If there were ever a doubt in my feeble mind, which there wasn't, by the way, I know beyond the pale of my soul that i am, indeed, a Texan by birth, by inclination, by right, & by the loving grace of God.
I went with Tamara to attend her aunt's funeral in Michigan and since I had limited knowledge of Michigan to begin with with, I found myself with some pretty stern preconcieved notions of the state and it's people. What I actually found was something delightful and heartwarming. I found the state itself to be gorgeous! Much like home, in fact. Trees, pretty lakes with crystal blue waters, winding country roads and little villages tucked away on the roads waiting for antique seekers and wanders of all types.
I found Michiganders? (Ok, is it Michiganders or Michigonians?) to be reserved, shy, and totally unprepared for a 4.5 inch bound edge felt cowboy hat as usual daywear. To top it off I wear tennis shoes because of an old horse related foot injury so I surely did confuse the heck out of the Michigander/Michigonian population. They would cock their little heads like the RCA dog and look at me like I had just deplaned from an intergalactic spaceship with this hat. I also notice I speak louder than 99% of Michiganders/Michigonians. Maybe I have hearing issues and maybe I perceive these folks as having hearing issues, I dont know, but I do speak louder. We Texans tend to wave our arms more when speaking and I could literally see, at one point, these folks taking tentative steps backward from my windmilling amrs when I was in the midst of a typical Texas story.
But, to their credit they had no fear of Texans to my knowledge and patiently listened to me and when I was done they quietly huddled and continued talking about hockey and kielbasa and how bad the michigan economy was compared to yesteryear.
I was glad to get back to the South in general. Dropping down off the Mississippi River brigde onto somewhat Southern soil I could feel a tension I hadn't really noticed loose itself from my whole body and I breathed in a fresh breath of Southern air. In Arkansas a sixteen year old convenience store clerk called me "sweetie" and i smiled and said "Thank you, maam!" even though she was clearly able to be my granddaughter.
In Texas I saw cows! I had missed the hairy, smelly beasties more than I would have ever imagined I could.
I am glad to be HOME. Im glad I saw the wonderful things I saw and got to know some mighty fine folks but I am ever grateful for Mother Texas!