Monday, May 30, 2011

With A Side Of Southern, Please!



Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Lots of cookouts going on today I’m sure. Here at my house we’ll be doing BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, grilled tomatoes and eggplant, and sweet iced tea! We’re all waiting for the gardens to come in so we can have our faves fresh from the vine. I can’t wait to have myself a tomato sandwich slathered with Duke’s mayonnaise and sprinkled with salt and pepper. YUM! And I am sooooooo having a fit for watermelon. I LOVE watermelon. Peaches too. I’ve already had fresh picked strawberries.

Everybody knows I’m Southern and damn proud of it, too. I love my Southern accent. Love that slow Southern style in general. Although lately you wouldn’t know anything in the South moved slower than the rest of the world. I blame it on air conditioning. Think about that. Yes, air conditioning changed everything in the South—all over the world, actually.

We used to sleep with our windows and doors open—just the screens in place to keep the bugs out. We would sit on the front porch and fan ourselves and make homemade ice cream to cool off. You don’t see much of that anymore.

With air conditioning big business came. Factories run 24/7 here. No more lazy Southern days. So now we have big cities and big business, big crime rates and big headaches. But I’m not complaining. Well, just a little, maybe. LOL I’ve been looking for bits and pieces of the old South. Wondering if it’s still here. It is, and I want to share a little of it with you.

I live out in the country not too far from town. Wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I just read the other day where the town is trying to zone me in. Oh well, looks like I’ve got to go and yell at people. LOL (If they do? Another good reason to move.) It’s a bit easier to find the old South out in the country.

The first thing that came to mind was my neighbor who lives about a mile or so away. Every year he plants a big garden. And every year he harvests his garden and puts tomatoes and cucumbers, beans and cantaloupes, etc. out on this homemade push cart next to the road in front of his house. He leaves a list of prices and has a little box there for people—on their honor—to put in their money. He says he’s had no noticeable problems with theft. Nice! (Then again…hee hee hee…I know this man. He’s probably got his shot gun hanging out a window and if he doesn’t see the money go into the box? Well…LOL…there have been no reports of missing persons around here.)

A couple of months ago I was on my way to an appointment three counties over and turned down a road I wasn’t familiar with in search of a gas station and a rest room. Yeah, I had to go BAAAAD! LOL  It was one of those winding country roads and my sense of direction told me that it would take me to the old road that the new bypass had cut off. I knew there was a store there. But on the way, I saw two white commodes—yeah, toilets—with artificial flowers in them flanking each side of a driveway, heralding the entrance to the home. Uh huh. Sure did. On another out of town excursion, car shopping, I saw a meat packing plant with pig statues out front. Uh huh. Now that’s what I call Southern. Yep, toilets and pigs, and displayed in such a unique way, too! That’s the South---quaint, quirky, qwazy! Lol

I have to tell you, though, where I live is a resort area. Now I’m not part of the resort. LOL But we’ve been invaded by retirees here and they all pretty much speak Yankee. I have nothing against Yankees—truly, I don’t. But I can’t seem to even get a checker at the grocery store to converse with me in Southern speak! Where is the language of the South? Where is my “Ya’ll” and “Honey Child”? Seriously. Well, I found it. LOL Yes, I did. And of all places, at the local Biscuitville. You see, I swapped from Bojangles and my morning sweet iced tea stop to Biscuitville when Bojangles went up on price and down on size. Someone told me just last week that Biscuitville’s sweet tea was pretty good. So I hit the drive-thru Monday morning and stared down the menu, perusing prices, placed my order for a large sweet tea with plenty of lemon.

The voice on the speaker came back at me: “Sure thing, honey. Can I get ya anything else to go with that?”

I blinked a couple of times. “No, that’s all thank you.”

“Drive on around to the second window for your total, sweetie!”

Lawd Lawd. Southern. And the tea was pretty damn good, too!

I don’t have a book trailer to showcase this week. If anyone out there has one they are right
proud of, send it to me, please, ya hear? LOL  teasyone@hotmail.com





44 comments:

anny cook said...

Heh. I get teased so much about my y'all's...

