My wife and I have lived in Waxahachie for one full year. For what it’s worth, I’d like to share a few of our impressions. I do so not as an expert on these things, but as one whose perspective may draw attention to some things that longtime residents may take for granted.

I love that this town has a sense of history. I like the old downtown homes and appreciate the fact that there is an effort to preserve them. I love the courthouse square and hope there are never any tall buildings allowed that will detract from or mar the view of one of the most beautiful old courthouses in existence. I love the shops and restaurants in the downtown area. When out-of-state friends come to visit, we’re proud to take them for a stroll there.

I like that there is new here, as well. Plenty of retail and chain restaurants; new housing, new schools. And speaking of schools, it’s my impression that Waxahachie cares about education and understands its vital importance. I like being in a town where I’m likely to see people I know when I’m out and about. The running trail from Getzendaner Park to Lions Park is well used, well maintained, and says something about the city and its interest in “quality of life” matters. I often see people I know there, and that’s a cool thing.

I love it that there’s a “Keep Waxahachie Beautiful” group; I like the new heart decorations around town; I like it that there is at least a little racial diversity on the city council, and hope there will always be an effort to mirror the city’s ethnic and racial makeup in government and official bodies. I like the taco stands and Mexican food. (I actually like all kinds of food but being in a place with several choices of good Mexican is something we longed for). If a good Indian food restaurant goes in somewhere, I may decide this is the best town in America.

We don’t understand the Indians mascot (we have a race of people for a high school mascot?) but know we’re in the minority on that one. Seeing the turnout at high school athletic events is a cool thing. One of the benefits of being in a town this size is that we’re all on the same side when it comes to which high school we’re rooting for! And speaking of “coming together”, the parades and festivals are wonderful. They’re so much fun, hearken back to a bygone era, and are celebrations you just don’t get – at least not with the same feel – in big cities.

It appears that the planning and zoning commission does a good job of making sure that the appearance of our city is maintained. People draw conclusions and pretty much judge a town based upon what they see when they drive through on the main roads.

Most of all, we like the people. Waxahachie is about the same distance from Dallas as Frisco, but it feels different here. After all, we’ve got a feed store downtown! Plano is a fine community I’m sure, but the drive from Dallas to Waxahachie takes less time than the (shorter) one from there to Dallas. But that’s another surprise. Before moving here, we figured we’d be going to Dallas a lot more often than we do. No need; Waxahachie has most everything we need, and it’s beginning to feel like home.

Thanks for being a great place to live, Waxahachie!

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Rev. Dr. Kevin Tully is the senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie. He can be reached at (972) 937-4400.