Born and raised in North Carolina, I have always been proud to be a southerner. But being “southern” often brings up negative thoughts. Not all of us have a confederate flag hanging from the porch, or have gun racks in the back of the truck windows. So hear me out as I try to give you a picture of my “southern” life.
I believe in fried cornbread with lots of butter, and conversation around the table about who makes the best chocolate chess pie.
I love the humidity in the summer that makes everything warm and wet. Sweat drips from every part of your body whether you move or not. A warm breeze is better than none. None brings the mosquitos and the gnats from the depths of hell.
I believe everyone should sip sweet tea on the front porch while rocking in a chair. Gossiping about the neighbors then smiling and saying a big Hey Y’all as said neighbors walk by on a Sunday afternoon.
I believe in southern BBQ. Nuff said. A big ole plate of Q with some coleslaw (I hate coleslaw) and hushpuppies. Sweet tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Until you get your first kidney stone and the doc says no more sweet tea! Not me but I know many that have had this happen).
You are either a mountain person, lake person, or beach person. I am the beach girl. The sounds of the waves bringing you closer to God with every ebb tide. Walking the beach early mornings to find the best shells, greeting your neighbors while standing ankle deep at the waters edge or hearing the kids squeal while trying to catch ghost crabs at night. The sound of the water lapping the beach puts you to sleep and wakes you up.
I believe in food produce stands. Not much of a veggie person but nothing tastes better than fresh corn or peas you shell yourself with your grandmother on the back porch.
Everyone has a copy of the latest Southern Living magazine on the coffee table and home cooked meals are good at anyone’s house. Everyone is invited and there is always enough homemade biscuits to go around.
Your extended family lives nearby or maybe in the same household. Your cousins are your first BFFs. Nothing like hanging out with people who share the same DNA even if you start to think you may be adopted.
Back in the day, school was cancelled if it was too hot (no AC) and Sixteen year olds drove the school bus. I know some kids who ended up dating the driver and marrying them. Some got a pass to miss school if they had to help in the Tobacco fields. Of which there were tons of fields in North Carolina.
Everything is slower in the south. Deadlines aren’t really a thing. We don’t care if we miss school or work for a dusting of snow. Just more time to spend at home with the family drinking hot coca.
Even in this digital age, southern kids still get outside and explore. Still ride our bikes in the neighborhood and get home right as the street lights come on. We all have phones now but you can still hear a southern mom yelling for the kids to get home for dinner. And the kids show up with friends for a biscuit or two.
And yes, peanuts in my coke are still a thing. Even if it makes you laugh. I love the south and being brought up here. Despite the negativity the south gets, it’s home. And it’s good.
Peace Love & Margaritas!