I grew up in New England, lived there until I was fifteen when I moved to Georgia.
I didn't necessarily like it here, at first - it was hot, humid, and people spoke funny. They acted funny, too. And they ate funny food. Honestly, have you ever seen a grit??
They used strange language and ran their words together, and the accent...the accent was...awful! People speaking like they had a mouth full of marbles, and slow like they had all day to say "yes" or "no".
I learned to like it, and then to love it, over time. Now, while I miss a proper Winter and Summers under one-hundred degrees, I do like it here. Oh, and Autumn. Real Autumn, with trees blazing out the change of seasons with trumpet blasts of colour. Here in Georgia, it is more subtle...less a trumpet and more a gentle caress of harp strings - ochre rather than gold, rust rather than crimson.
I discovered barbecue - up North, barbecue meant hot dogs and burgers on the grill, not portions of pig or cow slow-cooked with delectable sauces and served with fried okra (Oh, how I adore fried okra. I'm still not eating a grit, though.) - and country-fried steak with white gravy(White! Who knew there was white gravy??). Sweet tea. Cobbler. I have embraced NASCAR and Wrasslin' (well, not embraced, exactly, but I can and do have fun with them), peaches in all their glory and pecan pie. I am OK with being a little white trash, a little redneck, and a lot comfortable with my nature.
I finally came to embrace "y'all", too. Most languages have a plural form of "you", so why shouldn't we? It's a useful term, just please don't make the mistake of saying "you all". It's "y'all".
I never had an accent when I lived up North. not, really...when I moved to Georgia, no one said "you must be a Yankee" or anything. They thought I was from the Midwest. These days, I may or may not sound Southern. I'm not pressed...sometimes, sounding Southern is useful - it's easy to underestimate someone when you assume they're an idiot.
I will frequently say (or type) "Aww, sugar..." and I mean it to show warmth, empathy, and a sense of welcome, to convey sympathy and a willingness to listen and be a friend if that's what's wanted.
One of the best things about living in the South is this: if you have a poor memory for names (as I have), almost everyone can be "sugar", "honey", "sweetie", or "darling" without offense. What a blessing when you don't (or rarely) forget a face, but names...names are slippery things that sometimes don't last a few seconds before they're forgotten.
So stop on by for a glass of tea and some biscuits and gravy...and maybe a little bit of Sugar.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.