Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring and Southerness

Am I Southern?

That is a question I do not ponder. It only took relocation to New York for my deeply southern genes to become blaringly dominant. I am reasonably well traveled an often have lost the feeling of being a Belle but when I actually became a tax paying resident of a non-southern state there was NO getting around it, and no matter how much I loved New York…I am, oh so, southern.

I wonder if growing up in the glow of televisions where people often have no regional identity, but rather an anonymous, politically correct “American” persona has caused us all to forget our lovely and wondrous cultural differences? When I was growing up I desperately worked to rid myself of my Southern accent. Now, I can actually work really hard and not sound Southern at all…but have gotten too old to work that hard for something I am not.

There is a dear young man that I grew up with, who has worked so very hard at losing his accent that he now possess that bizarre way of over enunciating that identifies him only with the culture of people who don’t fit in their skins. I often wonder if this dear, young man has super strong jaws due to the contortions he puts them through to sound that way. What I wouldn’t give to hear the lovely, comfortable, drawl he once had.

Sitting on my New York deck was never like sitting on my Southern front porch. The breeze in the north never reached out and hugged you the way the Georgia air does. It very well may slap you in January, but never embraces you like the humid, August air in the Southland. The heat and humidity is something we love to fuss about but it is comforting in its own way. It is just the way it is supposed to be.

My Southerness runs deep in my soul, so much so, that the raucous blooms of an azalea can bring tears to my eyes. I have been known to plan trips around when the azaleas will be in bloom. The arrival of spring in all its loud display can awaken my senses like nothing else. Maybe that is the gardener in me? I don’t remember feeling that same experience when I lived up north, though after the winters you would think spring would have been the ultimate celebration; but it still wasn’t spring in the South.


  1. I know what you mean. I was born in Biloxi, raised in Louisiana, then Atlanta, so, yeah, I'm a southern girl.
    I lived in the midwest for a while and lost a lot of my natural accent. Pity.
    Enjoyed your blog.

  2. Belle-ah, I can totally relate. I've never lived anywhere but the South & I'm very biased towards it. I definitely have a Southern accent & am proud of it & never want to live anywhere else BUT the south. Southern Belles unite! LOL

  3. I don't know why I have missed your blog for so long. -sigh- But no more. I will be back.

    Such lovely, lovely pictures.

    Who wishes that she would be called Miss Mari-Nanci in the Southern way, since I'm a 'Lady Of A Certain Age.' :-) But I can't get these &*(&^%% Yankees up here, to do it. ,-)

  4. Oh, pardon me as I drool over those pictures. We are in the middle of a snowstorm here in upstate New York. There is 5+" outside now and a foot or so due yet.

    But when spring DOES get here, those first days you feel the change in the air, HEAVEN to this born-and-bred New Yorker. God makes each place lovely in it's own way, and when we are up to our butts in late snow, He sends gentle folks like you with your pictures to let us know that no, it is not that far off! Hugs to you my friend!

  5. Thanks for stopping by! I am lifted up by the comments of others, and I appreciate yours! It means a lot to hear people who don't even know me to say something encouraging. God has done amazing things for me through the work of others!

  6. Oh please... I still have snow up here. Please post some more lovely pictures of Spring-Summer flowers. :-)

    'Miss' Mari-Nanci

  7. The azaleas are my favorite part of spring in the south:-) I really enjoyed the pictures!

  8. Isn't Spring in the South just beautiful. I am most certainly southern through and through.

    Thank you for your comments and prayers. I could tell from the first time I read your blog how much you and your husband loved each other and I am glad to know that you have gotten a lot out of praying and studying together. I am so thankful that Lee is willing and wants to do the same thing. Neither one of us wants another divorce.

    How neat that your husband is from Canton. I have lived here my whole life and I am in the Historic District, also where I have pretty much lived all my live. I just love older homes and enjoy living in this area. I too went to Cherokee High School. Not sure what age your husband is but I am 38 and graduated in 1986.

  9. Beautiful pictures and BRAVO on the beautiful writing. You'd get a nice big gold star if you were in my classroom.

    Please, oh please submit this one to the Georgia Carnival.

  10. Yep, you are a true southerner. No matter where you move to, you cannot take the south out of yourself! Isn't it great?

  11. I love this post! Yes, yes, YES on all counts.

    I feel fortunate to still live in the South. Hello from Georgia! I'm glad I found your blog...thank you for commenting on mine.

    At least you can always make sweet tea wherever you are, right? My sister lives in Denver and is slowly introducing her friends and co-workers to the joys of sweet tea, homemade biscuits, cornbread, and DIVINITY with a big pecan half on top.

  12. I can see my first azalea bloom outside my window. Beautiful.

    I'm right there with you: American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

  13. I loved this post! You have a way with words! I was born in WVa so not really a southerner, but have lived inthe south since age 9 and I am now 46 so I like to consider myself a southern gal! Is that ok?
    Keep blogging! I linked over here from Oh Fiddle Dee Dee's place.


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