They say that Virginia is the mother of Texas. We never knew who the father was, but we kinda suspected Tennessee.
- Tex Ritter
In the early 19th century, the initials “GTT” sometimes were found carved in haste on the doors of homes abandoned by folks fleeing unpaid debts and other life problems. The three letters were shorthand for “Gone to Texas,” the frontier sanctuary of choice for folks in these kinds of unfixable fixes. The three letters have found a place in our state’s lore and legend.
You know you’re in Texas when you come across a headline like “Man Allegedly Beat Woman With Frozen Armadillo” and it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. It’s not a Floriduh kind of stupid, where it’s clear that no brain cells were harmed…because no actual thought process occurred. Texas isn’t immune to that, of course, but here’s it’s more of a “WTF??” kind of vibe. It’s just in many ways a deeply strange and unbalanced- and highly entertaining- place. The late Molly Ivins built an entire career out of lampooning Texas- particularly Lone Star State politics- and she never lacked for material. This is a place that’s…well, just odd. I suppose if you lived through a few Texas summers, it follows that you might be short a few brains cells just from being overcooked. Crazy from the heat? Yeah, that would explain a lot.
Here it is, March 4th, and the high here in Austin is supposed to be 86 degrees. As I’m writing this, it’s 32 degrees in Portland. ‘Nuff said, eh? I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Texas winters. If I’d had the foresight to bring a pair of shorts with me, I could go native. In March. For someone used to a Pacific Northwest winter, it’s pretty cool. Living in Portland, it’s easy to forget the effect that sunshine can have on your frame of mind…bacause El Sol so seldom makes an appearance. During my first winter in Houston, it took awhile to figure out that the reason for my improved state of mind was due to the fact that there was a lot more sunshine than I’d ever experienced in a Portland winter. Life feels pretty good here.
Today’s agenda includes a 2.5 hour tour of Austin…on Segways…because, well, why not?
Now where in the Hell did I put that sunscreen??