Lone Star Lessons: Things I’ve Learned Living in Central Texas

About four years ago, I landed in Texas. In that time I have learned a lot. Here are some choice lessons that I have learned living in the Lone Star State.

Disclaimer: The following are observations from my time living in the state of Texas. These are my observations and certainly are not representative of everyone. You can accuse me of trying to stereotype the people of Texas. That’s fine. Just remember, I did live in Texas for four years, so I do know how to shoot a firearm. Of course, you might be safe because I never really mastered how to fire one in the right direction.

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If you ask a Texas girl to two-step and you can’t two-step, she will not find this funny or cute. She will find this maddening. You’re likely to end up with a drink in your face, a fingernail in your eyeball or a snip toed boot in your crotch. They take this seriously.

At freshman orientation at colleges across Texas, they hand out t-shirts that read: “The Road Goes on Forever, and the Party Never Ends.” Godfather Robert Earl Keen dropping wisdom on the youth.

Recycling means turning your beer can into a spit cup.

Willie Nelson might not live forever, but Willie Nelson will definitely live forever.

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People who live in Austin adore Austin. People who don’t live in Austin despise Austin.

Everyone must experience a Saturday night on Austin’s Sixth Street one time in their life. One time is enough.

If you are planning on moving to Austin for work, plan on taking on a second full-time job: sitting in traffic.

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Whataburger. I repeat, Whataburger.

A bale of hay is really heavy. I don’t know if Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan or Kenny Chesney has ever picked one of those things up, but man, that’s not fun to do. Toss hay bales for half a day and you will be inclined to find creative ways to improve your resume.

No one thinks a tractor’s sexy. No one!

People take the game warden more seriously than the sheriff.

Second-hand sheet metal can be used to make anything: a deer blind, a barn, a windmill, a house, a nuclear power plant.

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If you put on a cowboy’s hat you are obligated to go home with him, just fair warning.

“Higher up, closer to God. Higher the truck, closer to heaven…YEE-YEE” – Earl Dibbles, Jr.

Real men always carry a pocket knife. Really crazy men always carry a hunting knife.

There is a real sport called Wild Cow Milking: Cowboys head and heel a cow, and then a different cowboy has to milk a set amount of the cow’s milk into a bottle and then proceed to run it to the finish line. It’s wild…hence, Wild Cow Milking.

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You must travel to Gruene Hall. It’s like a Texas mecca. Eat some ribs at The Gristmill and then head through that screen door. You won’t be disappointed.

I have shaken the hands of US soldiers who survived despite the life-threatening injuries they suffered fighting in America’s War on Terror. I will never know that amount of courage, bravery and sacrifice. Batman, Superman, Michael Jordan and Taylor Swift aren’t heroes. Those men are HEROES.

Horse people spend more money on their horses than parents do on their children. If you are going to marry a horse person, “holla’ ‘we want pre-nup.’” Make sure you’re not paying for it.

You have amassed a collection of koozies, but every time you need a koozie, you will be unable to find one.

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Calcutta isn’t just a city in India. It’s also a gathering of people who bet on cowboys before a rodeo. Also, a mugging is a roping event, not just a description of felonious behavior.

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When your buddy hoists you and a homemade deer blind up on a tractor scoop 20 feet in the air to push said homemade deer blind onto a deer stand, your life with undoubtedly flash before your eyes.

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I guarantee you can cook a wild hog, which you helped harvest, over an open flame in a homemade hay feeder, and then eat it. I can’t guarantee you will wake up feeling great the next morning.

SXSW 1The best part of SXSW is not at SXSW; it’s what’s happening around SXSW.

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Whether or not my niece is actually the cutest child of all time is irrelevant; she is.

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Every neighborhood deserves a butcher shop that sells quality cuts of meat and also processes deer meat. It should be a freedom provided in the Constitution.

If a cowboy doesn’t own a gun that was made before 1970, he’s not a real cowboy.

Falling out of an RTV hurts…even if it’s not moving.
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At the West of Guadalupe Open, the hazards are barbed wire and cows—t. Tread carefully.

This place is filled with great people, who work hard and love to enjoy life. It’s filled with strangers, only because they haven’t met you yet. It is filled with my family, friends I now call my family and memories I will cherish forever. It has become a place I now call home.

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