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! :)