Sky, bugs, trucks are bigger in Texas

By B.A. Belthoff / The Bulletin

One of the first things visitors have remarked to us upon visiting Texas for the first time is, “Wow I can’t believe how big the sky is here!”

While we all know the sky is the same size everywhere, it’s the flatness of our terrain and lack of tall trees and buildings that give the azure blue its expansive appearance. At first, it felt like it enveloped me, making me feel tall, yet at the same time, like a tiny speck on the planet. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you stand on the shoreline looking out at the ocean.

The sky is bigger, the bugs are bigger, and so are the trucks that everyone is driving so rapidly – on wide highways with the skinniest lanes – while texting.

What immediately stood out to all of us in the Belthoff household was if everyone is driving big trucks, why are the parking spots, driveways and garages so darn narrow? There is so much open land here. That’s also something that took a bit to get used to.

Where I come from, natural real estate doesn’t exist. Land is either occupied with a building or the building was just torn down to be replaced by another, probably a bigger and taller building. And where parking can sometimes be challenging up north, parking lots here are huge.

It took weeks of me holding my breath while pulling the car in the garage before I became comfortable doing it. I’m considering it a supreme win that both cars still have their side view mirrors intact! We won’t talk about the ruts in the ground along the sides of the driveway.

The parking lots may be huge, but the spots are super narrow. I liken parking your car between two trucks in a parking lot to be like driving down a narrow calle in Venice. Backing up when your car is flanked by trucks is even harder, because you can’t see anything until you’ve already hit it.

I’ve made a mental note to not park behind them, either. When these big trucks are backed up, they come within inches of hitting your car if you’re parked opposite them in the parking lot.

What is really perplexing is seeing so many trucks on the road, but few are hauling anything. And they’re all spotless!

Not only is the truck bed empty, and the vehicle clean, some of them are so big, you can’t even fit the darn thing in the garage! I’m still trying to find out what those sharp spikes are that protrude from the front hubcaps. Are they spurs for the truck?

My husband, Alan, and I have become friends with a couple from England. They moved to Texas at almost the exact same day as we did. Julian is enamored with American’s patriotism and not only wishes he were an American, but a Texan – to boot. (pun totally intended.)

He’s learning how to smoke brisket, got himself a pair of cowboy boots and a nice hat to go with them. And wait for it . . . he’s just purchased a big new truck. Really, it’s big. I need a step stool in order to get into it. In fact, the last time we went to dinner, I fell getting out of it!

He’s not a builder or in the construction industry. The truck is always clean and no, It doesn’t fit in his garage. When I asked him, “What made you choose the color?” He smiled and said, “It reminds me of the Texas sky.”

(New-ish Texas resident B.A. Belthoff welcomes your comments. You can reach her at babelthoff@gmail.com.)