Texas is big. I mean, really big! It’s the second largest state in the United States, both geographically (behind Alaska) and in population (behind California). It’s about twice the size of Japan and Germany, and a bit bigger than France. It’s close to 900 miles from El Paso in the west to Orange in the east– less than El Paso to San Diego on the Pacific coast, or Orange to Jacksonville, Florida on the Atlantic coast. (Both are close to 750 miles.)
Auntie Em’s house is a bit north of Beaumont, and 50 miles from the Louisiana border in Orange. We are near the Big Thicket National Preserve, which is a remarkable phenomenon– Wikipedia says it well:
Today the Big Thicket retains numerous species, and has been described as the “biological crossroads of North America” or the “American Ark”. The area contains over 100 species of trees and shrubs, but is dominated by Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris), which reaches heights of over 30 metres (98 ft). The National Park Service lists more than one thousand species of flowering plants and fernsthat can also be found in the thicket, including 20 orchids and four types of carnivorous plants. Animal life includes 300 species of migratory and nesting birds, many endangered or threatened. The thicket is also home to numerousreptile species, including all four groups of North American venomous snakes and alligators.
But there are other distinct geographical areas in Texas- the Hill Country, with its beautiful wild flowers…
the Panhandle, right in Tornado Alley…
and the West…
Texas has a very colorful history- we have been Spanish, French, Mexican, Confederate, United States, and of course, our own independent country. (Hence the “Six Flags over Texas” theme parks)
We’ve got famous Texas shrines — The Alamo being probably the most well-known.
We have our own “national” heroes– Sam Houston is my personal favorite, but also Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, among MANY others…
(If you don’t know Sam, check him out! He was a Congressman from Tennessee, a Senator, Governor, and President of Texas, plus a whole lot more!)
We like lots of things in the unique shape of our state..
food….. (When we stay at an out-of-state hotel, I’m always surprised to see a ROUND waffle maker!)
Some really hard-core Texas lovers build pools and homes to honor Texas!
“Texas” comes from the earlier “native Texans” (We all claim that title!), whose word for “friend” gave us our name. I’ve heard that some non-Texans think that our Texas pride makes us obnoxious, but we’re too friendly to notice…
Texas bumperstickers say a lot about the Texas mindset:
and my favorite:
So if you’re not fortunate enough to live in Texas, come visit! Practice saying Y’ALL, and you can be an honorary (or we sometimes say “ornery”) Texan!
Jewelry, dishes , waffles Quotes, history