Ten things I love about you, Texas

Things to do in Dallas, part 2. This only applies to me, really. I moved away from my beloved state of Texas to my adopted state of Florida at 12 years old. I was devastated. Moving away from large, extended family and friends was very painful. I longed for home for many, many years. Fast forward 40+ years and my youngest daughter moved to my home town, Dallas. I was so sad that she would be so far away, but I was also grateful that she was going back to The Promised Land, the home of my people and all the great things Texas has to offer. Coming home to Texas is wonderful for many reasons. Seeing family and all the additions that make families so wonderful is the top priority when I get back here. I love everything about Texas. I love her accent, her food, her kind and friendly people. I love the shopping, the coffee shops, the crazy roads and fast drivers (ok, maybe love is a strong word for those last two, but hey- it’s exciting.) The Texas accent is one of a kind. People say we talk too slow down here, but I really think it’s more that we add in lots of extra syllables to our words and that takes time get to the words out. I never realized there was a difference between pin and pen until I moved to Florida and my 8th grade English teacher told me the difference- in front of the whole class. I never forgot after that! When I was growing up, if someone asked you for a pen/pin you always followed up the question with a clarifying question: straight or writing. When a Texan asks for “ice” most people from other places will immediately laugh thinking the person has asked for some “ass.” Other words and phrases are equally wonderful. I also never knew that people from other states called soft drinks by their individual names. Down here everything is a Coke. The question is alway “what kind of Coke do you want?”  The only exception to this rule is Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper always got its own name in the what do you want to drink question. I love Texas food: Tex-Mex (Lord, please let this me my last meal before I leave Earth. I know in Heaven there will be unlimited amounts of Tex-Mex, but I would like one more tamale before seeing the pearly gates.) Frito-pies, corn dogs, all the food at the Texas State Fair, and Whataburger. Dallas is a pretty sophisticated food scene (we even have an Eataly!) but give me a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and I’m in paradise. I love Texans. People from Texas are humble, kind and eager to help. Doors are always held open by gentlemen, people say “yes ma’am and no sir” regardless of age. There’s a politeness to the culture that you just don’t find in other non-Texas places. Go to any small Texas town and you will meet the friendliest, most polite people on the planet. (I know this is also true in lots of other places too.) I love Texans and their love for Texas. Practically very house flies the Texas state flag from their porch or yard. If Americans loved America the way Texans loved Texas, we’d be in a much better place. So when I get back to The Promised Land, I love to gather around my family and talk about the good ole days. Events once made us cry now make us laugh until we cry. We are wounded, healed and sealed by love and time and one another. Most people would say they have some crazies on their family closets. I think it’s the crazy parts of our past that keep us humble and grateful. I know I wouldn’t trade one crazy minute of my life or the crazy people who sometimes made it maddening for all the money in the world. Places are beautiful but it’s the people in the places that make it magical. I’m grateful for my crazy, loud and loving family. And I’m especially grateful to be a Texan. 

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