Moving to Harlingen, TX--maybe? (Anyone From...?) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We are thinking about moving to the Harlingen area and we would like to know about the community. Gardening, employment, education, etc.?

-- michelle (, December 14, 2001


Response to Moving to Harlingen, TX--maybe?

DRY, semi-desert. Where do you live now? If you live north, you may be in for severe culture shock.

-- Rose (, December 14, 2001.

Response to Moving to Harlingen, TX--maybe?

-- Rose (, December 14, 2001.

Response to Moving to Harlingen, TX--maybe?

about their schools

-- Rose (, December 14, 2001.


I work in McAllen, Texas, a city about 40 miles northwest of Harlingen. Rose has pointed you out the chamber of commerce type of information that is very helpful if you have never visited the community.

Having lived here most of my life, I cannot compare Valley schools to others, but I don't hear many complaints. If anyone is interested in military type education, the Military Marine Academy (MMA) is in Harlingen, very close to the airport.

Climate? If you hate snow, welcome to heaven! Our winters are very mild down here, which accounts for the large numbers of winter visitors fleeing the cold weather from where they are from. It MIGHT freeze maybe two or three nights a YEAR; a hard freeze is very uncommon; our last one was in 1989! Summers are another story; if you hate hot weather, welcome to hell. The century mark (100 degrees), especially in the upper Valley (about 60 - 70 miles northwest of Harlingen) gets hit nearly every day. With the humidity from the Gulf, the term most fitting is 'persperation incontinence'. Honestly, it is HOT. The only major weather system causing any danger is the threat from hurricanes.

There are many shopping opportunities, especially if you shop in Mexico, the national border being about 10 south of Harlingen. The recent 9/11 has slowed the crossing considerably, but it still worth it, especially for cheap meds, dental work, car mechanics and the like. I don't remember the restaurant situation in Harlingen, but McAllen has a whole lot of restuarants to the northwest, and Padre Island, on the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles east of Harlingen, has many fine restaurants, and offers many fine fishing opportunities, both bay species and offshore.

Hope this helps.

-- j.r. guerra (, December 14, 2001.

If you live north, you may be in for severe culture shock. ..........................................................

Boy has Rose got that pegged! We are north of you in Houston. Culture Shock if you are from the West also, I am from San Diego and I tell my friends I forgot to bring my passport! Hell if you are from anywhere............:) Nobody believes until they visit about the humidity and bugs, there are no words to describe it/them! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, December 14, 2001.

We are currently living in Medford,OR, and have lived in Southern California. Are the summers that bad? How long does the "bad" part of summer last? And have you become climatized? What about opportunities for kids? Jobs? Is it a family-oriented area? What is there for fun? How are the beaches?

-- Michelle (, December 15, 2001.

michelle, the summers are pretty bad, but it really depends how each of you can take the heat. Summertime begins here late April, and can last as long as October! One of my co workers transferred here from Park City, Utah, and for that first year couldn't believe the heat. But yes, you do become acclimatized after a spell.

As for the family oriented info., I don't want to sway you one way or the other. NAFTA has created many new job opportunities down here, but like everywhere elese, they can come and go pretty quickly. We used to have a lot of textiles factories, but foreign competition shut them down. The medical fields down here are booming, if you have medical training, I don't imagine having too much trouble finding jobs. Nursing in particular, there is a shortage and the hospitals are really looking to keep them around their place.

Schools? My wife has taught public school for 17 years now. My mother is a retired teacher, as well as other relatives. How good a school, in some cases depends on who the teacher is. Some are great, others are lousy.

Fun? Well, there is the beach, with a Schlitterbauns (a water park) built on the beach(?), with lots of fishing opportunities there. There are a few National Wildlife Refuges, with many bird species that are not available for viewing elsewhere. In fact, if you are in to bird watching, the Rio Grande Valley is quite noted for this. Apparently, many species northernmost and southernmost ranges happen to be in the Valley. Many birders worldwide come here just for the opportunities. We have no mountains, or public forests down here. I mention this because you said Oregon.

