Hospital Interstate Town... or the place I call Home.

Temple, Texas. Growing up here was the same ole, same ole day after week after month... after year. Now that I'm living so far away from home, I've found that I really and truly miss the place that I just couldn't wait to hightail away from. There's a sense of familiarity that you can only truly feel for a place that you know inside and out, from one side of town to the next.

You know the main roads, the sidestreets, the shortcuts and the speed traps. You pass landmarks and remember the best times of your early years with the best friends you'll ever have: the houses where the crushes-of-the-moment lived, which were routinely driven by after dark as way too many girls piled into one car, fueled up on Sonic, giggled the night away and sang to burned mixed CDs; the Starbucks that you made stops at multiple days each week between 7th period dance class and after school dance team practice; the football field that claimed your Friday nights from August to November as you stood, smiling and proud, in that red lipstick, sequined cowboy hat, flouncy skirt (complete with petticoat) and white dance boots; the houses of the girls whose parents were like your own, where the living rooms held your sleepovers, the bathrooms that were stuffed to the gills with girls and outfits and makeup and hair straighteners (Lord, if those walls could talk...); the Walmart whose aisles you had memorized, as everyone knows that on a slow night in a small Texas town, the only sensible thing to do is round up your friends and head to The Walmart; the backroads that you would drive for hours, armed with Dairy Queen Blizzards, knowing that you could tell the girls anything and that they were right there to either laugh, cry, or be real with you.

You know the places that were the foundation for your childhood and family. Glenwood. The street that you learned to ride a bike on, with the big oak trees in the yards and Antennae Man down the street, where the house that you grew up in lives. The house that you learned a million lessons in, that kept you safe through impossible family times that you felt would never be okay, that taught you about loss and grieving and growing. The house where your little brother was your dog or your pupil or your child, depending on whether you were a veterinarian, a teacher, or a mommy that day. You know the church that baptized you and the church that you received First Communion from and were confirmed into; the pizza place that provided dinner every single Friday growing up; the schools that taught you, both an education and about yourself.

Temple is where Wildcat football reigns on Friday nights

Where you can pick up Chick-fil-A at one of the 3 in-town locations (despite the fact that you could drive through the entire city in about 10 minutes on a good traffic day)

Where the old/downtown area still looks just the way it did forever and a day ago... old.
This would also be the street that the annual Christmas parade (first Monday of every December) proudly marches through with the bands and the dancers and the football players and the fire engines.

There's not a whole lot to Temple. It's called the Hospital Interstate Town because you can pass through it in about 3 minutes on the interstate and our claim to fame, other than the Wildcats in the playoffs, is our hospital.

It's smallish and well-rounded. You're bound to run into someone at the HEB or at one of the town's few restaurants and people almost always know your business. I always thought that I wanted the big city life, but now that I'm away from home, few things satisfy me more than flying back to Texas, taking a deep breath of that sticky humid southern air, making my way around the town that I know like the back of my hand, and taking it all in.

P.S. East coast sunsets have nothing on this.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm from Salado (now living in Houston)and we always called going to Temple, "Going to Town!". It seemed like such a huge place to me at the time!
    Snow White