Henry With Boots - UnimpressedIt was a gradual process … the place grows on you, even back before it became clear that it was one of the states – out of these occasionally United States – which has a good chance of emerging comparatively unscathed from impending economic disaster. I don’t know why Texas should be so fortunate among states and nations, but perhaps it is because of a part-time Legislature. Yes, this might tend to discourage professional busy-bodies from taking up a full-time career dictating the teensiest minutia of every scrap of our lives, from the number of flushes our toilets need to the wattage of the light-bulb in our porch light and the knotty question of whether a puddle in the back forty qualifies as a seasonal body of water. The Texas Lege can only assemble every two years for a set period of time to consider these and other weighty matters, and so must find other and more remunerative means of earning a living and staying out of their constituents hair. There was an adage to the effect that work expands to fill the time you have available for it – very likely it works the same way for legislative bodies. Perhaps limiting the time available to them forces legislators to prioritize and focus their potential mischief on only the most necessary tasks. Still, what a thought, that Texas might be the last best place to survive the impending economic and political meltdown – who would have thought, eh?

So, Texas took us over, bit by bit – although it wasn’t without a struggle, especially when enduring the ghastly heat of summer, which occasionally felt as if it were lasting all year. Or when there was a highway alert because … er, there were stray cows on the roadway … Or when I could not get just-introduced men in a social setting to not straightaway start addressing me as ‘darlin’’. There were charms, insidious ones – the Hill Country, and sweeps of wildflowers in spring, breakfast tacos (the breakfast food of the gods, I swear), the many splendors of the HEB grocery chain, real Texas BBQ … oh, the list goes on and on. I suppose the first sign that assimilation had begun was when my father began to say that Blondie and I sounded a little more Southern in our speech – there was, he swore, a faint interrogatory lift in tone at the end of certain sentences, which had not been there previously. Blondie began to like country-western music, I began to giggle at Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family” … and upon finally retiring from the military I had to get a Texas driver’s license. And then I began to write historical fiction … and well, it was all over, then. Assimilation was complete, or nearly so.

I do like to dress up in a slightly western-fashion when I do a book event now; a long skirt, western-style shirt and vest – and I have let my hair grow long again, so that I can do it up in a roll with a curved Spanish comb in it – and I have been looking around for a pair of Western boots to complete the look. I’ve substituted a pair of high-laced old-fashioned ladies’ boots for now – but a pair of cowboy boots would really complete the look. But not just any boots – being thrifty but with high standards means that I’d like I. Magnin style at a Walmart price, so we’ve been checking out the various thrift and resale stores for a pair of good and broken-in (yet not broken down!) boots. We almost thought we’d found them at a little boutique in Boerne last week, but I couldn’t get one pair on, and the other was too big … for me, but not for Blondie. So, she has herself a pair of Tony Lama’s now, and for me, it is just a matter of time.

Assimilation complete. I got here to Texas as fast as I could.

2 Comments

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    Welcome home to Texas.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks, Ruth! Once we got used to the heat, it was inevitable!