I’m a Texan, born and raised here, in a family that came into the state as part of Col. Austin’s “Old 300” original settlers, when coming to Texas meant renouncing U.S. citizenship and being baptized Catholic — and that’s on my mother’s side of the family. My father’s people, the Apache, were here long before the white settlers or their Spanish, French, and Mexican predecessors arrived.
My husband is a descendant of a family that claims an Alamo defender among its ancestors.
And, most of the time, I hate living in Texas. I am out of sync with the political climate, the prevailing religion, and most of all, with the horrific weather that (in my opinion) makes this hell on earth for most of the year. From May through September, and sometimes longer, I stay indoors as often as possible, and I schedule errands and outdoor excursions early in the day (before 8 a.m. if possible) or as late in the evening as possible. It’s a sheer survival technique for someone who hates both heat and humidity.
Oh, but there are times when living in Texas has its pleasures. Last week I had lunch with a friend, and we sat outdoors in a cafe where the wind was playing over a small fountain. There are winter mornings when the temperature is just cold enough to make it interesting, and the sun is shining brightly, and everything seems beautiful.
I love the fall, when the leaves change and we have a few glorious weeks of cool weather before winter.
And then there are the bluebonnets. A brief flowering that’s unpredictable — you never know where they’ll be, so every spring, you have to search the highways and byways to find the best patches of glorious blue color. By themselves, bluebonets aren’t all that pretty. But in the masses, or in their small close-set clumps, they are magnificent. And it almost makes life in Texas the rest of the year worthwhile. Almost.
I’d still rather be in New Zealand, but for now, I will enjoy springtime in Texas.