I’ve been doing some genealogy and have discovered I am a fifth generation Texan on three different sides. This is fairly uncommon in Texas because we weren’t a state until 1845, and the population of Texas is growing at an unprecedented rate with folks arriving from all over. Texas is a big place, roughly 800 miles (give or take a few) from both North to South and East to West.
I was hatched in the barren, arid sands of west Texas. It’s a harsh climate and the people who settled it tended to be hardy individualists with a wide stubborn streak. Generally, they were a no-nonsense bunch, intent on scratching out a living as best they could.
It took guts for my ancestors to move from the more bucolic lands in the east to come west and farm such hard-scrabble land. I grew up with midnight coyotes howling outside the door; cactus, grass burs, bull nettles, and mesquite thorns growing in wild profusion, and diamondback rattlesnakes slithering among the rocks. You don’t go barefoot in west Texas unless you have something of a death wish.
We faced frequent sandstorms and in the spring and summer months, the very real threat of tornadoes.
Where I’m from most everyone hunts and owns guns, believes barbecue beef brisket is mana from heaven, knows how to saddle and ride a horse, drives pickup trucks and can speak enough Spanish to get by. It’s a place where Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and hats aren’t fashion accessories, but rather requirements for braving the unforgiving sun and savage terrain.
It was not the easiest environment for a shy, bookish girl to grow up in, but Texas made me who I am, and filled me with a never-quit, can-do-spirit that’s forged my career.
You might be thinking why would anyone stay here for five generations? Well, for all her faults and flaws, Texas also has poignant beauty. If you’ve never seen a field of bluebonnets spreading out like nature’s carpet, you’ve been missing out. (For some beautiful Texas photography, check out this site. http://www.wymanmeinzer.com/wymans-favorite-40/
Then there are…
Folks from Texas are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
Texas is the only place you will get real Tex-Mex. Whoever tells you otherwise is lying.
The skies are just darn gorgeous.
Oil, banking, cattle, we make money. Lower cost of living. Cheaper housing.
We got space folks. Plenty of elbow to stretch out and live life large.
Cause it’s weird. And the stellar music coming out of that place.
Cause of the Riverwalk. And the food.
So what about you? Where are you from? How has your environment influenced you? What are the pros and cons of living where you do?