I recently changed my FB banner. I know, I know. FB is a touchy subject these days, but in order to connect with readers I keep an active FB presence. But I digress…

I chose a Texas bluebonnet picture. It’s the one you see on the left. When I think of Texas, I think of bluebonnets. I missed them when I lived away.

Famous Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) Wildflowers.

Texas is bluebonnets. People also associate the state with Lone Star beer, cowboys and rodeos, astronauts and space centers, cattle and the Texas Medical Center.

Texas is a very diverse place. Same thing’s true of a Texan and I’m not talking about the football team players.

We all have a picture in our heads when we think of a native Texan. Usually it’s someone with a cowboy hat and boots, but there’s more to a Texan and even Texans who never wear cowboy boots.

Hurricane Harvey gave images of real Texans and not many of them wore Stetsons. The folks in those pictures looked like anyone else helping their families and neighbors when hard times strike.

Texas has its own language, Texas-speak. A whole slew of vocabulary that can have folks scratching their heads. I just used a Texas-ism—slew, meaning a whole bunch.

We’re always y’all-ing and gonna and fixin’ when we talk. Non-Texans do sometimes need an interpreter.

When I’m lazy in my writing, Texas talk naturally flow into my first drafts even if my characters are not Texans. My critique partners and editors often catch phrases like:

come hell or high water – proceeding, regardless of the problems, obstacles, etc.

conniptions – get upset and raise a ruckus

hissy fit – kin to a conniption; a state of extreme agitation and not a pretty thing to see

hot as tin toilet seat – in Texas we know that’s HOT

screaming bloody murder or banshee scream – not a pleasant sound at all

bone tired – yep, been there

slow as molasses – visualize molasses syrup oozing out of the jar

keep your pants on – meaning not what you think, but to be patient!

If you’ve ever been to Texas, you know it’s a special place. You love it or hate it. Seems there’s no in between.

But there’s something in a natural born Texan’s blood that tends to bring them back to Texas no matter how far or how long they wander. My daddy always said I’d come home and I did.