Two and a half years ago I moved to Texas to begin the best part of my life so far. One thing that makes it so is the fact that I felt at home the moment I crossed the state line. Wild sunflowers were in bloom, it was hot and dry. I took a deep breath and realized this was where I belonged. My husband and I call ourselves Texans-by-Choice. When you get here, the people are warm and welcoming. When you meet someone new, men and women shake your hand, and a firm handshake it is too.
The level of tolerance for diversity is astonishing. Good manners are expected, bad behavior is not. When Hurricane Katrina chased so many people from their homes in Louisiana, thousands came to Texas, about half of them have no intention of returning. There are highway signs all over the state encouraging drivers to ‘Drive Friendly’; those who don’t, well, we just assume they’re not from around here. One of my favorite examples is the way teenagers who look a bit ‘different’ are treated by the locals. It’s fun to watch a pink-haired, tatooed and pierced 17-year-old (boy) being asked by a retired rancher “How’s your mama? Tell her I said, ‘hey’.” They always say, “Yes, sir.” Women have a unique place in Texas history; many have been raised to know they’re equal, it’s a mistake to treat them otherwise. They’re treated respectfully, in the boardroom, in the supermarket, in a hunting camp, and on the dance floor.
The quality of music is top-notch, once again the diversity is mind-boggling; the only standard is excellence. The tradition of fusion in the musical community is a couple of centuries old and still creating new forms while embracing the old. Medical care is world-class and yet hands-on. Public infrastructure is excellent and dependable on a daily basis and ready for emergency.
I love my new home. There’s just something about Texas.
[tags]Texas, wildflowers, tolerance, diversity, music, fusion [/tags]