If you consider anything under 10 hours an easy drive . . . you might be from Texas.

If you consider anything under 10 hours a short drive . . . you might be from Texas.

Meg McKinney

Texas has a level of state pride that seems completely over the top when you first experience it. But move there, and in no time, you'll catch Lone Star fever. You'll be ordering extra cream gravy on your chicken-fried steak, bragging about how fast you made it from San Angelo to Houston, shopping for boots, and building your collection of tunes by Waylon, Willie, Robert Earl, Stevie Ray, Buddy, and Lyle. You'll take to brisket with a vengeance, asserting that, "There's no 'i' in 'team' and there ain't no pork in barbecue." (Don't fight it. Just go with it.) And if you're a native Texan? We bet we know some things about you. And here they are. Let us know if we got it right—and how much we missed. (Of course, if we got it all wrong, we bet you're fixin' to tell us how the cow ate the cabbage.)

  1. You impulsively clap four times during those little bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp moments in “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
  2. You trot your kids out to fields of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush for pictures every spring.
  3. “Yellow Rose of Texas” makes you think not of a beautiful woman, but of a Longhorn.
  4. You and yours unfurl the Lone Star flag right alongside Old Glory on the Fourth of July.
  5. You knew about Chip, Joanna, Baylor, and Waco way before everybody else. (But then, Texans figure out a lot of things before anybody else.)
  6. Any workplace breakfast celebration includes a platter of breakfast tacos.
  7. You know what “Sic ’em, Bears!” means. And you know how to make the accompanying hand gesture (even if you choose not to because you’re an SMU fan).
  8. The Dallas Cowboys are second only to Mama.
  9. You've seen crickets the size of kittens.
  10. You can’t help wondering if Nashville people know there’s an Austin, bless their hearts.
  11. And you know Austin as that wonderful kind of place where everyone’s either a musician, an aging hippy, or a “wild-eye liberal fightin’ for the rights of the squirrels (and salamanders).”
  12. Because you grew up learning to “Drive friendly, the Texas way,” you know what to do when the slower driver in front of you kindly pulls onto the wide shoulder of a two-lane road and moves slowly along.
  13. You know better than to expect cowboys and cactus in the Piney Woods.
  14. “Hey, look! We’re just 9 hours from Gruene. Let’s run on down to the dance hall there for some Texas swing and a little two-step.”
  15. You own a pickup. So does everyone you know. And those trucks are quite large.
  16. You've seen hail the size of baseballs.
  17. You know all about the Twelfth Man at A&M. Also “Howdy!” and “Gig ’em!”
  18. A rattlesnake roundup calls for a party.
  19. You know to run for cover when the sky turns green.
  20. Speaking of that Texas sky, it's bigger and bluer than everybody else's—but they're mighty welcome to come on out and see it sometime. Bless their hearts.

All this Texas talk makes us want to visit with Willie. How about you?

"If I'da done all the things I was supposed to have done . . . I'd be really tired." Now there's some serious Willie wisdom for you.

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