Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Being a Texan

I am a Texan. Born here, raised here. Live here now.

The in-between . . . not so much.

This tends to alter my perception a little from those Texans who've always lived here. My thoughts about cities are colored by the three times I lived in New York City. My only bad experience there was arriving the first time in May and not seeing leaves on any of the trees. I knew I was in deep trouble. All I had were Texas summer clothes because it had been 90's here for a month already. I'd shipped all my winter things, which turned out to be barely good enough for autumn. I've since learned to check weather.

I'm a beach freak. Love them. Not so wild about going in the water, but I love walking on the beach. My favorite time is winter. I love to bundle up and walk in light snow or rain when no one else is around and the surf is churning. Recharges my batteries. Padre and Mustang Islands here in South Texas have great beaches, but not much snow. And they're different from other beaches where I've lived - those in Jersey and Virginia. And our stint in Miami really spoiled me for them all. We could visit a different beach each day and still not make them all.

I've lived inland only twice, once in Tennessee and once in New Mexico. Both times I really missed the water. I mean real water. Lakes and rivers don't cut it for me. I've got to see wave action and smell salt air. In New Mexico, mountains compensated somewhat for the ocean. But in Tennessee, I learned to miss flat land and salt air.

In New York, I learned about People Who Were Not Texans. And I learned to love them. I learned about food from other parts of the world. I learned to listen carefully because people talked so much faster than what I was used to. I learned that there were non-Texan ways to do things and non-Texan ideas about life in general. I grew up.

On beaches, I learned that maybe it's not a good thing to drive your car in the sand. And that it's good to protect too much sand from washing or blowing away. And if you can get a palm tree to grow there, go for it!

Inland, I learned that some people didn't like the ocean at all. I'm still not real comfortable with that one, but I'm trying. I learned that wildlife is beautiful. And I learned to carry candy bars in my pockets in case I came across a bear in the woods. Sort of like carrying mug money in New York.

1 comment:

cher said...

I was born and raised in Texas, and I will always live in Texas. I not only love Texas, but I love the history, the people, the slow talkers, that our flag can be raised at the same level as the US flag and no other state can. I would fight for Texas faster than I would the US. I love our boot scoot'n, Alamo, space flying Houston, and the Big D. I LOVE the lakes and rivers and get a kick out of the natural springs all up and down the hill country, and how hot it gets to give me an excuse to be on the water. I love Austin's 6th Street and hippies, Houston's restaurants and night clubs and well-dressed individuals, San Antonio's Riverwalk and small town life in a big city, and College Station's Aggie Band! I have not travelled much, but everyone is welcome and I like to hear about others experiences, but I love mine more. You can't offer me enough money to leave my state of Texas. My loyalty to it is like an old friend, or relative. I would help it live its life to its fullest, and in return I would be blessed with the same--the best life ever!