When in Texas, Do as the Texans…

You had to know that with a blog tagline of “A Hoosier at heart, living in the heart of Texas” there had to be at least one post (or many) about the statistical and social differences between the great state of Texas and the Great(er) state of Indiana.

First some fun facts about the state that I now call home.

* The state of Texas ranks 2nd in terms of population of all United States. (no, the first ranked is not Indiana 😉 )

* Texas offers its residents almost all major climate and terrain types. You have the hill country (that’s where i live) prairie, woods and the coast (where i want to live!) 

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* Three of the United States top 10 largest cities reside in Texas alone. Houston is the 4th, San Antonio is the 7th and Dallas is the 9th.

*Texas is a major sports competitor. NBA: San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets. NFL: Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys and MLB: Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. And we thought it was hard with homes divided in Indiana, IU or PU, Cubs Vs. White Sox (since my family is predominately from Chicago). Families in this state can be split 7 different ways, makes for tense holiday dinners.


Now some funny facts/realizations about the state that I now call home.

*I’ve been here almost 6 months and no one will tell me who shot J.R.


*Contrary to popular belief, not all my exes live in Texas. (For the record I do not possess any exes, but if i did, they would probably be Hoosiers..just sayin’)


*Texans, do, in fact like to grill out using propane and propane accessories, ( I bet you just said that using hank hills voice)


*I often stop when I am walking somewhere and sharply turn to look behind myself. Not ONCE have I found Walker Texas Ranger. “When you’re in Texas look behind you, ’cause that’s where the rangers are going to be”


*If you are traveling one of the many Texas roads and you come across road signs that say FM 985, that does not mean turn to the radio station FM 98.5 for up to date traffic and weather reports..it is literally the name of the road and stands for Farm to Market road. Also, while we are on the subject of Texas roads, the speed limit is definitely a topic to bring up. In Indiana, 55 is the norm, 65-70 if your on the interstate. Here, on the back roads me and my 2010 Chevy cobalt can cruise at a comfortable 75 mph, on some toll rolls reaching from Austin (state capital) and San Antonio (THE ALAMO!) you can go as fast as 85 mph! I know the story goes that everything is bigger in Texas, but I had no idea! Thank goodness Texas does not require new residents to retake the drivers test..epic fail. 


*I’ve not yet played a hand of Texas hold em’ …and due to my sub par bluffing skills, probably never will.


*If one more person looks at me weird or corrects me because I say “I would like a large pop” and not a coke or soda, I may scream and throw said Pop at you. Apparently the word pop here is foreign and considered “Yankee talk” image*Everyone claims that they have the BEST BBQ,  so much so that one popular chain has decided to tell all of Texas they have the “worst bar-b-q in Texas”. I know I’m committing a major Texas sin in saying I’m not one who enjoys Bar-B-Q, but if i had to pick, I like Rudys the most!

*The state of Texas requires that you have two Licenses plates on each car. This for one means its more expensive ad no more cleverly airbrushed front license plate for this lady and her collectors 2010 Chevy cobalt bahaha. Its business in the front and business in the back in Texas.


*Ever need a way out of a tense conversation? bring up up the intense heat or football, one of those are surely able to stir up stronger emotions than any bad news i could give a person, "oh your mad that i accidentally stepped on your foot in line at Wal-Mart..I’m mad that the weatherman predicted last week it was only going to be 103 and it is totally almost 110" You are right they did say there was supposed to be a cold front this week, I hope it cools down in time for the cowboys game next week" Problem and argument solved.


*Store chains are different. Back home we have Kroger’s, here we have H-E-B. Back home we have Burger King and Hardees’s here in Texas we have WHATABURGER. Not a big difference in these establishments except that both HEB and Whataburger are far more fun to say, espically if you say it as if your singing a sweet love song.
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*Texas is kind of in love with themselves. I was instructed on my arrival to this great state on what to say when people asked me where I’m from (apparently it is painstakingly obvious that i am not from the south). I am supposed to say that while I’m not originally from Texas, i got here as soon as i could. I guess I can see why the residents of this state are so proud/in love with the 28th state.IMG_0731 How could you not with such a rich history that is filled with wars and battles that ultimately freed this land. After saying that statement i must warn you, While my US history class in good old Indiana did cover "Remember the Alamo" I either forgot, or was absent that day, because I’m not entirely sure what they were fighting about, who they were fighting against..I’m not so sure we won..so It is at this time I shall direct you to the Wikipedia link that will describe the events of the Alamo to you more accurately than this Hoosiers description. Back to the point at hand that Texans are in love with Texas. After embarking on the 16 hour car ride we cross several states. Indiana, Ill. Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and finally Texas. With each state our car passes through the first thing i notice is that the closer we get the more fancy the road signs and overpasses become. Indiana through MO its just your basic green sign with city and rest stop information..AK and TX have their state symbol and silhouette plaster on EVERYTHING.