Hope this helps.

-- j.r. guerra (, December 17, 2001.

We are currently living in Medford,OR, and have lived in Southern California. Are the summers that bad? How long does the "bad" part of summer last? And have you become climatized? What about opportunities for kids? Jobs? Is it a family-oriented area? What is there for fun? How are the beaches?.............................................................. ...

Have you visited? I am from San Diego, have you ever been in an indoor pool? Mom has a heated bubble for over the swimming pool, to swim in winters, visiting Texas is very much like going into the bubble. Beaches? Texas is not on the ocean, it is on the gulf, they allow folks to drive and park on the beaches! The first time my 4 year old daughter (now 23) went to the beach with me, something we did frequently in San Diego, she literally wouldn't take off her shoes because it was mud. Yes the "beaches" near Corpis are quite different, but guess why the water parks are so popular! The very worst beach in southern California is better than here. How long do the summers last? Today is the first time in a week we have had the air conditioning off, its not that its hot per say, 80 degrees last week, but it is humid, you sweat getting out of the shower. And yet while I will do chores in jeans and a t-shirt today, week before last we had the woodstove going and I was wearing my winter jacket. Just walking to the mail box, though it doesn't get your heartrate up will make you sweat. The idea of going out and doing chores like I did in California (horses) before going to work or school, without a shower, is not happening here, you will have sweated through your clothes. By end of June you are hating the summer already and it goes on into October. Just in time for lovebug season. Then there is the hurricanes. Bugs, mosiquitos that rival anything we saw up in Canada at the lakes, and fireants, that will kill your infant livestock. It will take you a very long time to build immunity to their bites so that you don't swell up with each bite. Organic gardening simply isn't possible, early spring and fall gardens are a must. Do you know that childhood asthma is worse nowhere else in the country? Houston switches between 1st and 2nd with LA with the worst pollution. I never had asthma before moving here at 25. There are more women in Texas without health insurance than anywhere else. With one daughter through with college, one in college and my son in his second to last year of high school, which we are taking him out of, the schools do nothing more than teach the TAAS tests. Without passing the TAAS the kids can't graduate no matter what their grades are, and everything money wise from the government and the schools accreditation is all about the TAAS. Athletics eat up most of the schools budget, and folks who complain about their school taxes should scream about the percentage that goes into athletics. Without home learning along with school, your kids will be ill prepared for college, and the drop out rates of freshmen are very high. I was never considered to be "the most liberal" amongst my peers in CA, I am by far the most liberal person I know now. The whole East Texas, mostly white mans mentality of the little women at home, keeping her mouth shut perferrabley, with most of my friends having to ask permission to do anything, is very previlant. The comments to my husband that he needs to control me better, used to be the norm. My best story which sums this up the best for me, was when we first moved out to this property. I called a local fence company to fence our property. My husband at the time commuted to Houston, I was here with our 3 children, the fence guy, my same age, came out to do the bid. He asked "where my husband was" when I told him he was in Houston, and weekends weren't available for him since he was building our house, he stated "well I don't work with women". Very obviously we fenced our property ourselves. But this is how he was raised. Boys will be boys. How sad for the girls! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, December 17, 2001.

Thank you for your honesty about the good and not-so-good points of the area. You have given us a lot to think about and we're definitely going to have to visit during the summer before making any choices. ~Thanks

-- michelle (, December 17, 2001.

So, Vicky, why are you down there? Sounds like the place beyond...... I guess I will be content here with winter from November till April.

-- Kate henderson (, December 20, 2001.

Husband was raised in South Houston. There was no question in his mind that we would move here once he was out of the military. There was no question in my mind that once anyone spent any time at all in southern California that they would never want to move. I lost! I do like Texas, but it is mens country. I will retire in the Hill Country, away from Houston and away from the humidity. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, December 20, 2001.

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