Thursday, April 24, 2008

Po Dunk Pearland, TX

Now I know I have readers from Pearland, TX (my hometown) and please don't be offended by the title of this post. Because Pearland is a far cry these days from being "po-dunk"! But I grew up in semi-small town just 10 miles south of Houston called Pearland. When I was a kid, the population ranged from 12,000-25,000. I remember the day we finally got a Taco Bell! Because prior to that we only had Dairy Queen, Burger King, and McDonald's. And we had an open campus for lunch in high school, so we used to drive 15 minutes to a neighboring town just to get Taco Bell. Then we would drive 15 minutes back to campus and scarf our food down in the car b/c lunch was only 30 minutes long. That was also back in the day when gasoline peaked at $1.12/gallon...and we thought that was HIGH! Now days, I can't afford to drive 15 minutes away for food b/c that would cost me an extra $10 bucks in gasoline! I remember the day our Walmart went "Super Sized". We thought we had finally arrived! A Walmart Supercenter. Well, surely they only put those in the "big" towns! Our football team, on the other hand, left much to be desired. 0-10 EVERY YEAR that I was high school! That has since changed. I think they even went to the state finals last year, which in TX is BIGTIME because high school football in TX is, well, a religion of sorts! Well, I went off to college for 4 years and then came home and taught school for a few years but finally left the "thriving metropolis" of Pearland for the Big D in 1998. Dallas was always where my heart was for some reason. I think it had everything to do with JR, Sue Ellen, Lucy, and Bobby! There was just something about that town! But I've never forgotten my roots! Pearland, once a small Texas town, now boasts of well over 50,000 people, probably more like 75,000. There are TONS of restaurants, shopping areas, fast food places. I think they even have TWO Chili's restaurants now? Am I right? But let me just brag for a minute on the educational system in that small town. I grew up in public schools. Heck, there were NO private schools in Pearland. And homeschooling was probably illegal, or least my momma thought so...."If you don't get your butt to school today, they're gonna put me in JAIL!" Oh, the fear factor technique! But I cannot tell you the greatness that has come out of that little public school system. Every person I know has gone on to do great things. Everyone of them graduated from college and has created a great life for themselves. Many of us became school teachers, not "JUST" teachers, but great teachers. Some have become very successful in business careers. I know a few that have even gone on to serve in public office and do great things for our country. And then there's ME! Who could deny my fame in the blogosphere? (That's a joke!)

Today, here in Orlando, FL one of my former classmates who I went to school and church with my whole life is speaking at a pastor's conference. He's written several NY Times bestsellers. He travels all over the world to speak to church leaders. His name is Donald Miller. I'm currently reading one of his bestselling books, "Blue Like Jazz". My husband is going to hear him speak this afternoon. And it's one of those days that I'm so extra proud of where I came from!!! Po dunk Pearland, TX...home sweet home!


Karen said...

I am from a small town too! But sadly mine hasn't grown. It's still the same! We are now living in the "big city" and want the "small town" feel for our kids! Weird huh??

I read that book when I was living in AK. Its a great book. Wonderful that you went to school with him.

Kim said...

Blue Like Jazz! I've read that. Loved it. Also heard Donald Miller live when he spoke in Birmingham in a conference that Derek Webb played in.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would hear you say this. I always loved Pearland, and you could not wait to leave. I truly miss all my friends and my church family in Pearland. I watched Donald Miller grow up and knew he would some day make his Momma proud. I love his Mom she was so much fun and Donald had her great personality. I wish I was there to hear him speak.

It may have been a small town, but it grew-up great people.


mom2iande said...

Sometimes, a small town is a good thing....a nice thing. I agree with what you said about the public schools there. I know of Pearland, Texas.

Where we are, we had to really consider private school. We looked at the reasons for private vs public, the cost, and made a decision.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see how Pearland has changed. It grew to quickly and now all the charm that made everyone move to Pearland is going away--including the good schools.

check out this article on cutbacks in school, it probably means they will raise our already crazy property taxes even higher.

laytonfamily said...

you're right about smaller towns and public schools - in our small town of Cornwall, NY - if you weren't in homeroom your mom got a phone call! higher expectations I think.
I hope your husband enjoys hearing D.M. speak - I'm still Searching For God Knows What!

Mel :-) said...

I am from a big city but I agree- small towns CLOSE to big cities (like we are in now) seem ideal for raising kiddos! I want to be close enough to all the action but far enough out to be away from the negative aspects. I am know I am hugely biased b/c I am a Texan but it just seems like small towns in Texas are so charming and idyllic. :-)