Texas, where I grew up, is a state big enough to hold as many contradictions in its inhabitants as in the landscape. Parts of it are breathtakingly beautiful; others are bone-dry and barren, making us all wonder how anything could even live there. Or why. The same holds true for the citizens of the Lone Star State and, thus, certain stereotypes have emerged about Texans over time. Some of them fit me to a tee; others, not so much. Texas is consistently thought of as a very conservative, right-wing, fundamentalist state. But that’s not me. I hail from the Molly Ivins/Ann Richards/Jim Hightower liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Why? Not because I’m a bleeding heart, necessarily, but because it makes economic sense to me that we should all want everyone to do well. President John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide should lift all boats,” and I agree with that in the most fundamental of ways. Indeed, I think we should even take it a step further and make sure everyone at least has a boat to be lifted by that elusive tide. And, no matter what anybody says, I know there’s a big, big difference between a hand out and a hand up. So, BLOOEY! There’s one stereotype shot down.
Texas is a very religious state. Indeed, I think my 1967 Sunset High School graduating class in Dallas spawned more Baptist ministers, per capita, than any graduating high school class in the history of Texas. For me? Well, the honest truth is that organized religion just really gets on my nerves; even disorganized religion irritates me. It seems our biggest worldwide fights/scandals/messes have always been over religion and I say it’s time to stop it. Therefore, if I have to choose between religion and spirituality, I’ll choose the latter every time. It’s not someone else’s dogma; it’s my own path, the one I am put here to follow. Your job is to follow yours.
Personally, I don’t need a middle man in order to have a relationship with my Creator, and I don’t need religious leaders judging my life or how I live it. I think our purpose here is to love each other and to do some good while we’re here, and there’s not a lot that’s complicated about that. To me, spending untold millions of dollars building mega-church after mega-church, rather than using those resources to help feed and clothe and educate the poor is a sure sign our priorities are out of whack, and I bet Jesus is still shaking his head over that one. You can disagree with me, but I don’t care. So, BLAMMO! Stereotype #2, buh-bye.
Moving to Oregon in 1988 was a life-changing choice for me, one I will never regret, even though the decision to leave my home state was often agonizing. I fell in love with the rivers and the trees and the sweetness of the Oregonians, and I found my life’s love here, too, a Canadian who has traveled the world, kayaked the oceans and rivers, and is perfectly at ease in a pup tent during a blizzard with a jar of peanut butter and a cup of tea. She lives light-heartedly on the earth, which is a good thing for me to learn, too.
There is also a pioneering spirit that Texans and Oregonians share, which appeals to me. When my ancestors were driving cattle across our family ranch in Texas, thousands of people were migrating across the entire country on the Oregon Trail – and many of them on foot, as well – to the lush green of this spectacular place called Oregon to start new lives and build new fortunes. I admire that kind of courage – to leave what’s familiar and strike out for the unknown, trusting that you’ll be shown the way and, if you pay attention, that signs will appear to validate the choices you’ve made. I could write a book about that – wait! I think I already did – THE SECOND COMING OF CURLY RED.
Many years ago, I wrote a limerick for all the people at my birthday party in Dallas, the last stanza of which made them all whoop for joy. It went like this:
WE’VE SOUGHT TRUTH AND MEANING IN ALL THAT WE DO,
YOU’VE COUNTED ON ME AND I’VE COUNTED ON YOU.
AND I’LL STILL SIGN MY NAME NEXT TO YOURS, WHERE THE X IS.
MY HOME’S IN THE NORTHWEST, BUT MY ROOTS ARE IN TEXAS.
Being a Texan is part of who I am, and part of who I will always be. It is as glommed onto me as a wet saddle blanket, braided like a quirt into my DNA. But I love this rare and wondrous place called Oregon, even with all its dampness and fog, even on those days when I wonder if hell is really just a place where the sun don’t shine. There’s a saying in Portland, especially in the winter: IF YOU CAN SEE THE MOUNTAIN, IT’S GONNA RAIN; IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE MOUNTAIN, IT’S RAINING. Still, it is just so lovely here, so magical, so very much a reminder of the brave souls who risked everything to get here, just like the people who risked it all to make Texas their home. And, because of all that, it’s easier to understand now why I describe myself as a Texan who fell in love with Oregon, and an Oregonian who’ll always be just a little bit in love with Texas. I’m a lucky girl.
Oh, and for all of my ultra-conservative friends who think a screaming liberal like me is too much of a pansy to know how to shoot a gun, I’ll give you a ten second head start, Bubba. I suggest you run in a zig-zag pattern. Good luck.
