Friday 13: Things I Love About the South

13 days and counting until the big move. I will be heading home. Not to my place of birth or childhood home, although those will be within a morning’s drive. I will be heading south. I love moving and I love living in different areas of America and the world, but when the time comes to head to the South there’s a feeling of comfort and calmness. I’ve never lived in the city we’re moving to, but I know I’m going to feel at home. It was the same feeling I got when we moved from New Mexico to Virginia. I had stepped foot in Virginia once, maybe twice, before we moved there. But as soon as our truck pulled into the driveway of our new house I felt like I was where I was meant to be–not necessarily in that part of Virginia, but in the South in general.

 

I didn’t know what I would be missing when I first moved away. I couldn’t wait to leave the small town where I grew up to head to Atlanta to college. Atlanta was awesome and I didn’t mind the busyness. From Atlanta I went to Germany and didn’t realize what I had left. Germany is just as green as Georgia and I was fascinated with the culture. It wasn’t until I headed to New Mexico that I realized what I had taken for granted all of my life. The West is just different, in looks and feel. Now that I’m in the Midwest I feel the same. It’s just different. People are nice here and the customer service is much better than in our area of VA, but I think it’s because we’re in a small town and they haven’t learned how to be rude yet. 

 

The desire to go home is fairly strong. I’ll give you 13 reasons why. Naturally there are many more, but I’m playing along with the theme of the day.

Friday 13: 13 Things I Love About the South

  1.  Sweet Tea There’s a reason why it’s first on the list. Because no one outside of the South knows how to make it properly. Tea is not tea unless it is chilled and loaded with sugar.
  2. Barbecue Many regions boast great barbecue, and Kansas City has some pretty good meat, but where else in the country do you have barbecue restaurants lining the streets like churches and car dealerships? Only in the South people.
  3. Moon Pies A marshmallow type filling sandwiched between some type of cake substance all dipped in a chocolate coating. Yum. Apparently fish like to eat these, you’ll have to ask Du about that.
  4. The rest of the food Fried chicken, black-eyed peas, peach cobbler, fried green tomatoes, seafood, “mashed” potatoes, and on and on. I, however, HATE grits and I can’t say that enough. Why someone decided to mash up corn kernels and call it good I don’t know. God did not mean for this to happen. I’m sorry if I’m offending some of you, but they are just nasty. And I’m probably the only southerner that will ever admit to that. I did try them last year to see if my taste buds had changed. They did not. And so grits will not be on the menu at our house, even while we are in the South.
  5. The accent(s) There is more than one southern accent. You have two main types: the genteel type and the redneck type. We’ll see which one I pick up. I tend to pick up whatever accent I’m around most. That will be hilarious if we ever move to England or Australia. When I left Warner Robins to go to college in Atlanta I must have left my accent behind as well. Even in Germany people couldn’t tell I was from Georgia, I had lost it so quickly. I pick it back up when I’m on the phone with my mom or the friend I’ve had for the longest time (not my oldest friend), Angie. In Alabama both types of accents are heard. We’ll see which one I pick up.
  6. Humidity Did I just write that? Yes I did. I can’t stand the dry air. Bloody buggers are not my idea of fun. My skin and hair will go through their own Hell readjusting to the southern humidity, but I can’t wait. I know, ask me if I love it in August when I’m breathing water and the heat waves bouncing off cars are visibly shaking the water particles in the air.
  7. Gentility There’s a thing called Southern Hospitality that you may have heard of. It’s alive and well in the South. In the smaller cities at least. There is racism, reverse racism and poor customer service in areas, but for the most part people are nice. They wave at you when they drive by. You wave at them when they drive by. You look your cashier in the eye and have an actual conversation about how your days are going.
  8. Atlanta I love Atlanta. It’s a big city with a southern heart. It’s green. It’s got culture. It’s got history (and Du has a piece of it. Leigh Anne ask Du about Margaret Mitchell’s house. We will not divulge secrets in the blogosphere.) It’s got attitude. What’s not to love. Except the traffic and crime.
  9. Other southern cities  Charleston, Savannah, Richmond, Macon, and on and on. They each have their own atmosphere and they’re each unique. The history, the people, the food, the sites, the sounds, the music, the antiques…ahhhh.
  10. The beaches Nothing beats the perfectly white, perfectly smooth sand of the beaches of the Gulf Coast. I remember summer after summer of burning my feet while making a mad dash from the car straight to the ocean. The Atlantic beaches are made out of bits of shell (especially as you go farther south). This hurts to walk on. Can’t speak to the Pacific beaches, but they can’t beat the pure white Pensacola beaches.
  11. Georgia Tech Football Go Jackets! Not what you’d normally hear from a Southerner. Of course, I could be like a sheep and blindly root for the Dawgs like you’re taught to do as soon as you’re born here, but where’s the individuality and self-respect in that? (and I’m not just picking on Lula. If my aunt, uncle and cousins knew I was writing this they’d probably disown me). Or, I could be a lover of all things Bama, like my dear brother who never even went to the school. But Bear Bryant’s a legend down there and there is something cool about houndstooth (our uncle did play for Bear Bryant). I’d much rather root for a yellow jacket than a hugea$$ elephant or a drooling dog about to die of a doggie heart attack. Oh, them’s fightin’ words, I know.
  12. The music   And I’m not talking about Elvis. Don’t make me vomit. (Can you tell I’m not a typical Southern Girl? I don’t care for Gone With The Wind either. Boooring). I’m talking about Southern Rock. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Charlie Daniels… You know, where in the middle of the song they just break out into this guitar playing (or a fiddle) that will make you jump up and start gyrating, clapping, moving your feet, and you’re not even drunk. Country music’s ok too. Nothing beats Sweet Home Alabama or The Devil Went Down To Georgia and I’ll be singing both daily for about a year.
  13. Family Saving the best for last. Although I have relatives in Indiana and Arkansas, most of my kin is in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. I’ll be less than a day’s drive from all of them. And just a flight away from the others that we’ll be farther from.

