Oh Texas... you always do my heart good.
The Lone Star State was a good fit for me from the get-go. Having been raised in Louisiana and Alabama, Texas was like the bigger and slightly wilder cousin of the deep south. I loved her from the very beginning. When I showed up at Baylor, I had never even visited - no tour no nothing. I seem to remember my Dad saying something along the lines of, "If you've seen one college, you've seen 'em all." Now if you can fall in love with the University Parks Drive exit in Waco in 1993 then it's all gonna be uphill from there. We are talking pre-Magnolia and the embers were still hot at the Branch Davidian compound. What had I signed up for? I was 12 hours from Bama and a long way from the beach. All the French I took starting in Kindergarten in New Orleans wasn't really helping me out. I truly wondered why Texas was misspelled on the water tower in Waco when it read Tejas. I thought I was headed in for an Italian dinner the first time I stepped inside Mi Cocina in Highland Park. I'm serious. This was all new to me. Like foreign.
Still something grabbed me. Just as Jerry Jeff put it, it's the wide open spaces, the Bluebonnets, the Indian Paintbrush, the Frio, the spirit of the people, and so on. He didn't even get around to mentioning the triple fiddle and BBQ. Oh and another burrito. There's always another burrito. Seriously, I hadn't been in the dorm 6 months when my border town hallmates taught me how to make homemade tortillas. Folks, have you ever really had homemade tortillas? I'm not talkin' those sticky flat things that have been on the store shelf for months that taste like plastic on Taco Tuesday. I mean the real deal. Fluffy, fat, warm and made by someone who can seriously roll their Rs. Now I'm hungry and have to go buy some lard which I've never seen at Whole Foods.
So back to the matter at hand... Here are a few pics of Texas from DFW to Presidio County way out west on the border. It's beautiful. It's wild. It feels untouched. It's inspiring. It's soul renewing. I love it. Go there but tread lightly. Enjoy.