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Living in the Permian Basin can be a real breeze - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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Living in the Permian Basin can be a real breeze

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Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:00 am

Many times, in this space, I have touted the virtues of living in West Texas as opposed to lots of other places.

After battling blizzards in the Texas Panhandle, I moved to Odessa, which was closer to my native San Angelo, but nowhere as green.

Since then I’ve visited many places, including what some would consider resort locations. And I never failed to appreciate the brown, brown dirt of home when I got back.

Deep sea fishing off the coast of Mexico was a nice change of pace, but a bit of hassle to ride a boat for five hours to get to the prime spots.

Strolling the beaches of Nassau was really relaxing, but I wasn’t there during hurricane season.

Vegas is fun, but noisy and crowded.

Europe is great, but you get tired of looking at old buildings in a hurry, no matter how magnificent the architecture.

Ukraine was unique, but climbing all those Potemkin steps (192 of ’em) to get a bite to eat or a drink was tiring, even if there was a bar halfway up the journey (interestingly enough named El Paso).

Yankee Stadium, the old one, was a highlight of my life, but the subway ride there and back ranked somewhere below Dalhart in the dead of winter.

I could go on and on, but the only place I might consider a big improvement for the long term is the Blue Ridge Mountains region.

I appreciate rush hours that last 10 or 15 minutes. Central Texas with all its foliage and lakes and rivers is nice, but 100-degree days with 100 percent humidity get real old real fast. And the traffic jams tend to get me so steamed that I add to the heat and humidity.

I love the mornings and evenings when the horizon out this way is painted with colors that take your breath away. Such vistas don’t happen all the time, but at least there aren’t any trees and hills to obscure the view.

Alas, it’s that lack of terrain that becomes the big drawback.

Unfortunately, the breezes that come to this part of the world sometimes are more than a little gentle.

In fact, spring (and sometimes the months leading up to that season) isn’t always the peaceful experience that you expect. It’s nice to see trees budding out and grass turning green. But the leaves have to share space with all the plastic bags that have been blown into the atmosphere by the spring gusts. And the grass sometimes struggles because all the topsoil has been blasted away by the relentless winds.

I tire of having my car door being torn out of my grasp by the wind as I open it. And then being almost blown off my feet when I finally stand up and get the door closed.

It’s no fun to come home and find yet another layer of fine dust and sand that has sifted in from around doors and windows.

Sometimes it’s quite challenging to dodge tumbleweeds that are almost as big as your vehicle.

West Texas wind sucks. In fact, it really chaps my … lips. Whatdya think I was gonna say?

Yeah, this is home. But sometimes it really blows, if you get my drift.

Odessa, TX

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