It’s hot right now. And humid! And just, well, icky outside. Makes me miss my northern California days, where we had to wear a sweater sometimes on summer nights. So, I’ll try to focus on the positive… here are ten things I love about living in the South
1. Fireflies (thanks, hodgepodgemom, for reminding me!) Before my early twenties, when I first ventured to the southern United States, I didn’t know these creatures really existed. Yes, they sounded really neat in books. But I truly thought they were fiction! Imagine my utter surprise when, one evening, sitting on my future husband’s grandparents’ porch in North Carolina, I saw a flash of light. What was that? Another one! And another! These things certainly were real, and I found myself mesmerized by them.
2. Iced tea. This was the answer to cooling off, combined with a front porch ceiling fan, before air conditioning. For me, unsweet. Or better yet, half unsweet and half lemonade.
3. Elderly people. There just seem to be more of them down here! I wanted to know the secret…how do they live so long? Surprisingly, none of the sweet, elderly people I know are vegans or run three miles a day. But the vast majority of them have made gardening a regular practice for their adult lives. Hmmm… that brings me to #4….
4. Gardening! It’s just the thing to do down here. I’m growing zucchini, tomatoes (2 kinds), green peppers, cucumbers (I think… I planted one but I can’t find it), peas (first time), basil, rosemary (which won’t STOP growing… anyone want some?), thyme, oregano, zinnias, and sunflowers. What are you growing?
5. College football. It’s just not as big of a deal where I’m from. Down here, it’s all people think about from… whenever college football season is. I don’t really get into it, but it’s fun to watch everyone else make fools of themselves for their team. I did pick a team… Auburn. Not because they won the national championships last season. Because everyone else around here is crazy for the Georgia Bulldogs, and I like to be different.
6. The accents. No one from California has an accent. At least, my mom and I didn’t think so until a lady at my church asked my visiting mom where she was from. Upon hearing “California,” the lady responded in her rich, Southern drawl “Oh! I thought I detected an accent!”
7. Church suppers, and food delivered in times of need. It’s just beautiful seeing people rush over with something special they baked just for that new mama, or neighbor who had surgery, or friend who’s not feeling well. Nothing says love like good old-fashioned Southern cooking!
8. Sundays. Truly a day of rest, not a guilty pang at all for taking a nap!
9. Thunderstorms. But only when I’m inside and there are no tornado warnings. NOT when I’m in a metal canoe in the middle of the Blackwater River miles from the end of the route! (But that’s another story.)
10. The Gulf of Mexico. Sorry, Pacific, but this wins for best swimming ocean. It’s as warm as a bathtub and calm as the Pacific should be, given it’s name.
These are some things I love about living in the South! What are some of yours? If you have special recipes to share, please do!