MY VIEW: Just a California girl at heart


courtesy Madasyn Dean

Sand in her toes– Senior Mackenzi Dean visits Pismo Beach in July on a visit back to California. Dean moved to Seminole at the end of her freshman year.

  People who have never lived in California may think that it’s filled to the brim with palm trees, beaches, surfers and celebrities. While California does have all of those, it’s only one part of California. I know because I grew up there.

  I grew up in the central valley in a city called Porterville where agriculture is a huge part of our lives much like in West Texas. Porterville isn’t a well-known town in California with the population being about 60,000 people, but it’s right in between Fresno and Bakersfield. 

  Bakersfield has a lot of work in the oil fields where my dad worked for most of my life. It’s an hour away from Porterville, so he’d have to leave early in the morning to be on time for work. After working there for many years, he unfortunately got laid off from his job when I was in eighth grade. 

  My uncle runs a pool business where he cleans pools for a living and gave my dad a job which helped us out a lot. He worked with my uncle throughout my freshman year of high school but was still looking for jobs in the oil industry. My parents didn’t want to stay in California so he applied for jobs around the country. That’s when he got the offer in West Texas at the end of my freshman year. 

  It took a few months with my dad travelling to Texas and back to California every few weeks, but eventually, all of us moved out here to West Texas. The biggest difference between my hometown and Seminole is the appearance and accents. California is very green while Texas is…very dry. 

  Another thing that’s different about Texas is the Mexican food. Everyone I talk to here would say they have the best Mexican food, but I have to disagree. No offense. I guess if I grew up with Tex Mex, it would be different, but I grew up eating regular Mexican food, and I’d have to say, Tex Mex doesn’t compare. I mean, really, why do you guys put corn in your rice? 

  The thing I do like about Texas is the air quality. We have huge fires every year in California that makes it hard to breathe, especially for people with respiratory problems. Back in 2018, my family went back to visit for Christmas when there was yet another fire burning in Los Angeles. Coming through the town of Tehachapi, the sky was brown, and it had already become harder to breathe. There’s another one this year that, by now, everyone has heard of. 

  A common belief among Texans is that Texas is way hotter than California. California summers can get up to 115 degrees, and our winters don’t really get below 60. It never snowed, and I wouldn’t have ever seen snow if it wasn’t for the mountains. Since I’ve lived here, I don’t think the summers have gotten above 100 degrees and the winters definitely drop below 60. 

  There’s a lot of differences between California and Texas, but in some ways, they’re similar. I’d definitely like to go back to California just because it’s where I lived for the first 14 years of my life. Although I would’ve liked to stay in California where my friends and family were, I’ve had amazing experiences here, and I’ve also met amazing and interesting people.