Saturday, June 16, 2012

If you don't like the weather, wait a minute.

Late spring sits on North Texas warm, wet and heavy. Sometimes the sky is postcard blue, other times dull and benign.

Sometimes it's black as dread and just as still.

Sometimes multi-streaked lightning bolts rifle baseball-size hailstones at us. Birds are struck dead in flight by wondrous ice ball cannonade crashing through windshields and 90 degree heat.

Sometimes funnel clouds move around like giant old men shuffling aimlessly through corn fields oblivious to the commotion they cause.

All these times will occur in a single day. Excitement is quite literally in the air.

We check the weather radar before going to bed and then sleep warily, warning gadgets next to our heads.

A few hours later it begins again. Peacefully. Quiet with promise, and just a tiny smirk.

© 2012 DL WILLIAMS. All rights reserved.

The Texas Way

I’ve lived in Texas for almost three months now and it’s true what they say, Texans are friendly.

Total strangers strike up conversations with Carolann and me everywhere we go. This is a sharp contrast to living in California where strangers don’t generally speak to each other except rarely and briefly to request and impart some specific information such as directions to a particular street. These exchanges are always short and businesslike. They rarely blossom into conversation.

Texans don’t need any such pretense to launch into idle and often very personal chit-chat. You can be standing in a line at the supermarket and suddenly find yourself swapping family secrets with three or four people, all of you strangers to each other. By the time you leave the checkstand you’ve exchanged names and maybe pie recipes.

Texans also have a great and dry sense of humor, intentional or not.

I had only been here a couple of weeks when I went for a haircut and mentioned all of this to the very young woman cutting my hair.

“I really like Texas and the people I’ve met here,” I told her.

As she snipped around the edges of my head she gave me the following words of greenhorn wisdom in a Texas accent so thick and sweet you could have poured it on a waffle:

“People say Texans are friendly,” she began, “and it’s true, we are friendly.”

“But,” she continued with no hint of humor, ”we expect y’all to take care of your own bidness. Texans will give you the shirt off their backs or a meal and bed at the drop of a hat but if ya’ll step into the street without lookin’ we will run you over!”

© D.L. Williams 2012

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