March 2, 2017 9:20 am

Louellen Coker

When you ask me (or Duane) where we’re from, we’ll tell you Texas.

Duane and Louellen overlooking Palo Duro Canyon.

And if you ask further, what heritage we are, we will again tell you that we are Texan. In the melting pot that is America, it is rare for someone not to proudly state they are from another region of the world. However, with the ability to trace my lineage back to the Cherokee Indians and Davy Crockett (who fought at the Alamo) and Duane’s known heritage being firmly planted in Texas, we are among the few, the proud, the native Texans.

We think Texas is one of the greatest places on Earth. (Except maybe in August and into September when it is so darn hot!) In fact, we’ve lived and traveled in different states and countries and ended up settling down and making Texas our home base.

March 2 is Texas Independence Day and Texans are known to take a moment to reflect on their heritage. Today seemed the perfect day to share a bit about the state I love with all my heart.  I like to say you can take the girl out of Texas, but can’t take Texas out of the girl.

This is why:

  • Texas is the only state that can withdraw from the United States and/or divide itself into up to 4 states. Don’t worry that’s not likely going to happen.
  • When we joined the United States, we did not give up our public lands.
  • Baylor University, our alma mater, is the only Texas university founded when Texas was its own country.
  • Six flags have flown over Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, Confederate States, and United States.
  • We are the largest and most populous state in the continental United States. (Alaska is the largest of all 50 states.)
  • Texans are downright friendly. We’ll look you in the eye and say hello, give you a courtesy wave or smile, and help you out if you need it. Even the name Texas means “friendly.”
  • Our land formations are wide and varied and include coastal, plains, forest, mountain, and desert lands.
  • Major industries in our state include cattle, oil, and technology. We are among the last to feel the pains of recession and are among the first to feel the joy of recovery.
  • While we are technically part of the southwest and are sometimes considered part of the south, we really have our own culture.
  • At the tip of tornado alley, we have more tornadoes touch down than any other state. (Not necessarily a good thing, but interesting nonetheless.)
  • We have the second largest canyon in the United States. (Read our post about Palo Duro Canyon.)
  • Every spring our highways and byways are blanketed by the most beautiful bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and whole host of wildflowers.
  • We have some world-class professional sports teams: Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, and the Houston Texans.

Texans are feisty, tough, and incredibly loyal. We are proud but not (overly) boastful. We’re not afraid to tell it like it is and will roll up our shirtsleeves and do what needs to be done to make things the way we want them. We’re a rough and tumble lot that will find the good in everything.

Bluebonnets, cactus, and rugged rocks are just a few of the things that will make any native Texan smile.
Photo by Louellen Coker

Want to learn more about Texas, come on down and enjoy the beauty that is uniquely ours. Not sure you can get here, pick up a copy of James Michner’s Texas. Yes, it’s a loooong book; but this historical fiction paints a picture of our state that is generally accurate and detailed. By then end of the tome, you’ll have a good idea of what makes Texas Texas and why Texans are so proud of our state.

This post is part of my 52 week Living with Gratitude journey.

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