Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things I Love About the South

A school friend of mine got married and moved to Northern KY some years ago. In the years since, she's assimilated into the local populace well enough that if I didn't know her history I'd be hard put to pick her out from a Northern KY native. What I've learned from her move (and mine) is that in terms of location, perception is definitely reality. Compared to where I grew up, Northern Kentucky is pretty far south in both climate and attitude. But when I get that far's 250 miles to Lexington or Louisville.....these days, it looks and sounds as much like the midwest to me as it does the midsouth ! As a non-native who several years ago got married to a native and dived pretty deep into Dixie here are a few things I love (and that took more getting used to than you might think) about my new home.

"Winter" flowers.

Frogs chirping on mild January nights.

Getting the lawnmower and air conditioner serviced and ready to go in February. Some years I've used both of them before February turns into March.

Cherries, Forsythia, Redbud and Dogwoods blooming in March. Southern springs are way more colourful than those I grew up with. Azaleas and Camellias of all types.

Huge old evergreen southern Magnolia (magnolia grandiflora) trees in all their mighty glory and splendor.

Taking a nap or shooting the breeze under the huge old hackberry down by the creek at our new farm. I even widened the laneway in that spot to make these things easier to accomplish.

Sun Drop cola and chess pie.

Two (or more) story porches with fans and swings hanging from the rafters.

Squeaky ceiling fans on front porches (or better yet in old hardware stores) moving languid puffs of rank, warm summer air.

Magnificent old courthouses sitting smack in the middle of town on squares filled with benches and huge shade trees.

Frosty big glasses of ice cold sweet tea, ideally sitting on the arm of a rocking chair on a porch under a squeaky ceiling fan ! I'm honestly not a big fan of tea generally but boy do those glasses look good on a 90+ degree summer afternoon.

Kudzu. (Yes, Kristy I know it's a weed but it's kind of neat and since this is my blog you'll just have to humour me ! ;))

(Insert Place Name) Market (gas, bait, basic groceries, beer plus hot breakfast and lunch items all under the same roof) ! How much more convenient can you get than that ?

Fresh boiled peanuts in a sack !

Being able to comfortably wear shorts all the time for six entire months and some of the time for three months more than that. Now that I don't work in corporate America I can and do wear shorts at my convenience. All I have to put up with are stares and comments from local folk, but most of them already think I'm nice but crazy so this just gives them a little additional fuel and I don't mind very much.


Bif said...

I live in Southern Ohio, and let me tell you, Northern Ky is NOT the South... I'm not even sure it's mid-South =) The Ohio River valley weather thing keeps it firmly "in the North".

You need to go about 40 minutes south of Lexington before you hit mid-South, IMO. OK, 30 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this, as an Alabamian living in Minnesota.