In Celebration of All Things Southern

By the grace of God, I was born a Southern Lady and raised with wonderful Southern values. (I capitalized that because it’s not just a description of where our lives began geographically. It is a beautiful heritage to be a part of and thus deserves all the respect that a “Shift + letter of your choice” can give.) I was thinking today on having come from The Delta, a land full of fields that small Mississippi towns and the people that hail from them love to call home. And the thought crossed my mind that the best Southern women come from The Delta. Now, obviously I’m a bit biased but I happen to have proof that we Delta women are the crème de la crème of the Southern women population.

If you had had the honor of knowing my sweet grandmother, Mozelle, then you would agree. I don’t know of anyone who has taught me more about life just by being who she was. She never had to tell me how to love someone because she showed her devotion to us at all times. She never had to tell me how to be gracious (even when your spittin’ mad) because she breathed grace in everything she did. And no one else could have taught me how to always look fabulous like she did. My love for gold shoes and mountains of sparkly are testaments to that life lesson. If you ever find yourself talking about a woman who was beautiful inside and out, you’re speaking of my sweet Moch (pronounced like mocha but without the ‘a’). What a privilege it was to have been her grand-daughter.

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Seriously, how beautiful is she? Every now again when I get really tickled I find myself laughing like her and it warms my heart. I think I’m probably more like my grandfather, Moch’s husband, than anyone else but I’m glad to know that I inherited some sugar to go along with my spice, ha!

Favorite Southern Sayings

“Oh my stars!” or “Oh good heavens!” have to be in my top five favorites. Anything with the word “mercy” in it is on that list too (i.e. “Lord, have mercy!” “Mercy, child!” or if you’re really exasperated and running short on time to express yourself, you can just say “Mercy!” and not risk losing any of the meaning.)

You could say almost anything in a Southern drawl and make it sound ten times more interesting. You can also say things that don’t make sense but that Southern accent will somehow pave the way for understanding. Here are some examples: “Heavens to Betsy!”; “Honest to goodness”; and my personal nonsensical favorite, “Knee high to a grasshopper”.

I will melt every time a good looking man says “Yes ma’am” to me. There’s just something about it that I enjoy. Really, there’s just something about a good looking man that I enjoy. Good taste in men was also something I learned from Mozelle. You should’ve seen my Papaw Leroy! Oh, what the heck… Here’s a picture of him…

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You’re welcome.

And my all time favorite: “Bless your sweet heart.” Now this can take on a variety of meanings depending on how much you actually want to bless someone’s sweet heart.

Love Language #1: Southern Food

Truly, it is. We fry everything down here and it is so good. Not good for your body, mind you, but good for your soul.

Fried Chicken —  Biscuits — Fried Pickles — Mashed Potatoes — Shrimp and Grits — Bacon — Fried Catfish (That fish house in Itta Bena changed my life!) — Barbeque — Cornbread — The list goes on and on.

Since my other granddaddy was a farmer, I have an intense love for vegetables and fruits. I remember sitting in the middle of his garden (which was massive) eating picking green beans. A storm was coming and all I cared about were those beans. He grew everything out there. Spending time on the farm with him has to be one of my all time favorite childhood memories. Another one would be our affinity for refrigerator boxes. I would tell you about it but I don’t think you’re ready.

Love Language #2: Sweet Tea

Also known as Nectar from the Heavens. I don’t think anything else needs to be said here.

Southern Hospitality

We are almost famous for our hospitality skills in the South. I doubt anyone could throw together a fabulous gathering faster than a Southerner can. We will compete each other in this area too. It’s like Nascar but with Paula Deen recipes and fine china.

Southerners tend to be very warm, friendly people. Whether that has anything to do with the heat index or not, I have no idea. It tends to work out for everyone involved so there’s no need in speculating, I suppose.

Football and Jesus

These two don’t necessarily go hand in hand but I will say I do a lot of praying during football season. I do a lot of praying anyway. It’s just that Saturday and Sunday afternoon prayers are more geared towards the “Jesus, please don’t let me forget to breathe; hurt anyone; or make a fool out of either one of us” type.

These are a few of my favorite things about the South. What are some things you love about where you come from? Since we can’t pull up some rocking chairs and chat a while, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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