For the past few days, my husband and I were in Wilmington, North Carolina visiting our beloved aunt and uncle. I have always loved North Carolina and am always reminded of the goodness in people and the beauty of nature when I return from my favorite southern state.
I love the South. There really is Southern hospitality. It is not a myth. People hold the doors for you. They greet you if you pass them in a store or on the street. They say “ma’am” and “sir” and are very respectful of each other. People are even considerate on the highways and local streets while driving. I remember one time my aunt got in the wrong lane and need to move over to the correct lane to make a turn. My uncle simply rolled down the window and flagged the driver in the lane next to us. “Excuse me, Sir. We are in the wrong lane. Would it be alright if we went ahead of you when the light turns green?” “Sure,” the man responded. And he let us in. And my uncle just sat back like that was a normal thing. I could not believe it. That is something I had never seen before.
I love the South. I always look forward to eating and enjoying Southern foods such as hush puppies, sausage biscuits and gravy, cornbread, grits, fried oysters, and okra. I also love fried clams, shrimp and catfish. MMMMM!! My LORD do I love Southern food. I never eat fried foods at home, but there is something about the fried food down there that warms my heart and my tummy! I think it might be because the food is made with love and to think that some of the recipes have not changed for hundreds of years is amazing to me. During this visit, my uncle introduced my husband and I to red-eye gravy. It is salty goodness made with a hint of coffee and served over grits. It is fantastic! I have to learn how to make that at home.
I love the South. I enjoy the entire atmosphere of taking things a little more slowly than up North. I like the way Southerners speak – not just their accents, but their sayings. My uncle was born and bred in North Carolina and the phrases he uses are priceless. My uncle is very rational, frank and honest without being offensive. My husband calls my uncle’s sayings “nuggets of genius” because you cannot argue with them. What he says is true. And if he has nothing to say, he does not say anything. As he said during this trip – “Say what you mean and mean what you say.”
I love the South. The weather is wonderful, though it can get hot and humid. But, when it does, you can enjoy one of the sandy white beaches and actually see the bottom of the ocean if you venture in for a swim. As a result of the warm temperatures, many flowers, trees and shrubs are in bloom almost all year round and their colors are bright and vibrant. The flowers on top of this post were taken in front of a hospital. Southerners take pride in making things aesthetically pleasing and I love that. It shows that they take pride in the appearance of their homes, yards and businesses.
I love the South. It warms my heart and soul and reaffirms the fact that there are really good and decent people in this world. Not that there are not any in the North, please don’t get me wrong. It just seems that the laid back, honest, hard-working, down-home lifestyle actually makes people happier. And when people are happier with themselves, they are kinder to others. And that is a good thing.
Being in one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people makes every trip a great one. The next one cannot come soon enough!