I was once reading an article that had the nerve to call Texas the most arrogant state in America. The author of that article has apparently never been to Texas. With the exception of the businessmen in the big cities and everyone behind the wheel of a car, Texans are the sweetest, kindest, most down-to-earth people I've ever met. I think what the author of that article meant by "arrogant" was "patriotic."
For example, we have two nights of fireworks. Two. The town I live in always shoots off fireworks on July 3. They take a large park, hire a band (last year they had Three Dog Night, which I only knew of because VeggieTales once referenced them), and set up food trucks and kids' activities. The town next to us does fireworks on July 4, but it's a 20-minute drive there and attending both nights is the easiest thing in the world.
When we lived in Illinois, things were different. None of the cities we lived near threw parties like that. There were fireworks, of course. We would always drive to the lumber yard next to Arby's and watch the fireworks. They were amazing, or at least I thought so because I was little. But I never knew of a party. We wouldn't even get anything from Arby's. To this day, I've never had a meal at Arby's.
I'm not saying that I've been to every state, evaluated its patriotism, and judged Texas to be the best. Alaska comes close thanks to its bald eagle population. And I've been to Florida a couple of times, and they seem to appreciate their veterans. I'm just saying that the only thing most Texans complain about when it comes to Texas is the weather. And the mosquitos and the stickers and the condition of the roads, because there are potholes everywhere and everything is always under construction. But besides that, Texas is awesome.
Patriotism isn't just an American thing. My church had a weeklong event last week that was attended by literally thousands of people, with up to five thousand joining in online. There were people there from at least four states and three countries, including Scotland (yay!) and South Africa. I was speaking to the Scottish pastor who called his home country "the promised land" and hoped I could visit him there someday. I hope so, too, but I'm glad I live in a land where the metric system is a foreign language and we drive on the right side of the road.
Remember the four states I mentioned? Those states were Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Colorado. One evening, a pastor came onstage and asked, "How many Oklahomans do we have here?" There was cheering. Then, he asked, "Who's from Texas?" More cheering. We were competing like boys against girls at a summer camp to see who could cheer the loudest. Prove one state was better than the other. A person can be patriotic for their state every bit as much as they can be patriotic about their country.
I'm just glad that the Fourth of July is a great time of year to forget which state you're from, dress up in red, white, and blue, and be glad you're an American. It's also a great time to eat baked beans and watch Liberty's Kids. My first crush was from Liberty's Kids, but that's a story for another day.
What state do you live in, and what do you like best about it? What did you do this Fourth of July? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.