Apparently my last 10 on the Tenth post wasn’t compelling enough to garner even a comment from my wayward brother and his far-away family, more or less a move. (Of course, it’s possible SIL really is mad about the outfits. Oops!) Anyhow, I shall in this edition attempt to list ten ways Texas is not only my home, but also part of who I am.
- I guess the first and most important thing Texas has given me is a place to belong. It’s hard to explain. Just like Aggies are always Aggies and Jayhawkers are always Jayhawkers, Texans are always Texans. Texas has been linked with my identity since birth. When describing myself, I must include Texan among the descriptors. I may not end my days in Texas, but Texas will always be my home.
- Texas has given me a voice and an image. Texans talk different. You can go anywhere in the world, open your mouth and be recognized as a Texan. My husband taught many Tanzanian nationals to speak Texan (can you say dawg?). My mother once had a stalker gentleman from Chicago who would call her several times a year just to listen to her talk. He even listened to me once when she wasn’t home. He doesn’t still do that does he?
- Texas has given me a place in history. Texas children are taught from Kindergarten up the history of Texas. The battles, the heroes, the villains, the hopes and dreams, the hardships and troubles, all are ingrained in our psyche from day one. I may not can list all the names of past US Presidents, but I can sure discuss the who, what, when, where and why’s of Texas like a champ!
- Texas has given me an eye for beauty. I don’t consider myself artistic and I’m definitely no philosopher, but the colorful, sweeping, powerful skies of Texas make me believe in God and if that ain’t art then I don’t know what is.
- I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Texas is big. The way I see it, with 268,820 square miles of coastal plains and lowlands, prairie, rolling hills, pinewood forests, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands and all that lurks underneath and grows above, we’re pretty self-sufficient. I mean, I guess I might miss New Mexico’s green chili, but I’m pretty sure I can grow my own and we’ve still got Dr. Pepper in Dublin.
- Speaking of chicken fried steak. Oh we weren’t? I must be hungry. Anyway, Texas has given the world chicken fried steak. I know I covered the subject of Texas’ food pretty thoroughly in my last 10 on the Tenth, but really, one can never say too much about chicken fried steak, can one? No, I didn’t think so. And now you’re hungry too. Enjoy your chicken fried steak!
- Another thing I’m not is athletic or a big sports follower. But the Dallas Mavericks just swept the Los Angeles Lakers! Who could not be excited about that?!
- You know, Texans really are friendly. The original descriptive adjective for Texas was the Caddo Indian word ‘teyshas’ meaning friends or allies. The Spanish soon adopted the sentiment and ‘teyshas’ became ‘tejas’ only to later evolve again into today’s iconic ‘Texas’. Pay attention next time you’re driving in Texas on a two-lane road. Watch for the one-finger wave and the pickup pulling over to the bar ditch so you can pass.
- I think the names Bob Wills, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly and ZZ Top speak for themselves.
- As does the phrase ‘no income tax’. I know they speak to me!
Anyway, Jon, after you finish your Californian chicken fried steak (which is probably made of tofu, right?), pack up and move those babies home, before their speech patterns are totally screwed!