to live in DFW many years ago and I enjoyed my time there. But since leaving, I've noticed a certain trend in the stories I hear from friends of mine who stayed. I always thought it was terribly short-sited when folks from elsewhere in the state said that DFW was NOT really Texas... but OMG, they're right! I've lived all over this state, in big cities and small towns, and the Texas I know is MUCH more diverse than DFW. I used to be particularly fond of Ft. Worth, but if even CowTown can get that polluted, I'm glad I'm down here in Austin keepin' it WEIRD!
Feb. 14th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
It's like Fort Worth is a living museum or theme park. As for Dallas, what's the difference between it and say Atlanta or Denver, except the location? Denton feels more like what I would expect Texas to feel like, and act, than either D or FW.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Nathan Boutwell

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