Watched a History Channel show about geography. They were saying AC even changed the political framework of the USA because so many people moved to the south the congressional makeup is different now...

Amazing what a difference that made.

C. Zampa said...

I'm Texan, and we thought WE created 'ya'll'...LOL.

As far south as we are, there's still something that, even here in southeast Texas, that is NOT the same as when I lived in Birmingham. It was truly the south, and I miss it so. Something you just cannot put your finger on, but it shouts Southern hospitality.

Why, I'd never even heard of grits, much lest tasted them, until I lived in Birmingham. Now they're a staple for me.

But we DO have the hot summer nights, the southern suppers of fresh-from-the-garden sliced tomatoes, fried okra, pinto beans and sweet iced tea. Sigh.

Nice,warm thoughts today, Tess. Thanks for sharing them.

And air conditioning.

Eileen said...

When I was younger my childhood home and parent's car did not have AC. Here in MD we get hot & humid summers and would have to sleep with fans on us to keep us cool. I remember sleeping outdoors with my sisters and then somehow I ended up waking up onthe LV rug. What memories I have of those nights.
Boy am I also looking forward to a good tomato sandwich. my kids look at me and ask 'where's the meat?' They don't know what they are missing!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yes, Anny. Air conditioning changed the world and definitely left a huge imprint on the South. Kids used to play outside all day long in the heat of July and August and never think a thing about it. Can you get them to do that now? Hell, even childhood obesity can be blamed somewhat on air conditioning--that and video games! But there is definitely a direct link.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, Miss Carol, since the South was here long before anyone moved to Texas, I can safely say "ya'll" moved with those who migrated West. lol

You're right. There is something about being in the Southeast that is just different. Lord knows I admire Big Ol' Texas! The bluebonnets, the BBQs, the cowboys and Texas way, but the old South is like a calming whisper to me.

And I soooo LOVE grits! Whoo hooo

Tess MacKall said...

Ohhh Eileen, I was just thinking last night about lying on the floor in front of my granny's screened door and watching the lightning bugs. My granny didn't allow A/C in her home until the early 80s. My dad finally just put it in and told her to like it or lump it. hahahahahaha

And my boy cannot fathom the idea of a tomato sandwich to save his life. Now my oldest loves them. She's embraced the tomato and mayo like a true Southern belle! And I love cucumber sandwiches the same way!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Hey Tess. Great blog. I think you're a neighbor of mine in NC. You are so right about air conditioning changing the South because it brought business and industry here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

C. Zampa said...

And I forgot to add.
Where I worked in Birmingham (right next door to the Southern Living Corporate office), the owner of our insurance company was an old, white haired man---always dressed in his white suit, and sported a white goatee, and was always accompanied by his chauffeur---and his name was Colonel Rushton. Now how southern was that? He was so full of that southern gentility. Sigh.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, we're neighbors, Sarah. I think you're in the mountain area? Yes, I love the South. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else for sure. But I also recognize the fact that so much of the true South is obscured now by those big businesses and all that goes along with it. I love prosperity--progress, of course. But I long for some of the "sleepy-time" South too. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yes, Carol. There were older men like that around here too. The gray or white seersucker suit was about all men wore once upon a time here. That and a T-shirt with a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in the sleeve. lol Your colonel sounds divine!

Tina Donahue said...

I've been to the South many times. It's beautiful. Great post, Tess!

Delaney Diamond said...

I love living in the Atlanta, Georgia, though I wasn't born here. People are so hospitable and friendly. Whenever I run into someone who speaks Southern speak, I get such a kick out of it.

I'm also a big fan of southern foods like sweet tea and shrimp and grits (love it!).

skystne said...

Southern is spoken widely here in Lexington, NC, the Barbecue Capital of North Carolina. Come on down!

Tess MacKall said...

C'mon back down anytime, Tina!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yeah, Delaney. Gotta have my grits at least once a week. I try to stick to egg white omelets, lol, but at least once a week, grits and butter call to me!

Tess MacKall said...

Skystne!Woot! I've eaten authentic Lexington BBQ many many times! Yes, ma'am. Love it!

Tami said...

