I might have to eat some crow.

Because I whined.  A little bit, anyway,

OKAY.  I whined a lot.  About moving to Texas.

Even though I wasn’t in the mood to hear about it, Texas-fans poured out their undying support for the state and the many great things it has to offer.  I listened.  I even made a Word document on my BigMac entitled, “Things to do in Texas.”  I put the person’s name beside their suggestion so I could remember who told me what.  Isn’t that sweet?

But none of it really made me excited to move here.

The closer to the end of C4 came (the six-month school Matt was at Fort Jackson for), the more I expected to feel excitement.  It didn’t really hit.  I was ready to get on to the next stage because the six-months of disconnectedness was not fun, so I was eager to get packed and on the road.  I was not ready for my boys to leave yet another set of friends behind, though I was ready to find a place where we could allow ourselves to really dig in and put down roots.
(If that paragraph doesn’t reveal a bit of the mixed emotions I was feeling, nothing will.  Those emotions were as disjointed as that paragraph… nothing could fix the feeling or the way to say it.)

So, off we went on our adventure from Columbia to Brentwood/Nashville, to Memphis, to West Monroe, to Tyler, and finally to Killeen… home sweet home.

Our experiences along the way were fun and entertaining, for sure.  But nothing beats the welcome into Texas we had.

See, a week or so prior to the end of C4 my van’s air conditioner started to blow a little less-than-cool air.  It wasn’t all the time so I thought that maybe it was my imagination.

As we entered Louisiana I realized I still had the air on full blast and I was still not cool.  I was wearing jeans because I only had one pair of shorts (this girl hates to shop) so I pulled them up in an oh-so-attractive way.  Fortunately, no one had to witness this sight but me.

We had our fun at the Duck Commander HQ and pulled out toward the Texas border on Wednesday morning.  Air on full-blast, and if you’ve been to Louisiana, you’ll know I ain’t joking… it was a necessity.  As we closed in on the Texas border the boys and I whooped and hollered, crossing into our new “home state.”  And we did so over the noise of full-blast AC, even though we’d been driving for hours.

When we stopped for a bathroom break I posted on FaceBook that we had made it to Texas.   My actual post said:

1.5 hours to Tyler, TX. IT’S HOT HERE.

After several comments by sweet friends in the US and a couple in Germany, one of those in Germany wrote:

My friend:  That is my neck of the woods!! My parents live in Longview which you probably went by on I-20. Welcome to Texas!!

Jennifer Hamrick: Longview is 18 miles ahead!!

My friend:  Wave hi to my momma & daddy please!!! If you need anything they would help;). Let me know and I can pm you their number.

Jennifer Hamrick: Does your daddy fix van air conditioners by chance?!?

My friend:  No but he is a big time handy man . No A/C driving in heat of the day in TX?!?! He probably knows where to go

Jennifer Hamrick:  (at 2:52) We are going to be in Tyler in 30. We’ll look around.  Will you just check to see if he knows of a fair place either in Tyler or somewhere between Longview and Tyler?
05 Town and Country Chrysler.

My friend:  Yes will do right now!!
And then at 2:58: Jen- he said he knows someone in Longview! There is a Chrysler/Jeep dealer he is gonna call right now. Get off on Eastman Road ( north) if you can.  And wait a minute while he calls!!

My friend contacted her dad, he met us at the dealership, sat with us while our AC was fixed, and then he proceeded to pay the bill!!  We were floored and oh so surprised!  We were overjoyed that he sat and chatted with us, giving us a warm welcome into Texas. (Okay, it was hot that day, and I just said “warm welcome.”  I do not miss the irony there.) Parker really enjoyed his company and the boys were really excited when he offered them quarters for the candy machine.


We just had to get our picture taken with our angel, and within two hours of my asking a question on FaceBook, we were on the road again.

At 4:53 I wrote:  Fixed and on the road. Blessed beyond description.

So, maybe Texas wasn’t going to be so bad after all.  And if you liked that, wait till I tell you what happened that night!

We unloaded our gear and got settled into our hotel rooms.  I needed to wash clothes and that was when I discovered a slight problem.  Instead of having guest laundry on site, the hotel washes clothes for guests and charges “only” $10/pound.  Um, I have six people in my family.  That would have cost us a fortune!

So, I googled “coin operated laundry mat” and found two nearby, only they were “coinless.”  Nifty!

I drove about a mile away with 10+ pounds of laundry, the detergent, dryer sheets, and a book to read.  The boys decked themselves out in pool gear.  My additional task was to find dinner and bring it home with me.  (Not that I love sitting in the car {turned off} sweating all by myself for an hour-and-a-half while washing clothes in a public laundromat, but I have to say, the peace and quiet was sort of nice.  I got to catch up with Jess, who happened to be moving to Texas the same week I was!)