Love the new website! Looking good, just like you, Girl!
love ya Peggy-you are special
Jody, you will always be in my heart. Love you and the web site.
Congratulations on this fantastic new website Jody, It looks awesome.
Wishing you much success here. Will share it on my FB page.
Jody is my favorite cousin 4 sure!
Jody this makes me so happy to know I can read your wonderful and humorous musings any time I want!!
Oh, Jody, don’t you just love this blog stuff?! You can get right to your readers instantly, any time you like. Bypass the editors, the lag time, bypass it all and go straight to the heart of those who love your wit, wisdom, and well-composed assaults on the stupid b**tards of the world!
[This comment was edited by the moderator changing the spelling but not the meaning of one word!]
Love the top photo! The proud Western writer and storyteller.
I LOVE your new website and look forward to how your blog evolves. I am a fan of every one of your books and am ever waiting for another! Sending much love.
I was birthed in Lubbock, born in Argentina, and now committed to learning “Okie” until my path leads me elsewhere. My great grandmother was an Indian here, so I guess I have returned to roots I never knew. You may have the same ancestral connection since you keep coming here so often and transferring funds from one state to another. Hmmm…. I think that requires some delving.
I hope you go viral, and I mean that in the internet intent. 🙂 Everyone needs a little bit’o jody to start the day off right.
Keep us laughing! Keep us thinking! Keep us using our hearts! The power of one….
Jody, I’m so very proud of you and all of your accomplishments. I always love reading
anything you write (I still carry a letter you wrote me from back in the 70’s). Curly Red
was an amazing little book and your web-site wonderful as well. Love you always,
Your sis, Jill
Love you, Jody!
Love you, too, Peg.
Jody as you know I had loads of fun working with you. I can’t wait to see the final product… come on Eric, Ha Haa.
I really look forward to keeping you in my circle of friends, so many thoughts, ideas and believes that we share. Most important is a zest for life and a strong affection for personal responsibility.
Good luck in everything that you do and I wish you only the best…
David A. Koop, bestselling author/coach/speaker
Taking this with me Jody, thanks!
“…to leave what’s familiar and strike out for the unknown, trusting that you’ll be shown the way and, if you pay attention, that signs will appear to validate the choices you’ve made….”
Emily: That’s EXACTLY what you are doing and I have every faith that you will do so well in Israel. NPR, the Middle East, and all the rest of us will be better off because of your presence there. Rock on, darlin’! Or, as my Texas Jewish friends always say: MUSCLE TOUGH!
You’ve created a delightful experience for your friends, fans and future
supporters! Congratulations on a terrific website! From your friend, fan
Loads of love,
I love the new word you invented, Jody! I see you trademarked it — I hope there’s a way to make some money on it. Bloggonit is a great place to read, write, enjoy your humor and your take on the world. I miss you and think of you often. Remember when you told me you’d use a rat’s tooth to scratch out a story on a cave wall if that was all you had available?! Those poor rats . . . thank goodness you’ve gone digital. You are my darling forever even if Steph (and Shari) have first dibs.
Now splain this to me, Lucy — what the heck are HTML tags and attributes and why are they listed down here?
B.J., my forever friend…I don’t know the answer to that question. I think it’s a code for one of my friends in the Witness Protection Program (or, as we like to call it, THE BIG WOOP!)
You. Are. Awesome!!!!!! 🙂
I love your new smoke signals! Did you know I was conceived in Texas…true story!
Love ya….mean it. Nance
Nance: I KNEW you had Texas in you somewhere! Love you. Meant it.
Well, I meant it, and I mean it, too!
Homerun! Once again you have arranged words in the most eloquent of ways to drive home an important point. Being an almost-Texan (I grew up just a few miles north of the state line) I echo your sentiments whole heartedly. Thanks for being a hero for us all my friend.
Oh Jode, here you go again! This is going to be fun! I have been reading what many of our friends have written. Shout out to all of you! I laughed at what B.J. wrote about the rat’s tooth and cave walls. That is certainly YOU! You are always in my heart. I love you! I mean it! I’m outta here!
Ms. Seay, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! It also describes me to a “T” (for Texas?) with only two exceptions: I came here in ’89, and I describe myself as an Oregonian who was born and raised in Texas.
Keep up the good work,
(Lake Highlands HS ’72)
Been thinking about you. Hope you and Stephanie will come to Ocean Shores for a visit.
