For this week’s writing prompt from Mama Kat, I chose 4.) List 8 best reasons you love living in your state. I thought, I’m from Texas. We are without a doubt the proudest state in the union. This should be easy, right? And while it’s easy to think of 8 great things about our state, narrowing it down to the 8 best is a little tough. But I’ll give it a shot.
1. Our History
Remember the Alamo? Well San Jacinto was even more important.
Texas has a unique history, and we think it’s so important that it’s actually taught in three different grade levels in our schools. We are proud to be the only state that fought its own war of independence and became its own nation. Granted, it only lasted ten short years, but that doesn’t make us any less proud of the Republic of Texas. In fact, some loonies are so proud of it they try to reclaim Texas as its own country again and again. One of the more recent ones was in the 1990s in the beautiful Davis mountains by one Richard Lance McLaren. I guess when you’re in the middle of nowhere, breathing in the wonderful Texas landscape with your thoughts to yourself, you start to get delusions of grandeur. Which brings me to my next point…
2. The Scenery
Because Texas is so big, we have every kind of scenery you could want. Except maybe snow-capped mountains. We do have mountains in Big Bend, but most of our snow tends to fall in the flat panhandle instead. If you want beaches? Go to South Padre Island. You want woods? Go to east Texas. You want rolling hills and rivers to float down on inner tubes or canoes? Head to the hill country, and enjoy the live music in Austin while you’re there. You want huge sunsets that stretch out as far as the eye can see? Head to my old stomping grounds of west Texas. Don’t want any of that? Then head to Dallas or Houston, you city slicker!
3. The Food
And when I say food, I mean BBQ. Or Tex-Mex. But mainly BBQ. Oh, and chili. And not chili with any beans or veggies in it. Just a big ol’ bowl of red: meat and heat. And to cool it down afterwards, grab a bowl of Bluebell ice cream. Ooh boy! It’s no wonder everything is bigger in Texas (including our pant sizes).
4. We’re Friendly
Where else will you see people wave at you when you’re driving down the highway? Or open a door for the people coming in behind them? It’s just our way. We’re acknowledging, “Hey, there’s a person here, man.” I had a friend from Baltimore once who claimed that we were just a bunch of fakers. Well, I say better to act nice and be thought of as fake than to act like an asshole, right? I didn’t tell him that, though. I only said, “Well, bless your heart.”
5. The Music
Buddy Holly was from Texas, the man who influenced The Beatles. Not too shabby. source
We’ve had a long legacy of great musicians from Texas, and not just country either. Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, and my personal favorite, Stevie Ray Vaughn. The list goes on and on. I love that I live only an hour away from Austin, the live music capital of the world. I don’t get to make it down there as often as I like, what with having a kid and a life and all. But if you ever get the chance, hearing a live band at Stubb’s is one of the best experiences in the world.
6. Our Magazines
What’s that? You don’t have a Minnesota Monthly? Or Rhode Island Highways? Or Kentucky Cooking? Ok, I didn’t google to see if any of those existed, but I like the fact that our state has so much going on that we need several magazines to fit it all in. And they’re not circulated and read only in our state. Those folks in Minnesota and Kentucky are reading about Texas too. That’s pretty cool.
7. Our Sports
Since we’re smack-dab in the middle of football season, I know I’d have someone screaming at me if I didn’t mention it. Yes, we love football in Texas. High school, college, pro, all of it. We schedule weddings and vacations around it. It brings us together, and at the same time tears us apart. But it’s almost as strong as our religion. I say almost because I’m a woman and don’t want Jesus to strike me with lightning. Ask a Texas man and you might get a different response. Oh, and we have other sports, too. Not as important as football, though.
8. No State Income Tax
I could list a whole bunch of other things that are great about Texas, but when I asked my husband what he liked best this was his response. So I’m including for people who care about the economy and prosperity and that sort of thing. Texas is growing right now, and there is 0% unemployment in my hometown of Midland. So if you can stand all the other great things on this list for a few years. Come on down! To quote another great Texan, Lyle Lovett, “That’s right, you’re not from Texas. But Texas wants you anyway.”