This year marks the 15th anniversary of my husband and I becoming Texans. Now some of y’all may argue that if you’re not born in Texas you’re not really a Texan. I respectively disagree.
I became a Texan the first time I gazed up at a clear blue sky that went on forever.
I became a Texan when I first saw a field of bluebonnets. Come April this beautiful state flower is a pop of color along almost every highway and country road in Texas. You know spring is here when you see children and puppies posing for pictures in these seas of blue. I feel a thrill every time I see my first bluebonnet of the year.
I became a Texan with my first longhorn sighting while driving down a country road a few days after moving here. This majestic animal can have horns that reach 7 feet from tip to tip. The longhorn steer almost reached extinction in the 1920s but was saved by enthusiasts from the United States Forest Service who couldn’t stand to lose an icon of the west such as this. I’m so glad they did because every time I see a longhorn I know I’m in Texas. And I’m home.
I became a Texan the first time I stepped outside in April and sweat trickled down my brow. I don’t think I stopped sweating that first summer until October. My dogs think I’m the meanest human ever. They look at me with such disdain in their eyes. I can almost hear their thoughts… It’s hot as hell outside. What do you mean it’s time to go pee? I don’t have to pee. Really, I can hold it. What’s wrong with you, don’t you know it’s hot? Don’t make me go out there!!! People say it’s a dry heat. Yeah maybe so, but all I know is it’s HOT.
I became a Texan when I saw a rat snake. At first glance I thought it was a big garter snake. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, all I ever saw around the yard were garter snakes, the biggest one I saw was maybe 2 feet long. But when this snake moved out from behind the bush and stretched out, I realized this ain’t no garter snake
We now know of course that it was a common rat snake and harmless. If we saw one in the yard today we would keep an eye on it and let it go on it’s merry way. Why? Because we’re Texan and Texans don’t need to kill harmless snakes.
I became a Texan when I went on my first quilt retreat. It took 50 minutes to drive 60 miles to the camp and then another hour to go the last 5 miles! This was over a dirt road that had ruts so deep it could swallow a man whole. After being jarred all over the place my teeth hurt and I knew for sure my poor car was going to need new shocks, I made it to the top of a hill and just stopped. I gasped at the beauty of the valley and lake and nature spread out below. That was the day I fell in love with Texas.
There were other days that made me realize I was a Texan. Like the first time I stayed home from work because of a dusting of snow and a little bit of ice.
When going down a back road, a pick up truck pulls over and drives on the shoulder so other faster cars could pass on bye
Pecan trees, Texas BBQ, scorpions and geckos in the house. Pride and love for a state like I’ve never seen before.
George Strait, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Roger Miller, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tanya Tucker, Kevin Fowler and of course, Pat Green.
Now I don’t claim to be a cowgirl and I probably won’t ever ride the range, maybe not even a horse. But the first time I told someone I lived in Texas, and felt that swell of pride? Well right then and there, I became a Texan.