Friday, August 3, 2007

Yankee Doodle, Don't Call Me That!

Someone called me a Yankee this week.

For the uninitiated, this is NOT a compliment. I'd pulled out my Maryland driver's license to show ID, and that's when it popped out: "Oh, you're a Yankee!" Half-jest, half-accusation. It's a good thing I was born in Texas! Still, it stung a little. I mean, I'm the person who maintained a "Texas corner" in my office:
There was a Texas flag, Texas bumper sticker, cast iron Texas hot plate, a picture of sunrise over the Palo Duro Canyon, and even a picture of a restaurant in London called the Texas Embassy, among other things. I was an ambassador of all things Texan during my exile on the east coast....

Anyhoo, I got over the Yankee bit. But I thought I'd share a few things that make me smile in Texas:

1. Southern gentlemen: Now Texas men may be a bit different than "deep South" men. But I still love having doors held open or being called "ma'am" by the tattooed guy at the gas station. I've seen 4 year-olds being instructed in this art by their fathers, and the roots run deep. The other night, I went to a free classical guitar concert at the studios of the local public radio station. The room was packed - more people came than they were expecting - and there were still people standing out in the hall. I happened to be sitting near the sound engineer. Everything about this guy screamed "musician" - the clothes, the highlighted hair hanging in his face. But I also overheard him saying to a co-worker "In a situation like this, I was raised that the men should give their chairs to the women and stand at the back of the room..."

2. Small-town charm: Last night, the neighbors a few doors down were stopping at everyone's house, handing out boxes of fresh produce from their garden - and not just cast-off zucchini! I love waving to people as I'm taking a walk. I even love the local news, where you get to see the brand-new broadcasters hone their skills on the Saturday night news. And where else would you see a newly married couple being taken from the church to the reception (about a 4-blocks away) by mule-drawn carriage? Hey, Sunray, Texas can do it up right!

3. Texas hospitality: This may be more about my family's home church in Hereford, Texas. If you ever stop by on a Sabbath, stay for potluck:

That spread happens every Sabbath - and the thing is, 25 people is a crowd for that church, so there's more than enough to go around!

4. Oh, and one little family legend: See the lady in the black jacket, looking toward the camera? That's my Aunt Myrtle Ellen, the oldest of six. This morning, she killed two rattlesnakes. Killed them with a garden hoe. Scarily enough, this is not an abnormal occurrence out on her farm. I can only hope my aim is that good when I'm 88 years old! :)


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Good post, my Texan baby sister! (By the way, you never said who the photo was of in the last post. Inquiring minds who don't know WANT to know!)

Chandler said...

Great blog! You've stoked my coals. I do miss Texas.