Texas Tradition

Anyone living in Texas who is not a Native Texan can tell you that Texas is a unique place. It's no secret that many Texans take special pride in simply being born here. Texas soaps, cheese and dishes made into the shape of Texas are readily available at the 7-11 or HEB. You can even grill Texas shaped Bubba burgers on a Texas shaped grill. It doesn't matter if you were born in Houston or El Paso; Lubbock or San Antonio, you are a full-blooded Texan and always will be. Anyone else is a transplant if you've come to your senses and are now living here, or just plain unlucky or ignorant if you're not. There are also certain Texas traditions one is expected to participate in once living here in order to gain full acceptance. I don't advertise that I have yet to eat dinner at the Salt Lick, a venerable Austin institution. Nor have I applauded the sunset at the Oasis. Knowledge of these failures on my part might cost me more than one friend. We have been to Eeyore's Birthday Party which really should count as extra points in our favor.

By far my favorite Texas Tradition is the annual bluebonnet photo. Of course the flowers are pretty and it is nice to see all the wildflowers blooming in fields and along the roadside. What I love best about this tradition is that it takes place about the same time every year and has become a wonderful way to see how much Big E and Little A change from year to year. I love looking at Little A's first bluebonnet picture as a fat little baby laid on his white blanket among the blue flowers compared to the mischeivous boy we have to physically restrain from crushing through the patch like a steamroller. Or Big E's first bluebonnet pic shortly after we moved here when she was only 18 months old. I remember taking that picture in a churchyard along Ranch Road 12 leading into Wimberley as cars streamed into the small town for Wimberley Market Days.

While visiting Bubble Boy's relatives in Belgium a couple of years ago I noticed several photos of his aunt and uncle's three children on the wall. Each photograph showed his cousins costumed for Three Kings Day and spanned about 15 years. Seeing those small children grow into big kids and then young adults makes one appreciate how brief childhood really is. Now I'll have a wall like that some day and it makes me so happy.

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