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Sundays with Hank Hill

In the fall of 1996, my family moved to Cedar Hill, Texas, a small suburb outside of Dallas. My father’s military career had taken us from Orlando to Cedar Hill and the most stable place we ever lived.

We were only in Texas for three years, but those three years were my 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years, that pivotal age when you start coming into your own. I’m not sure if it was my maturity at the time or maybe it was a fresh start in Texas, but our family seemed happy. We lived in nice, rented houses, spent lots of weekends camping and fishing, and my dad and I played basketball almost every day. When I think about my youth, those three years stand out the most.

A few years ago, I began becoming nostalgic for that time. It started off once or twice a year, but slowly it’s evolved into an every Sunday evening thing and I blame King of the Hill for that.

We had only been in Texas a few months when King of the Hilldebuted. I was excited, because I had spent the last three years soaking up everything Beavis and Butthead that I could. Of course,King of the Hill is very different from Beavis and Butthead, but there was still something charming about the Hill family and when combined with The Simpsons, it became a Sunday ritual to watch.

This only lasted a few years, as I grew older and found new and different things to do on Sunday evenings, but there is something inside me that links me, living in Texas, and that happy period of my youth to those Sunday nights watching King of the Hill.

Four years ago, I started rewatching King of the Hill. I still haven’t finished it, but I think just rewatching those early episodes unlocked these memories for me. It made me think about those quiet Sunday evenings. The Sundays where I’d cram the homework I didn’t do and probably eat leftovers because my parents were too lazy to cook. A Sunday that felt calm, quiet and where the Texas sky was as beautiful as those animated skylines in Arlen.

I dreaded Sundays as a kid, because I didn’t want to go back to school, but the amount of dread that I encounter as an adult on Sundays is so much worse. It’s like, for two days I get to live life the way it should be lived, and I get to be myself, only to give that up and go back to smiling and pretending to be something that I am not for the next five days. And in the midst of the Sunday blues, there’s this little nugget of calm that comes up, this little reminder of when Sundays were more peaceful and even a bit exciting as I anxiously awaited those fired up guitars to begin the King of the Hill theme song. A time when my life merged a bit with a cartoon, and maybe, if memory serves me right, we were all happy. Well, as happy as we could be, I suppose.

Published in#WeblogPoMo2024

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