Leaving as a Texan

Today is my last day in Texas. Tomorrow it's off to Florida.

But — having spent my entire adult life here — I feel like I'm leaving the Lone Star State wearing my honorary Texan badge. After all, if 13 years in Texas doesn't give you a new perspective, well, there's probably nothing that could.

So, without further ado, here's an homage to my adopted home state. I sure am going to miss that big 'ol sky…..

One writer's view of Texas
By Jessie Milligan

The e-mail arrived on my computer the other day. "Are you enjoying Texas and Fort Worth? Is it as much fun as they say? Or is that just myth?"

Myth? I wanted to respond: Yes, hon, there is a Texas. It's as big and as full of possibilities as they say.

No, it's not perfect. We live under the shadows of clouds that blow in from far away, and our own storms sometimes darken our days. But mostly it's sunny, and it's the sunshine that we talk about the most.

Small blessings accumulate here and, when counted, amount to a blessing larger than Texas itself.

When the world seems too crazy, we can always say "Thank God for Texas." Thanks for waitresses who call customers "hon," and thanks for beautiful, ornate courthouses in small town squares.

It's the down-home, Old West part most of us brag about. That's our emotional comfort food.

We can sit at a corner table in a dance hall on a Saturday night and watch a couple twirl to Western swing so smoothly and sweetly that it looks like they are moving with one heartbeat. We can also walk down a street on a Sunday morning and hear the strains of the South โ€” a gospel choir sounding so goodness-almighty glad to be alive that we are happy to be alive, too.

We know we can easily escape our workaday worlds. When life gets too hectic, we can take a drive down a farm road and past a stand of oaks in a field so pretty it looks like a park. And we know that down the highway a piece, we're bound to see a shop called an antique store that is really a small museum of midcentury household goods. We have "retro" down pat, and in that we find comfort.

We all have our own lists of favorites. We have our longhorns, our cowboys, our cowgirls, our ranches, our oil-monied families, our Stockyards that serve as a living museum to days gone by. Those are our heroic images, the icons of the West, and this is where the West begins.

The West to a Texan also means fresh starts, bold ventures, pioneering aspirations. These ideas of old are transposed on our modern landscape, in business and in art, most visibly in large art, which embodies the cutting edge of the New West. Fort Worth is a city where a spare Isamu Noguchi sculpture stands across the street from sculptor Jonathan Borofsky's 50-foot-tall Man With Briefcase, both not too far from the latest addition to the landscape, the 67-plus-foot-tall Vortex by artist Richard Serra.

It's the bigger-than-life West here, allrighty, but it's also part Southern, part big-city, part country, part international, and all of that is worth saying grace over.

Texas is homemade tortillas and salsa one night, barbecue brisket washed down with icy Dr Pepper the next. A Brazilian steakhouse. A lunch of Vietnamese noodles. A dinner of Gulf shrimp curry. Pecan pie. An organically grown salad. Texas is the whole enchilada, and that leaves us with a sense that life is full of potential.

Blessings are counted here in this land so big it feels there's room to grow, so big it feels there is, as the Dixie Chicks sing, room enough to make the big mistakes. And there's room enough for big dreams under these great big skies. And for blessings large and small.

When I responded to my friend's e-mail, what I did say was this: "Is Texas a myth? No, hon, it's actually a lot better."

Some "You know you're a Texan" favorites:

2. You've ever had to switch for "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

11. You think everyone from north of Dallas has an accent.

17. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer and
Christmas.

20. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chili weather.

One of my favorite "screw you, I'm from Texas" pictures….

Texas… where a "medium" margarita is 32 oz.

My first 911 call in Texas…

This weekend I had to call 911 on my cell phone. I was driving to my mother-in-law's house and there were cows on the interstate. Their fence had gotten loose or fallen down, I guess. Anyway, I call 911 and say, "I'm driving on Interstate 20 and we've got cows walking out in traffic."

The dispatcher says, "No problem, sir. We'll get the sheriff's team out to round em up."

I LOVE TEXAS!

And finally, from Don Meridith…..

I never ask a man where he's from. After all, if he's from Texas he'll probably tell me, and if he's not I don't want to embarrass him.

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4 thoughts on “Leaving as a Texan”

  1. I guess we should go get you a Texas Flag tattoo. Yea…that's a good idea.

    I've seen a lot of places
    I've been around the world
    I've seen some pretty faces
    Been with some beautiful girls
    But after all I've witnessed one thing still amazes me
    Just like a miracle you have to see to believe

    'Cause God blessed Texas with His own hand
    Brought down angels from the promised land
    Gave 'em a place where they could dance
    If you wanna see heaven brother here's your chance
    I've been sent to spread the message
    God blessed Texas

    -Little Texas

  2. Switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day…priceless!

    Have a safe trip! The one great thing about internet "friendships" is no matter where you go, we're all still sort of in the same place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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