You can’t walk out of a Texas Denny’s restaurant without having drank at least a half gallon of sweet tea. The waitresses never leave the kitchen without a freshly made pitcher and top up your glass without asking. This is ‘southern hospitality’, generous and free. No one attributes the tea consumption to the heat, that custom passed generations ago, constant hydration is as natural as breathing here in the southern states where the temperatures average 95 degree’s and  most days are  hotter. By the way, my favorite tea is now raspberry….y’all.

The easy going rapport between people is extended to travelers. I’ve had a transition of acceptance such as I have rarely experienced elsewhere. Falling into conversations of a personal nature is a given, people are curious and giving of themselves. Coming from Canada where conversation among strangers unerringly begin and end with pretense, purchases, possessions and position this natural flow and exchange of genuine interest is refreshing. No one I have talked to so far has reminded me that there is a class war going on between haves and have not’s.

One thing everyone agrees on in Texas is the 4th of July celebration. Today is bigger than Christmas. Today has nothing to do with credit cards or shopping. This is a day for family and friends that will end with an explosion of fireworks to celebrate the mythic creation of a great nation. The local shopping outlets have been busy piling up mountains of charcoal briquets and the accoutrements of the back yard barbeque.

If you don’t already have enough flags of state and nation they are giving them away free at the Wall Mart. I have made a point of asking everyone a simple question..”What are you doing on the 4th?” The reply has been consistent and without hesitation. “I think I’ll  do a little grillin’…”

So, tonight I will step out  to  one of the sights from where the fireworks will explode at sundown. I’m sure we can expect music, spontaneity  and back slapping fun, the way congenial Texans have made a habit of displaying with anyone and everyone. The cowboy hats and boots have started to look pretty darned cool. I wonder if it’s something they’re putting in the raspberry tea? Happy Independence Day……Y’all.

(to be cont’d)

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