Now I’m off on tour, here in Texas where I lived the first twenty-two years of my life. Selling shrimp from a van on the side of the road, skateboarding half-pipes, sacking groceries, selling cookies from a bakery in the mall, playing in bands, studying several things at the University of North Texas, and finally leaving because of the heat. It wasn’t uncommon in the summer for the ground to get pan hot, the grass to dry out and grow prickly, and by July for people to not leave their air-conditioned homes unless it was necessary. Bracing themselves before walking out to their cars, sitting down in an antsy shuffle as they rolled down their windows and folded the visor that spread across their windshields, quickly turning the ignition and punching the buttons on the console to start the warm air. This summer they suffered a month-long stint of 100+ temps and zero rain. Fourth of July fireworks were banned, people were warned to not toss cigarettes out the window on the highway. A car spark on the side of the road could set off a field. As I rode from the airport to my parents’ house, I could see areas of blackened roadside. And now part of the state, outside of Austin, is burning, with hundreds of homes already lost. But naturally like Texans, they are pulling together and helping each other out, offering up homes to people who’ve lost their homes, with no questions asked and no “no thanks” taken. Amazing.