Not Oregon and not Texas, just home.
Love you, Diana and Millie
I have been watching you on OPB for some time now, and am finally checking you out on the Internet. I find you inspirational and interesting. I’m happy to know you are happy (sigh) so guess I’ll have to tuck my fun over-50 crush away (another sigh). Oregon is lucky to have you!
Gosh, Gelaine, what a nice thing to say! Glad you are enjoying BACK PAGE. It is our honor to bring such a fine group of talented and dedicated people to our viewers here in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned – you just never know who you might see in the hot seat each week. Best, Jody Seay
Nailed it, honey! BLAM!!
So nice to have you back in our lives. You are as amazing as ever. I love your website and am looking forward to reading your books. If you ever get to Divide, Colorado please stop by and see us. We live on a mountain with deer for pets. They like to be fed by hand and their heads rubbed. I always wanted to sit by a fire, bake bread and watch my teeth fall out. We now share a single tooth between us. Love you
Nan Jones suggested friend-ing you, which I did and so now am receiving, enjoying & agreeing with your posts on FB. I do want to let you know that as gorgeous & adorable & hysterically funny as Nan is, she also is a great fibber. For instance about that single tooth she & Leota are sharing? Well, that’s a Texas Tall Tale because I saw Leota at her son’s engagement party on the 4th of July and her million-dollar smile is as dazzling as ever. In fact, on that hotel roof-top with a 360 degree view, people were complaining that her flashing smile was interfering with their enjoyment of the fireworks going off all over the L.A. area… But the stuff about living on a mountain and petting the deer –that’s all true!
( the counter registered 59,832–less than a couple hundred to go!) Good luck with all your endeavors.
ok, jody. rolled your clock from 59854, to 59999 because I know we all, like Blanche du Bois, “…have always counted on the kindness of strangers.” 😉 😉
I left the joy of the one click to hit 60000 to someone you actually know so that a tiny little joy will come in the morning for you.
(time here in sunny california is 9:45pm.)
Ah, Jody, you never fail to make me laugh and cry at the same time … you are such a good writer.
Love you !
Jody, LOVE your website! You have always had the ability to have me laughing one minute and crying the next. I don’t know where to click to count as a fan, but I am! xoxoxo
OMG, Jody, I stumbled upon this website purely by accident in the weirdest of ways (a story for another time).
I just want to say you are still so awesome with words! But I think I knew that with the first words you said to me “What the HELL are you doing sliding?” That was the umpire words you used at Maple Park so long ago.
I’m glad to see that you are enjoying your life in Oregon!
I love your posts, as well as the women in your life. Sarah’s photo is beautiful. Hope we get to meet someday.
Jody, what a blessing it’s been to reconnect after all these years. KZEW was the best time of my life, with you, being the biggest part. We had a lot of fun. I wish we could roll back the clock just one more time. Love You, and, continued success with your writing, screen plays, and your show, Back Stage.
My very best friend ever. Jody, he broke the mold my dear friend. And I’m so glad he did.
we love ya
The happiest of holidays! Love you website!
I HAVE PAIN IN MY RIGHT FOOT I AM DIETBITIC AND HAVE PRESCRITION SANDALS BUT THE PAIN IS STILL THE SAME AND SOMETIMES FEELS WORSE! MY WIFE IS ALSO IN HORRIBLE PAIN CONSTANDLY! IF YOU FEEL THERE IS HELP PLEASE LET IS KNOW? BEST REGARDS , DEE ELLIS AND SANDRA ELLIS . MY WIFE IS 66 AND I AM 68.
Just stumbled through several web pages about rolfing which led me to here. It says that you practice in Tulsa? I’m very interested in this treatment and you’re just my kind of person (interesting, liberal, bold, funny). Please let me know if you are in tulsa and if available?
I Just Found This Site!!! Always Enjoyed Knowing You In High School!!! You Were So Real!!! Looking Forward to seeing You At The 50th Reunion!!!
You are my hero! Love you and your writings. Keep entertaining us!
Sure wish I had spent more time with you in high school when I had the chance. Could have learned a lot more, a lot earlier. I enjoy your books and your postings.
What a delight you are. I look forward to your FB posts every day.
I’m your millionth person!!!
Love your website. Great pics showing what us Texas girls are like. God bless TEXAS and God bless you.❤
Love your website. God bless TEXAS girls and God bless you.
Native Texas Girl
I feel privileged to have known you for so long. Fun times at good ole Zangs Bowl.