Monday, October 8, 2012

On Going Back to the South

Have you been to The South? Do you live in The South?

View from my hotel room at 10am on Saturday 10/6
If you have or you do then you know that its different down there. Life - from the dense stormy air to the chicken fried steak. Deeper breaths to fill your lungs with warm, wet air. Girls in airports dressed in sorority t-shirts and Nike running shorts, and boys in khakis and polos have to be prepared to go golfing on a moments notice. Things that just don't happen other places.

I didn't get it when I first moved to Tuscaloosa in 2006, but I think now - after 2 years there and 4.5 years away - I think, I think now I get it. My country boy husband probably helped. He got it from the beginning.

The first day I visited Alabama, they were having "California weather". The kids I met told me so. A warm day with a soft breeze and the sun shining in a blue blue sky at the end of April.

The A/C wasn't blasting indoors - or if it was, you didn't notice - and you didn't walk around in a tank top with a light jacket in case there was a downpour.

I forgot how to dress in these 4.5 years.

My first day on my own in Tuscaloosa - my parents took an early flight back to LA - I rode my bike two miles to school on a hot sticky day at the end of August. That was when I learned that tight tank tops wouldn't do - and if you're going to ride your bike two miles in mid-August, bring a change of clothes.

Though Jacksonville, Florida is not the same as Tuscaloosa, the reminders of the days of yore got me all nostalgic - Jimmy Johns for lunch on Friday, new friends reminding me of old friends, the way a beautiful day can turn into a storm and then back into a beautiful day within hours, and an afternoon snack of fried green tomatoes.

View from the elevator lobby at 2pm on Saturday 10/6
Though the South can never be the same without the man I took home from there, I had a wonderful time this weekend celebrating with old friends, making new friends, sharing stories, and breathing in the dense humid air.

Thank you, Jacksonville, new friends and old, for reminding me how much the South has to offer.

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