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*Your average small to medium size business are also very proud of their state. In Indiana a carpenter would shop at Bobs bathroom & kitchen tile Inc. In Texas a carpenter would shop at Big Bobs Bathroom & kitchen Tile and B-B-Q of Central Texas Lone Star State inc. If the words Texas or b-b-q do not appear in the title of the company, you better bet that the state of Texas or the lone stare emblem is on the store sign, it is as second nature as a period or exclamation point.


*High School Football is just as big loud and broadcasted as much as the cowboys. The town we live in now is pretty moderate, Temple Texas, if you are from Indiana we are just a touch bigger than Lafayette. With that said every single high-school in this city and neighboring cities have a football stadium that can seat more people than the stadium that the Sycamores play at in Terre Haute. And from what i have seen so far..every seat is FULL. Weekly magazines are published marking the progress results and overall news of HIGH school football teams. And these kids start training at like the age of 6 to be rough and tough tacklers, sackers and touch downers. Those that are not chosen to lead the life of football excellence lead the way in tailgating greatness, because lets face it, whenever there is a good game there are 30-40 Texas Edition trucks lined up with beer and brawts and BBQ ready to celebrate.



*Telemundo! Matt and I have yet to make that call and order Time Warner cable yet. But don’t you shed a prime time tear for me, our antenna provides more than enough entertainment than we know what to do with. In Indiana we had WTHI, WTWO, WFXW and if you were lucky to get the Indy channels WRTV and WTHR. I’m not one to brag, but here in Texas we have ABC and Fox in English AND we have ABC and Fox and Telemundo and weather in Spanish. Actually if we were keeping score between major networks, weather channels and public access channels in English and Major networks, weather channels and public access channels in Spanish, we have more Spanish channels than English. At first it was frustrating, then it was tolerable, now its just entertaining. Nothing like coming home from a hard day of work and flipping on the tube and watching the 1st transformer or Disney Pixar’s UP completely dubbed (poorly i might add) in Spanish. Or cleaning the house on your day off while watching your favorite soap opera drama unfold on "Tierra De Passiones" (land of passions).


*Bugs, birds, and reptiles. If you follow this blog (surely someone does) that means you more than likely are here because of my Face book, and if you Face book stalk me as well you have in no doubt seen my love hate relationship with lizards, newts salamanders whatever they are. Back home all i had to do was make sure there were no slugs on the sidewalk, here as soon as the sun sets its an amphibious free for all. They are EVERYWHERE and clearly have no respect for the human animal/reptile code. You know that unspoken rule that that clearly states that if a human is coming towards you (the bird, squirrel, lizard, you turn the other way. Nope, not these guys, they are world champions when it comes to playing chicken and I’m fairly certain that my front door is where they practice their duals..I’ve not won a single round to date.


Closing Arguments

Do I miss Indiana? Yes, how could you not. Beautiful fall scenery, covered bridges, Indianapolis Colts, Indy car and a fair shot at having all 4 seasons not just 2. The majority of my family and friends are there and lots of memories.  Do I like where I am living now? Definitely! You cant argue with a state that boasts an average winter heat of about 55 Degrees (I just hated forcing my husband to scrape the ice off my car every morning for three months in Indiana, it wasn’t fair to him or my car 😉 ) and offers you an ocean within a three hour drive. I have my pick of 7 major league sports teams to bandwagon follow. "The cowboys are the best team ever! Oh the Texans are in the Superbowl you say…OMG I LOVE THE TEXANS" I’ve got a better chance of "my" team winning! In the end when all is said and done and all jokes aside, there is something definitely validating about a young married couple moving far away from the traditional safety net, and actually surviving! 

Published by Jennifer Shidler

I am a Hoosier at heart who has moved to the heart of Texas with my husband Matthew, our cats Rowdy & Mosby and our dogs Lucy & Wrigley. Matthew is a Chief Flight instructor at a flight school in Austin and I care for my mother full time and write random thoughts and posts in between. I started writing this blog as a way to keep people back home updated on our lives here in Texas, and has turned into a way to relax, think and to make others laugh!

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