It was a challenge to leave Texas. In some ways I could have spent my entire Senior Gap Year here. The Road Trip could have been done in this state alone; but, my focus was on driving as much of the actual route my fore-parents had done as pioneers....though, I repeat: they did in a Conestoga Wagon and my husband and I preferred the Nissan 2012.This Texas is aland where the state flag has a legal right to fly at the same height as the national flag. It's a land, and a state of mind with an outlook so different from any other in America.
My friend Jacqueline, (photo in last blog entry) shared this story about her family's pastor, and his introduction to the Texas State of Mind. He had recently moved from Arkansas to Allen,Texas; and said he was in his front yard one day when a car was slowly driving by and the driver, having finished his fast food soda; tossed it out the window.
Unfortunately (for the car driver) there was a truck right behind him, with a Texan behind the wheel. Immediately, the truck driver zoomed around the car and slowed up so the car would come to a standstill.
The truck driver's window opened up and out came a gun, pointing at the car.
"Pick......it....up." said the truck driver, politely', firmly; and with a gun pointing directly at the car driver.
"What!" exclaimed the car driver.
"I said, 'PICK it up-now!" the gun pointed to the offending litter of a large soda cup complete with straw on the street.
The car driver jumped out of the car and scooped up the empty drink cup (and straw, taking no chances now), and quickly got back behind the wheel.
"Thank you," said the truck driver, pulling his gun back in the window. He then drove off, and so did the very rattled car driver.
"Texans. They have their ways," said the Arkansas pastor.
Yes, they do; and I give thanks for what at times seems like a crazy heritage, but is beginning to make sense for what could be even crazier reasons.
Contributed by Kathleen McAnear Smith, speaker and author of Parents on the Move and Beyond Broken Families. Kathleen divides her time between Florida, the UK and Italy and blogs at KathleenMcAnearSmith.com