I live in WAY upstate NY and we have a guy up here who is in protest of the city. What did he do? Use his many toilets to put flowers in.

When folks talk to me up here they say, "You're not from around here are you?"

And I answer, " I sure ain't. Y'all have a good day!"

Tess MacKall said...

LMAO Tami! You go girl! Let 'em know where you were born and bred! And give that dude with the toilets a pat on the back from me!

Tami said...

He also has a clothes line with BIG bras and BIG panties hanging from them.

Tess MacKall said...

OMG...this character is a real hoot, then! lol I saw some of those big panties for sale on the roadside at some little hole in the wall place not long ago. Had them out on a line in all kinds of colors. It was hilarious!

Brenda Hyde said...

Now, I'm from Michigan-- so I don't like sweet tea, heat or humidty BUT I lived in Tennessee for a short time after college and I can tell you what I do love-- Dogwood trees in the spring, sitting on the porch (you all have the BEST porches) and Southern accents. Now, if you can just get rid of the humidity I would SO be there. LOL

Marie Rose Dufour said...

LOL! I never really thought about how ac changed the world but I guess it did. Being as Yankee as they come, the first time that I actual heard a "ya'll" was in Nashville. I loved it there!

Harlie Reader said...

Like Carol I live in Texas and there is nothing better than sitting on a porch and drinking sweet tea. I make homemade ice cream year round because store bought just doesn't cut it.

When I go to Oklahoma to see relatives, it seems like I've stepped back in time and that's alright with me. We live in a society that is go go go all the time and the southern way of life is the best.........slow and easy and southerners are happier because of it.

Harlie Reader said...

Don't forget that the south invented NASCAR, too. Just saying......

Tess MacKall said...

Awww...Brenda. Dogwoods and magnolias. I have a yard full of white dogwoods. And in my backyard I have two big magnolias. In the fall flocks of birds descend on my yard and eat the red berries. The sound is deafening.

And I have a huge front porch! lol I have little white lights in the two dogwood trees that flank my front steps and I sit out there at night with candles lit and just listen to the whippoorwills sing. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the lightning bugs now. It's almost June so they should be out!

Tess MacKall said...

I've never been to Nashville. Gonna have to do that sometime for sure. Were you living in Nashville or just visiting Marie?

Tess MacKall said...

Harlie, I haven't made homemade ice cream or had any in years. But I was talking to a friend of mine the other night and I decided I'm going to drag out the ice cream freezer as soon as freestone peaches start coming in and make some peach ice cream. I'm just dying for it.

And yep, we gave the world NASCAR! lol

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I actually visited. I was at a conference for the dreaded day job. It was a nice perk which they got rid of right after that trip. While I was there, I was told that my "accent" was cute! It made all of us laugh. A Rhode Island accent is certainly unique. We don't say the "r's" in and at end of words.

chowda=chowder
cah=car
Cahl=Carl

What can I say? We're quirky!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yeah, we've got some Rhode Islanders here too! I've heard that accent for sure. lol It's amazing how we all talk so differently. I used to smile at my Aunt Lena and her Virginia accent. It's Southern, but still different. And if you go farther South---it's even more different.

laurann said...

I live in Southern Cal, by L.A but I was raised in a small Indiana farming town. We lived on a working farm. We had cows, pigs, chickens, and a mean bull! I miss the food! Bacon half an inch thick, chicken fried steak and loads of gravy...and our garden! My neighbors were...hillbillies. YUP. They surely were. In the winter some of them would allow their animals into their houses so they didn't freeze in the barn. LOL! Sometimes I really miss it. I've lost my accent for the most part, kids teased me really badly when I moved here, but sometimes I slip back into around family who come to visit.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

The sweetest people I have met in my life have been southern women, and I'm not ashamed in admitting it....*S*
Please to know you southern ladies, for I am a northwest girl. Lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life and Alaska now.
But I think if I had been born in the south I more than likely would have a better tolerance of the heat, and especially would have dealt better with the "change" that came about earlier than it should have. I don't like those "private summers" that decided to make an entrance in my early 30's. Needless to say...A/C and I are a very good friends....LOL
One would think being in Alaska the heat would not be an issue, but in the bush,~~ it gets blazing hot up into the high 90's.

