A blizzard tore through the Texas Panhandle this weekend. Wipe that disbelieving frown off your face; yes, it snows in Texas. I awoke on my second morning home for the holidays to see white gusts blowing sideways outside my window. We were house-bound, and the snow rendered the roads so impassable that an 80-car pileup slammed into I-40, just outside Amarillo (which is about 120 miles south of my hometown, Perryton). On the rural plains, there are no trees, no tall buildings, no blips on the flat surface of the landscape to break the winds and provide a buffer from the onslaught of winter weather. Not only does it snow in Texas, but the conditions snowstorms bring are fiercer and more violent here than I’ve ever experienced in my going-on-8-years in the Northeast.
With not much to keep me occupied (I taught my sister to play Scrabble, started a jigsaw puzzle, and read four cookbooks cover to cover) I began to think about the misconceptions that plague my not-so-humble home state. As travelers, we encounter misconceptions (others’ and our own) with the regularity of delayed flights; this single phenomenon encompasses one of travel’s greatest challenges and the root of its greatest rewards. And it’s because we understand this that it’s our duty to dispel misconceptions wherever and whenever we are qualified. As a born-and-bred Texan who is actually quite fond of her home state, but whose first impulse upon telling others of her origins is to assure them that she isn’t, I think it’s high time to set the record straight. Please take a moment to get the cowboys-and-guns jokes out of your system. Now, coming to you straight from the Lone Star State, here are the five things every Texan wishes others understood.
Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member bmwhd