Traveling this week across the state by car, I find myself in a Texas State of mind.
What is a “Texas state of mind”? For me, it’s marveling over the diversity of the state, the vastness, the beauty, the people.
Yesterday I drove from Houston to Waco for meetings, then continued on to Dallas for my meetings today. Waco is so laid back, and easy. Dallas is not.
For example, I was grabbing some dinner and a glass of wine at Pappadeaux last night when 2 young men sat down at the bar next to me. Both were not from Texas, but one was on his first visit. They struck up a friendly conversation with the pretty bartender, and the ‘seasoned’ Texas traveler made fun on the ‘new’ one’s pronunciation of some of the items on the menu.
The bartender asked them where they were from. Both replied ‘up north’.
That made me smile. When you ask a Texan where they are from, inevitably they say Texas, and then they will describe which part of Texas they are from. Even if we are outside of the US we are one of the only folks who claim our state first when we travel abroad. We aren’t just Americans. We are Texans.
I know many from Oklahoma who will proudly claim their home on the first question, I’ve even heard some Californians do the same, but not many. Most Californians, in my experience, say they are from the West Coast.
It took the bartender 3 questions to get the actual state that the boys from ‘up north’ were from. They were from Philadelphia, PA. The first time Texas Traveler laughed that it was as cold in Dallas as it was in Philly when he left. Texas is one of those places where it could be 90 one week, and have snow flurries the next. That’s true. Last week it was horribly hot. This week, well the Airport in Houston saw some frozen precipitation, the earliest recorded freezing rain since 1979.
Since I’m nostalgic about my home, and a little worried that with the number of people moving here daily changing our culture, I found this quote from John Steinbeck from his book Travels with Charlie.