Thanks for the great blog today!
Wishing you a very nice Memorial Day weekend . :}

Darcy

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

I was going to add....Does it count that I married a southern boy? My dear one's family on both sides are from Arkansas. But I think it was destined though. His great, great, great uncle is none other than Doc Holiday. I tease him terrible sometimes because my mother's birthday was on Oct 26th. And the the gunfight of the O K Corral was on Oct 26th.
Yeah...I think it was destined...*S*
Thanks ladies!

Darcy

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Ya'll come back now, ya hear! lol. Loved the post, Tess. In Alabama, we still speak truly southern. And, Carol, I'm sure Birmingham is still the same. I live about sixty miles from there. I love the south...

Janice said...

I was born in California, but my dad was Southern.

Dad and his family didn't say "ya'all" or "honey child" or "you come back now, ya here?" Maybe being from Tennessee, they didn't use those expressions?

My mom who was born in Roswell NM, and did her best to fry all the foods Dad loved.

I don't fry that much, I don't think it's good for you. But I do barbecue and my daughter's friends seem to enjoy my sweet tea too, so at least I kept some traditions alive.

Janice~

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

OH! And yell really loud when the peach ice cream is ready, Tess. Gotta make homemade ice cream here, real soon!

Dragon Lady said...

Being a transplanted Yankee, I have to say, I DO say y'all, Ma'am, sir, etc. I have acquired a Southern accent on top of the one from MA which at times makes me sound pretty dang silly. I have also recently discovered Dukes. I never thought I would change from Hellman's, but I HAVE! Dukes is WAY better!

Being in GA now, I am so thankful for my central AC! It gets humid as well as hot here. I've been to Las Vegas, and there, it was dry, 110 or so, and I could deal with it!! I start to melt when it hits 90 here. I still try and get out and do things, tho. No need to completely hibernate!

As far as sweet tea? LOVE it! Just got a buy one get one at Publix today. ;)

Elaine Cantrell said...

This SC girl loved your post! And I agree that air conditioning ruined us. I'll have to eat a tomato sandwich and have some sweet tea to feel better.

Tess MacKall said...

I can do "Yankee-speak", LD. It's easy to fall into one accent or another if you are around it enough. And I find that if I am around someone who speaks with an even thicker Southern accent, I do as well.

Tess MacKall said...

Awww...Darcy, that's so sweet of you to say. I know so many women with fans in every room of their house. LOL I don't think anyone ever gets used to the humidity we have here in the South. But being born into it helps some I guess. At lease we know how to deal with it and what to expect. I've warned a lot of people over the years about not being outside between noon and three. And they didn't listen. lol And your hubs is an Arkansas boy! Woot! Doc Holiday, huh? That's pretty cool.

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yeah, Lisa. I'm aware of the Alabama Southern for sure. It's a lot thicker than a Carolina Southern. But just as lyrical and melodious in my humble opinion. Can't wait for the garden!

Tess MacKall said...

Whoo hooo Dragon Lady! A Duke's Mayo convert! I love it. See, Lisa, they've got Duke's in Georgia. I KNOW they've got it in Alabama too. You HAVE to look for it.

The humidity can definitely be a killer. That's why we were always so slow and lazy. lol But with A/C? Well, times changed.

Sweet tea ROCKS!

Tess MacKall said...

Well, as long as you're still serving sweet iced tea, Janice, you're keeping the South alive! Don't know much about Tennessee accents. But I'd imagine they say ya'll and honey child too. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Whoo hoooo South Carolina weighing in! Yayyyy Elaine! Yep, grab a tomato sandwich and glass of tea and come sit down beside of me! Woot!

Regina Carlysle said...

What a great post, Tess. Sorry I was out of pocket yesterday and didn't get over here to read until now. Of course, you know I'm a Texan and I love the honeys and sweeties and tend to use that lingo myself without even thinking about it. As for air conditioners...thank God for them. LOL. But I still sit out in the heat from time to time with a cold glass of tea.