Friday, April 15, 2011

Ya’ll, Coke, and Yankee

   I’m not sure if it’s the result of reading To Kill a Mockingbird again, or the first few warm days of spring, or just remembrances, but part of me has been remembering living in the southern US and missing it. I have to chuckle to myself when this feeling hits me, because I wasn’t all that sad about leaving the south to live in the mid-west again. Don’t get me wrong, it had its charms. I just got sick and tired of being called a Yankee and being asked what kind of coke I would like at the drive through window when I ordered coke to drink. The culture was foreign to me, and I remember feeling very alone in the midst of a world that I just did not understand. I said “you guys” instead of “hey ya’ll” and constantly forget to include ma’am and sir in my sentences. I have to admit, the manners were pretty nice, and you just can’t get better fish fry hush puppies. But, it wasn’t something I really understood and I was ready to move on.

   Now, I am remembering a slow moving southern town, with the smell of honeysuckle and salty Gulf air when the breeze blew just right. I am remembering the manners when gentlemen hold the doors open and help you carry your bags. I remember the slightly slower drawl that only serve to disguise the quick wits that lay beneath. Azalea blooms rampantly through sandy grass yards, where mounds of fire ants live their lives. Something has happened between then and now, and now I can appreciate the place as I couldn’t then.
   Maybe I just need to go find myself an azalea to stick my nose into or make real sweet tea. Maybe one good mornin’ ya’ll would get it out of my system. If I could though, I think I would take an amalgamation of all the places I have lived and bring out the best things. For example, there are just not as many fans as fervent in their baseball player support as the Cleveland Indians. Bring out that enthusiasm and rock solid school districts, with the slightly slower pace and hospitality and community values of the southern Christian families. Then, throw in some mid-west solidity and poof – it’s a heady mix of Spanish moss and corn fields.
  I think what it really boils down is that some days, I just get home sick. And my heart tells me that I’m not at home yet. Not really. Oh, it’s a nice enough place that I live in now, even though they don’t make hush puppies at fish fries, but it’s still foreign. There are times when I just grow weary of being an alien in the land and want to feel that I really fit. God knows where this life will take me, certainly I don’t, and I may once again wind up hearing that drawl and seeing signs for boiled peanuts. Or, maybe I’ll head out west and try a new flavor. But regardless, I think part of me will always hold back because that won’t be home either. Moving around, well it’s made me understand more of how this world is not my home. And today, well today I’m just a bit home sick.