Chas and I grew up in a very small East Texas town. By small town, I mean one red light (now there are two!) and not even a Dairy Queen. I graduated with just over 50 kids, and when I sat in my first engineering lecture at Texas A&M, I realized there were more people in that one class than my entire school of K—12. It was an idyllic place to grow up, and I loved everything about it!
A tiny blip on the map, my hometown is straight out of central casting for “Friday Night Lights.” I’m pretty sure I never missed a Friday night football game from the time I started kindergarten until I graduated. Not many people did. I was a cheerleader every year beginning in fourth grade for Pee Wee Football and finishing up my senior year for varsity. We wore mums as big as our heads at homecoming, and in October, everyone still gets out of school for a day to celebrate the Yamboree. Yes, there is a sweet potato festival in East Texas, complete with a carnival, parade, and barn dance! And of course a coronation ceremony for the incoming Yam Queen!
All of my teachers taught my sister before me, and there were always comparisons. Fortunately, aside from cheerleading, our interests were different, so I didn’t have to worry too much about living up to her! While Chas was into theater and performing, I was the shy and reserved younger sister competing on the debate and math teams. That’s right, I was a MATHLETE, and I loved it! (I’m the mom who secretly can’t wait until my kids are old enough for algebra homework!) Funny story to go along with that fact: I still have the calculator I used in my high school math competitions – it still works like a charm and I have never changed the battery!
It wouldn’t be a complete country song without mentioning dogs. My parents both have a huge soft spot for any and all animals, and not a stray comes by that doesn’t get a food and water bowl at their house. This inevitably turns into a new “pet,” and at times, there have been almost too many dogs to count hanging around the yard. Once when I was in middle school, a group of my friends came back from lunch doubled over laughing because they had just seen my dad at the (one) red light with a truck full of dogs. He had about five hounds in the back of his pickup, and I think he sat through a couple of cycles of the light just to give everyone a little howling show! I adore this story now, but just imagine my horror at age thirteen! I have just one dog, but he has the personality of about three. Casey turned eleven in December, and I barely remember life before him!
My hometown has a most special place in my heart. My parents still live in the same house, and I look forward to each visit home. I am still close to many of my high school friends, and when I get to hang out with them, it’s like no time has passed. The sounds and smells of the country remain the same, and we can sit on the porch all night long laughing at old stories like it all happened yesterday. It’s true you can take the girl out of the country, but a large part of the country will always stay with me!
When I spotted this Sol Angeles sweatshirt featuring the classic Journey lyrics, I knew it would become a staple in my wardrobe. If you, however, were reared in a city with multiple traffic lights and fast food establishments, this label has several other options that are just as cute!
Sweatshirt: Sol Angeles, sold out (love the Nirvana lyrics here, other similar shirts here and here) | Jeans: Rebecca Minkoff | Boots: Vintage (here for similar) | Earrings: ASOS, sold out (here, here, and here for similar and here for super cool splurge) | Bracelet: From Mexico (here and here for similar) | Ring: here for similar