The first thing Logan said to me after we had turned in the keys to our Abilene apartment was, “We are now nomads.” We are now homeless, or at least without a home of our own. Our first home as a married couple was left behind with our purple velvet couch.
Goodbye, HSU. I will always remember the mind-opening and wonderful education I received at Logsdon–it changed my life. I will also remember your lack of parking and the unforgiving security officers who gave me parking tickets. Thank you for that.
Goodbye, Monks coffee shop. I had some good times and good coffee with good friends because of you. Save me a soy vanilla latte, or maybe a bottomless mug.
Goodbye, crappy Carmike theater. I hate you, but you gave us some good stories and a new appreciation for other movie theaters. Thank you for being the only theater that played the movies we really wanted to see, even when you were overpriced yet couldn’t get the volume right after three tries.
Goodbye, Guitars. I learned how to dance under your disco ball. Thank you for the vodka sevens with lime, the Wagon Wheel song, and that you had enough bathroom stalls so that I never had to wait in line.
Goodbye, Grant and Erin, Taylor and Abbey, Jon and Trevor and Bronson, Kriss, Lydia, Hope, Kyle, Alex, Shawn, Marshall, Nixon, Jesse and Alex (I hope I didn’t forget anyone). You have been the best group of friends I have ever had, and I mean that. (P.S. Casey and Alyssa I love you too!)
Goodbye, Abilene. I’ll miss you.
We are getting ready for one of the biggest changes in our married lives. When we come back from Scotland, we may not end up back in Texas or even back in the South. Logan is thinking about where he wants to get his graduate degree, and contenders seem to be in more Southwest and Midwest areas of the United States. Will we ever live in the South again? We will be visiting frequently, but visiting and putting down roots are two very different things (especially in the South).
As I savor these last few weeks in Texas, I keep noticing things I’m going to miss. Like chicken and dumplings.
Surprisingly, when you type “chicken and dumplings” into Google Images, 99% of the pictures do not look like my Mom’s and Nana’s chicken and dumplings. There are no veggies or fried portions, that is blasphemous. You boil a whole chicken, not wimpy pieces of chicken breast. Also, you use buttermilk biscuits for the dumplings; no other alternative is acceptable. Take note, people: this is what TRUE chicken and dumplings look like, pepper included:
When my mom calls and asks if there’s anything I want to eat when I come home, this is the first thing on my list. It’s just the most delicious concoction of simple flavors, and just a small bowl really fills you up, Southern style.
I’m going to need to learn how to make it so Logan and I can have a big bowl on cold winter nights. Surely they have whole chickens and buttermilk biscuits in Scotland?
When you first make chicken and dumplings and pull them off the stove, the broth-y gravy-like sauce may still be a little soupy. However, since you can never eat the whole pot in one sitting, the leftovers prove to be even better. After being refrigerated and reheated in the microwave, it’s at the perfect consistency and even more delicious. I would absolutely love to share the recipe with you, but it will have to wait until we move back to the United States and I can get into all of our boxes in storage, because that’s where the recipe that Mom gave me is sitting. But let me tell you–it’s worth the wait, like so many other joys of life.
It’s been sad saying goodbye to so many people and places, but the good news is, I really do know where I’m from. I have quirks and methods and memories that will forever remind me of my Southern and Texan roots, no matter where I am in the world. And even if I don’t end up living here again, I know I’ll be back eating chicken and dumplings in no time.