Next year will mark 20 years since I moved to Texas. Because this is the longest I’ve lived anywhere, I can truly say, “I got here as fast as I could”.
Born in a very small Yankee state, you can forgive my surprise when discovering how very big Texas is.
From Connecticut, you can touch 5 states in an afternoon drive. In Texas, it takes an afternoon to get to the next city.
My Yankee upbringing was accustomed to narrow roads that wind their way around gigantic rock piles. It takes some looking to find narrow, curvy streets in Texas. San Antonio comes to mind. But mostly, Texas is a grid – ramrod straight roads on flat terrain for as far as the eye can see.
I recall driving westward over the Louisiana bayou for the first time and noticing how big the sky appeared on the horizon. It took me a while to figure out that Texas trees are shorter than their Eastern cousins. On a flat terrain, the Texas sky is actually larger. Sometimes I long for the mountains and high forests of the eastern seaboard, but then there are those big glorious Texas sunsets! Only a wide sky gives you this vista.
No one else in my family lives in Texas. Most of them are still east of the Mississippi River. When I go back to visit them now, the local food tastes bland; conversely, when they come to visit me, all they want to eat is TexMex. Did I mention that they visit me often? Current political drama calls for a wall across the U.S.–Mexican border. Most Texans don’t acknowledge this border.
If Texans had their way, the wall would run along the northern border between Texas and the lower 48 states. Those Yankees just don’t get it. Whoever heard of a Connecticut resident wrapping themselves in the state flag? Texans wear the Lone Star flag proudly. I took my sweet time getting here, but this prairie is now my home.