Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's happening again. The rodeo week is quickly approaching, and I'm really feeling like a Texan.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I went to see Thomas and his whole school perform Texas songs. Every child in second grade dressed as a famous Texan. I was really pulling for Willie Nelson, but Thomas chose George W. Bush. So much for living vicariously through my son. He had a great costume--W. on the ranch. Nice windbreaker with a Presidential seal, cowboy hat, boots, dress pants, dress shirt, tie, and megaphone.

Each child got a chance to say who they were. Thomas was one of several W's in the crowd. There were also three Willie Nelsons. One of Thomas' friends, Max, dressed up as Larry McMurtry. He looked just like McMurtry did at the Oscars, and his parents spray painted a gold Power Ranger action figure to look like an Oscar statuette.

Just before the parade of Texas celebrities, the kids sang Texas songs. Now, the only Ohio song we ever played in band (I was never in the choir) was "Hang On Sloopy", which really isn't about Ohio. So I was blown away by the gusto with which these kids sang about Texas. They wrapped up the set with a rousing reindition of "I've Got Spurs that Jingle, Jangle, Jingle." I began to feel this creeping sense of Texas pride. Oh. My. Were those tears welling up in my eyes? Were they tears of love for this adopted home state? Or was I just watching my son and being the proud mom? Or both?

I think it was both, because this week, everywhere I go, there are cowboys. Cowboys probably in for the rodeo. You can hear their spurs jingle, jangle, jingling all over the place. And I have to pinch myself. I'm really in Texas. Where cowboys live and work. Where I have to dodge tumbleweed on the highway. Where wild pigs and armadillos run free.

I've been here nearly three full years now. I love Ohio. I will always be a Buckeye fan. I will always be a Browns fan. I will always be an Indians fan. I love Lake Erie. I love Cleveland, and rock and roll, blue collar workers, and people with very ethnic names. But this state has really captured me and tugged at my heart, like it has so many others.
Now, who wants some brisket?

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