This week, Rick and I “celebrated” living in Cotulla, Texas for one year. The word celebrated is in quotations because this move was all about an opportunity for his career rather than our choice to live here. It’s hard to believe a year has passed already. But as life goes, it isn’t surprising how quickly time has flown by. After living in Phoenix for thirty years, this was a rather significant change for me.
A little about Cotulla.
It is located halfway between San Antonio and Laredo. The whole town is just two square miles. The population is about 4,000. However, that is NOT including all the truckers! It’s closer to double that size with all the employees that work in the nearby oil fields and either live in their trucks or in tiny portable housing units. A small but very busy town, indeed. With only one street light the traffic is often very heavy mostly with semi-trucks, large diesel pickup trucks and sand haulers. It is not a small quaint town by any stretch of the imagination.
The infrastructure is trying to catch up to the growing number of workers. So more hotels are being constructed. Unfortunately, restaurants are slower in coming, although there is a fair number of fast food joints. We have only found one decent establishment where we exclusively dine one glorious night of the week. I'm exaggerating, but it is a friendly family owned Mexican restaurant called El Charro. The manager and most of the employees see our smiling faces every Wednesday night. What a far cry from life in Phoenix!
You won’t miss much if you don’t stop by Cotulla on your travels along I35 unless I happen to be here…then you MUST drop by!
What do we do for fun here?
Uh, in Cotulla? Nothing. We have to entertain ourselves since there is no movie theatre, bowling alley, ice skating rink, performance center, nor anything else. There is an annual rodeo but it was pouring down rain that weekend. It is a good thing that Rick and I both like to watch movies. We can’t stream down here but thankfully we have a Netflix DVD account and there are two RedBox machines…although fair warning - they do not work in the rain. :)
Mostly our sanity comes from getting the heck out of here on the weekends for some semblance of a normal social life. Thankfully we have found some fabulous restaurants and nice movie theaters in San Antonio which is 90 minutes away. Corpus Christi and Austin are each about 2.5 hours drive so we don’t get there quite as often. And it goes without saying that returning to Phoenix periodically to hug my children and mingle with friends is absolutely cherished.
What lessons have I learned while living here in this two bedroom manufactured house in the middle of an oil field? You’ve heard the old adage ‘home is where the heart is’. Well for me that is switched around to 'heart is where the home is’! And I have actually felt that way most of my life. Maybe it has to do with moving a lot as a child, but wherever I lay my head at night becomes my home.
I can work anywhere there is at least some internet access. Living without consistently reliable high speed service makes me pull my hair out at times. However, I’m very grateful to have any service at all!
And I am very thankful for technology to keep me connected to my children, my friends and my colleagues. It is the next best thing to actually being there. (I sound like a phone company commercial!)
We do feel that this was a good move for Rick in his career and we await for what might lie on the horizon for him.
Despite feeling totally sequestered at times, I have always been self motivated so keeping myself busy with projects comes naturally. In this past year in Cotulla, I have started a blog (dianedresback.com), received news that our feature film is finally available on DVD (Atrophy - formerly Paranoia), produced a winning short film back in Phoenix (Smoke Signals), written my first novel (Promise of Protection), run a successful Kickstarter campaign for a longer short film currently in post-production (Blue Copper), and managed to pound out a first draft of my second book.
Overall, I am making the best of my living situation in Cotulla. I’m remaining focused on my goals and continuing to live my passion for creating through storytelling.
I am one of those individuals that believe that life is an adventure, a journey, and a gift. I never find myself feeling bored—thankfully, because living down here could make the best of us prone to going a little crazy!
Project ideas are beginning to form for 2015 and I’m very excited about moving forward on them. Wherever we end up living is only a side note to intentionally choosing to live a full and satisfied life.
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