“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
― John Steinbeck

Today is Texas Independence Day, y’all!

I was not born in Texas, but this great state has become home to me.

All those summers long ago, I remember rushing through the fields of grass on the sunny days as a young girl. I remember falling in love under the starts as a teenage girl in high school. I remember getting engaged on the pier of Lake Nacogdoches. I remember celebrating birthdays, attending graduations, road trips from Corpus Christi to Waco. I remember walking up to the Capitol in Austin and feeling that strong Texas pride 10 years ago. I remember moving out of state and being known as “Texas” my senior year of high school. Even when I moved to Utah for college, I can recall my strong thick southern accent and being proud to say I was from the Lone Star State. Even now as a thirty-something, I am grateful to reside in the state as I grow my family and raise my children as Texans.

A map of Texas.

Here are 10 reasons why I love Texas:

1. Texas is big. 

From the Gulf of Mexico, to the skyline of Dallas, to El Paso, to the Panhandle – Texas is big and wide. If you want a new scenery, just travel three hours north and you’re in a new location with different sights and sounds. I’ve lived in Lufkin, Silsbee, Nacogdoches, Lumberton and Dallas – different cities, different people, different experiences. I’m grateful for this big ole land with plenty of experiences and people to meet along the way!

2. People are kind.

I’ve lived in Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana and Utah, but no one tops the kindness of the people in Texas. That’s also the number one comment I receive when I say I’m from Texas, “People are so nice in Texas.” We’ll give you the shirt off our backs, we’ll fix your flat tire at two in the morning, we’ll take a stranger off the street. That’s just us, that’s our way of life.

3. Galveston.

I love that great big ole ocean, and I love that it’s only a few hours away from Lufkin. It’s my favorite place to visit on those sunny Summer days – to visit local restaurants, partake of local traditions, and enjoy that breeze from the ocean. Plus, I love taking the fairy to Port Bolivar!

4. Tex-Mex is delicious.

There is not much better than Tex-Mex. I am addicted to chips and salsa, and tacos are my favorite. Travel to any other state, you won’t find Tex-Mex. Trust me, I’ve tried.

5. Dallas skyline.

My favorite view in Texas is that big, wide open Dallas skyline. When the sun sets, there aren’t many more things prettier than that.

6. Country music. 

George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Neal McCoy, LeAnn Rimes, Pat Green, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Clay Walker and Kenny Rogers are just a few of the many country singers that were born in the Lone Star State. Nothing is better than sitting on your front porch on a Saturday morning and listening to classic country tunes. Plus, line dancing is my favorite. Turn on those tunes, and I can boot scootin’ boogie.

7. Cowboy boots.

I love sundresses and cowboy boots. Mine are just sittin’ in my closet waiting for the next country hoedown or county fair to attend. Plus, my husband caught my eye with his boots and cowboy hat. He made sure to pull in this southern bell with his twang, charm and boots.

8. Small towns.

Texas to me is a small, town type of living, with a few big cities here and there. Time slows down, folks wave hello as they drive by, and downtown boutiques to find your next attire fills the streets of small towns. Knowing everybody and most likely all their business is what it’s all about. Trust me, I’m sure my mama knows your mama and your grandma and what you ate for dinner. That’s just Texas.

9. Pine trees so green, so tall.

My favorite thing right now is hiking. I love to go down the dirt paths, walk into the forest, and see the Pine Trees so tall. There isn’t much more beautiful than a Sunday drive, with the windows down, and smelling the fresh air and seeing those big ole Pines.

10. God is a part of life.

I love God, and I am able to freely express that in everyday conversation. We pray at school board meetings, we pray before Friday night footballs games, and we worship on Sundays.