When my clothes had about 15 minutes left to dry I walked next door to order a few pizzas at Dominoes.  I asked if they offered a military discount to which the employee said, “No, but I wish we did.  Are you in the service?”  I told him that my husband was.  It sparked a conversation in which he said, “Oh man, I’m sorry you are having to be welcomed into Texas on such a hot day!  No way to be welcomed!”  I then told him the story of how Texas has actually treated me quite well when someone we’d never met before fixed my AC a few hours before.  He smiled and said, “Well, good then.  Glad to hear it.”

When I came back for my pizzas he handed them to me, then handed me cinnamon sticks and a two-liter of coke that I had not ordered or paid for.  He said, “It’s not nearly as cool as having your AC fixed, but please, tell your husband “Thank You” for his service and “Welcome to Texas.”

People, I was floored.  Blown away!

So far, Texans pretty much rock!  We were welcomed so nicely on our first day in the Great State.  It definitely set us off on a good foot and I dare say that I’ll be eating my whining-words for the next three years.

(And as for an update on how I’m handling the heat:  AC in my apartment and my van work and we’re spending a few hours each day by the pool.  So far we haven’t had to spend a lot of time outside in the heat away from water.  So far so good.)

Here is a recap of all the PCS posts.

Tschuss, SC!
First stop:  Brentwood, TN
The Hamricks meet Dave Ramsey!!
Second stop:  Memphis, TN
Third Stop:  West Monroe, LA
There was actually a stop in Tyler, Texas one night, between West Monroe and Killeen. There are two posts about that night, out of order. I have no idea why I didn’t catch that Killeen was our “fifth stop” as I was writing these.  Had a little on my mind…  Those two posts are Parker and some PCS Fun and the one you just read.
Fourth stop:  Killeen, TX
More on meeting Dave Ramsey…
Parker and some PCS fun
More from West Monroe.
I might have to eat some crow.  (YOU ARE HERE)

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in About my faith, family, military, travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to I might have to eat some crow.

  1. What a heartwarming story! (hehe) I’m so glad to hear that it’s going well for you so far.

  2. Ellen says:

    The people in Texas are great. I love Texas people. 🙂 I wouldn’t ever be excited to live there because of the heat and the lack of trees and grass, but I admit that the people might make up for it. The most beautiful place in the world with unfriendly neighbors would not be paradise to me.

    • Jennifer says:

      It really has been a good experience. Even the people in the housing department at Fort Hood have been nice, understanding even, of the difficulties of living in a temporary apartment with four kids… they can’t make a house come available any sooner, but they’re at least understanding. 🙂

      So far, they’ve made the heat bearable.

  3. Lori Alexander says:

    I found your blog through a high school friend (now a military wife in Germany) that posted it on Facebook. I have tears in my eyes after reading this one post. I’m from Texas, but live in Singapore.. so I guess it made me homesick. I am so grateful that you have met people that made you feel welcome. I pray that as you settle into a new chapter of life in Fort Hood that you have the opportunity to fall in love with Texas. I completely understand your mixed emotions about moving, I’m feeling them myself. We will be returning to Texas soon, and I hate the goodbyes that we (kids included) have to say to wonderful friends. I want to thank you and your husband for serving our country. (the many sacrifices that you all make being away from family) May God bless you in the great state of Texas.

    • Jennifer says:

      Lori, thank you for stopping by! Singapore. Wow! What an interesting place to live! What took you there?

      We are happy to serve, even when there are trying times. 🙂

      Texas is proving to be a special place, and for some reason, that gas caught me off guard. Happy to be surprised this way!

  4. Lori Alexander says:

    I realize now who that sweet angel was that helped you. I’ve known Tanya since before 2nd grade. That sweet angel was our favorite principal in High School, as well as her dad.
    My hubby works for a company that builds offshore drilling rigs here in the shipyard. It is a great place to live.. just too far from home.
    I’m also a homeschooling mom (12 yo & 10 yo)!

    • Jennifer says:

      Lori, I can see what an amazing man he is even after only spending two hours with him. I have two friends who are now principals and I asked him what advice he would give to them. His advice: Keep it about the kids. Let everyone else worry about the extra stuff, politics and paperwork, but they need to keep it about the kids. Such great advice!

  5. Pingback: More from West Monroe | thehamricks

  6. Pingback: Parker and some PCS fun | thehamricks

  7. Pingback: More on meeting Dave Ramsey… | thehamricks

  8. Pingback: Fourth stop: Killeen, TX | thehamricks

  9. Pingback: Third stop: West Monroe, LA | thehamricks

  10. Pingback: Second stop: Memphis, TN | thehamricks

  11. Pingback: The Hamricks meet Dave Ramsey!! | thehamricks

  12. Pingback: First stop: Brentwood, TN | thehamricks

  13. Pingback: Tschuss, SC! | thehamricks

  14. Pingback: Leaving home to go home. (Part 2) | thehamricks

  15. Pingback: Surprise Orders! | thehamricks

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