 

How about you? What do you love about the area of the country you live in?

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7 thoughts on “Friday 13: Things I Love About the South

  1. Angie says:

    Thank you for the longest, not oldest part. I had to laugh. Andrew says my accent only comes out when I’m talking with my family or you. Seems like we can only converse in the language we know and love at heart, Southern.

  2. 1. i’m a ramblin wreck from georgia tech, and not even close to an engineer. to hell with georgia! actually, when it comes to sports, i couldn’t care less who wins what. i think that my relatives would actually prefer that i root for georgia tech than display my usual apathy. that said, it is nice to hear someone mention my alma mater rather than the geriatric drooling dog.

    2. we’ll have a glass of sweet tea waiting for you’d like to swing by to visit before or after a six flags visit.

  3. YES to all of these. Except for one. And you know just which one I’m speaking of, so I’ll not go into it here. Oh, I will say that I’m breaking up with Kelly. Right before my geriatric dog eats that pitiful, puny little yellow & black insect for lunch.

    DO NOT GET ME STARTED. I will win this war.

    Hooray for the south–and hooray that you’ll be close to us once again. Let’s go get some tea and mashed ‘taters…

  4. Well now I’m officially homesick! All it takes is a move out west to realize what you’re missing in the south. I mean…. I am the one who is super excited to be moving to a house with grass after all! And I will agree with all of your 13, with the exception of Ga Tech. Count me as one who loves the geriatric dog. 🙂 Oh… and I don’t like grits either…. never have, never will.

    There are actually a lot of southern transplants out here…. it’s sad when we’re invited to someone’s house and I ask the obligatory “what can I bring” and I’m immediately told, without skipping a beat… “sweet tea!”. I think there are 3 restaurants out here that serve sweet tea… and they ain’t good.

  5. Not a Southern belle by any stretch but this has me laughing just the same. Got a particular charge out of the sweet tea reference as just the other day two co-workers, one in her 50s, the other less than half that, were both saying they never knew there was any other kind of tea ’til they came to the midwest. And, for the record, you’ll be the second person I know in recent months to move to Alabama!

  6. Rae says:

    I love that there is a church on every block. I love that people want to know you. Not like, hey how are you, fine, but hey, hows your mama? and that job and your dog…I’m fixin dinner, you want to stay and have some? I love that we smash words together and drop our ‘r’s. That when a police officer is leading a procession for a funeral, everyone pulls over and if it takes time, it’s the reason we have a book/magazine in the glove compartment. I love that if I have a flat on the side of the road and can’t get in touch with my husband, someone else’s husband stops and helps me change the tire. I love that we let our dogs roam wide across our acres and we are proud of our land. I love that when we are introduced, we are family. I love that if someone messes with me or my possible future daughter, they will be shot on site, because everyone owns a gun that was passed down to them from their father. I love that I am called ma’am from every young man I know in uniform or not. I love that the women still quilt, play bridge and make lemonade with fans runnin on the front porch watchin youngins runnin round in the front yard, during the hot summers gossipin about nothin and singin gospel songs. I love that we still have barn raisins and pig pickins. I love that the children ride the bus home only to do chores round the house, not because they get an allowance, but because they are a member of the family. I love that they bring home random animals and there is a place for them. I love that even when in the heart of the big city of Atlanta, I run into someone I know. I love that no matter what, the south is and will always be my home.

    I love livin in the south.

  7. EEKS! I grew up in Cobb County and have no desire to return. TOO busy for me. But yes, there are those things I miss. Greasy food from Varsity, Underground Atlanta, gardening in March, long-weekend trips to Savannah and Tybee Island.

    I much prefer to be in a small town. I just wish Ithaca had nicer winters. 😉

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