I know why I live in McKinney, Texas. An abundance of reasons showed up yesterday, new ones added to my already long list.
Yesterday the weather here in McKinney was perfect, cool, nice breeze, just perfect for walking the square. There are many towns in Texas with the downtown shops and restaurants built around the courthouse. McKinney is different. The people here are different. The flavor is beyond compare. To walk around the square takes my daughter hours to do because she stops and talks to everyone. I mean everyone. Everyone knows her, and she knows everyone. This is her town. I don't know that I've ever felt like I had a town before. I never felt I belonged to the place where I lived. I was just visiting even if I lived there over twenty years. I could never call it home.
I've made great memories everywhere I've lived, but it hasn't been until moving to McKinney last fall that I felt like I came home. I have always had this strong connection to Aspen and probably always will. It's a soul place for me. A place where I have always gone to get renewed, and living in Boulder county, Colorado I needed renewing on a regular basis. Then moving to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I would make my regular trek through Glenwood Canyon to my mecca called Aspen/Snowmass. During my last venture there close to a year ago after having dinner at Woody Creek Tavern, after having Reconnective Healing sessions with Lindsey Sandahl in Snowmass, after touring the Snowmass Village Mall during their weekend of green living last August, I felt something else. I felt it was time for me to go somewhere else to create experiences for different growth. It was time for me to move in an unfamiliar direction. So I did.
Two months later I moved to McKinney. Who moves from Colorado to Texas? Never in a million years would I have ever dreamt that I'd do something like that. I left Texas 34 years ago for the land of my dreams, and now I left paradise and moved to McKinney. McKinney may not have the mountains, but it has beauty beyond compare. It has its square and it has its people.
Yesterday I got my library card and checked out movies and a book. The book was on grace. It's called The Unmistakable Touch of Grace by Cheryl Richardson. I read the first two chapters while sitting on a bench in the square yesterday in front of Strada Verde, a boutique filled with clothes and accessories made from recycled or organic materials. I sell some of my purses there. Mary is the owner. She and I both graduated from University of Texas at Dallas. We both have degrees in English, and we both use our degrees every day that we speak our native language.
I sat outside and read and watched people walk around the square past the statue in front of the old courthouse which is now the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Beautiful old building renovated exquisitely. It's a treat to go to all the events there. Joyce runs the show. She's always decked out in the outfit and jewelry for the occasion. The last time I visited MPAC was for a fashion show that my daughter was in. She modeled clothes from True Rumors. I took pictures of her using my camera without fixing the red eye, so she looks like a creature from another planet, a gorgeous one, but still.
Yesterday I read about how the universe works for you all the time, and once you're conscious of it, it is an amazing magical unfolding of events. And that's exactly what happened again for me yesterday in the heart of downtown McKinney. My daughter and I went to Lavender House, a tea shop on the square, for lunch. Tony, who has no title on his business card, plopped down in a chair at the table beside ours and talked with us in between dealing with customers and employees. He ended up going back to my daughter's office with her and I sat outside Strada Verde to read.
Lavender House has a room furnished like a library. Every Friday and Saturday night there is live music while you sip your drinks and eat their special offerings. It's a dream come true to walk through there much less sit and enjoy drinks and music. This is another thing that's so special about McKinney. Every day and every night there's always something going on in the square to bring the people together. Friday and Saturday nights there's always so much going on that it's just nights of going from one event to the next to the next. There's always live music not only at the Lavender House, but at the Londoner, Rick's Chophouse (oh dear god, eat anything there!), and especially Cadillac Pizza Pub. Cadillac may be a dive, but the best local musicians play for us there.
That's where we ended up last night. Thursday at Cadillac's is open mic night. Buzz Andrews, my favorite singer to listen to and to look at (okay, him and Jason Mraz are tied for favorites), is a must see in McKinney. I've discovered that Buzz is not only a pretty face, but a savvy business person and apparently a high school coach beyond compare. Who knew? I just enjoyed looking at him while he sang and played. If you friend him on FB you'll be able to see his beautiful wife and get a feel for how much he adores her. To me, that makes him even more attractive. And last night another new friend got me one of Buzz's new t-shirts. It's pink with a buzzard on top of an electric guitar. "I've been buzzed" is written underneath. And believe me, being around Buzz for me is truly being buzzed.
All of this may sound rather mundane, ordinary, or a classic yawner. It's not a life of jet-setting around the world, blasting through corporate meetings, or rushing through big city highways, but it's a life of friends, of genuine warmth, and of great compassion. This little town, especially the microcosm of these four blocks sheltering the courthouse, has a pulsing heart of its own. Come with me sometime around the square. Meet the people, hug friends, embrace the laughter, and sip wine in the Lavender House library while the piano is played because you will never find the warmth, the open heartedness anywhere else like you will in McKinney's square.
And, by the way, through July 31st you can vote my daughter, Dr. Alyssa Summey, as the best chiropractor in McKinney at www.mckinneyliving.com. Don't forget Rick's as the best romantic Saturday night dinner. I know from experience. Sigh...