A Little Family Bragging

13 06 2010

Ok, so it’s time for a little family love. 

I "borrowed" this shot of Christmas from Facebook.

I’m guessing, as Southerners, we all know the concept of family closeness. One of the things I immediately was drawn to when meeting Becky was her relationship with her family. It’s got to be a kindred spirit when family members share such strong preferences together. 

Her family is constantly throwing the most picturesque parties complete with real furniture, cloth napkins, and chandeliers hanging from the trees, making their own honey, music, and all things fabulous. 

Taken at sister's wedding

I grew up in that anomaly sort of family where it seemed more like the 1950’s than the 90’s. My Daddy and Mom are still married, Momma stayed home and was always class room mother, ready with cupcakes on birthdays and chaperoning all our field trips, we had hot chocolate chip cookies and milk after school each day, always ate supper together at the table, and played card games at night. We’re still close to this day, despite being spread out over Kentucky, Georgia, and California. 

So since several of our family members have their own online presence, I thought I’d share our pride here with you. Perhaps we can all make a new friend. Consider this your introduction to our favorite people at our very own Sweet Iced Tea cocktail party. 

 

I know Becky has mentioned a few times her adorable sister, Rachael. Though I’ve only met her a handful of times, I feel like we’re the oldest and dearest of friends since I regularly follow her and new husband’s great blog, The Screendoor Diaries. Obviously, that family has a thing for screendoors! What’s more Southern than that?

(Not to be overlooked, Becky’s parents are about the coolest around. Her dad is an instructor at Florida State College, teaching culinary arts and her mom is the music minister at their church. Rumor has it, she’s written and sold a few songs in her lifetime too.) 

Always ahead of the times, it was many years ago (more than I care to mention) when my dad actually introduced me to the concept of blogging. He gave me a wonderfully practical book, In, But Not Of, aimed at young professionals upon graduation from college, and the author, Hugh Hewwit, strongly suggests the concept of careful blogging. So, I started my first little ramblings, with really no purpose, other than a strong mention of my love for books. 

 

Daddy is a busy man, running a business that provides communication services to ministries, so he has plenty more technological experience than most with his business, but it’s only been recently that he’s decided to begin his own blog. And let me say, that while it’s hard to leave my strong prejudices aside, these musings really are fantastic. Well thought out, always timely and poignant, Know Be Do will always make you think. Add it to your Google Reader immediately. 

 

You’ll also remember that my mom, whom I affectionately call “Lady” has had her book, Released, published about her experiences with, and success in overcoming, anxiety and depression. 

Dear, way-cooler-than-me little sister, who I’ve mentioned a time or two, writes from time to time on a charming blog, of Baubles in between her studies as a student at the University of Georgia. She also recently started Author-Illustrator with her best friend, Hannah (are we sisters or what that even what some would consider a solitary endeavour — writing — we undertook with a friend). 

On this lazy Sunday afternoon, pour yourself a glass of something cold, and go catch up on your favorite blogs.





Things I THINK I’ll Miss

24 02 2010

I keep saying I feel like I’m moving to a foreign country. It’s not to say I’m not excited. I certainly am. We spent a couple of months in California when husband and I were first married, and it was beautiful and such an adventure! But right now, I’m not in the new things, new places, new folks stage. I’m in the farewell stage. Farewell to my friends, farewell to my first little home with the gorgeous hardwood floors, farewell to all my restaurants and dishes I know and love and crave. (And hello to living in a hotel for a month… Could be an adventure in and of itself — though living in such close quarters with hubby kinda makes me smile.)

So, in the spirit of moping collectively, can I share with y’all some of the things I think I’ll miss? I’m anticipating I’ll be missing so much more, but here’s my top ten list of things I’ll miss about the South. Of course, I’m sure once I get there, I’ll find a whole host of things I didn’t even realize I’d miss.

  • A church on every corner. While sometimes I complain that there’s a lot of churches, and not always a lot of evidence (pointing the finger right back at my human self!), I’ll miss living in the Bible belt.
  • Chick-fil-A. I keep teasing that the first thing I Googled as soon as we found out, was whether or not there was a Chick-fil-A in Monterey. There’s not. So if any of y’all want to overnight be a bag of nuggets and waffle fries, I’m open to that anytime.
  • SEC sports fever. From what I understand, folks don’t name their children after college football stars out there. What’s up with that?
  • This isn’t specific to the South, but I’m REALLY freaking out about not living in the Central or Eastern time zone. I really don’t want to be 3 hours behind when they drop the ball on New Year’s.
  • Heat. Most of y’all will think I’m crazy, but I like to be hot. I’d much rather “glow” than shiver.
  • The Atlantic Ocean. I know the rocky crags of the Pacific beaches are majestic and beautiful, but I still love my pure, flat sandy beaches.
  • Those Southern accents. Mmm, smooth as butter. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll get laughed at a lot for saying “y”all.”
  • Living near my family. Even though we’re already not in the same city, it’s still driving distance. And have I ever mentioned my (former) debilitating fear of planes? Well, I’m just gonna have to get over that if I want to see my Momma!
  • Becky. Speaking of loved ones. I’m going to miss my other blogging-girl half. What y’all may not know is that we literally sit across the office from each other. I can look up from my desk and see her any time I want. While we mostly go about our business and do our own thing, I’ll miss just having her there to say, “Hey, did you see someone commented!” (See, y’all, your comments really do mean a lot to us!
  • Sweet Iced Tea. No, not here… I’ll always have that. I’ll miss that glorious beverage that plagues me with those constant extra 5 lbs. I remember the first time I sat down in a pizza place in San Diego, asked for Sweet Tea, and the lady looked at me, so confused and said, “You mean? We have some raspberry tea?” Thank you, Ms. Linda, for my Iced Tea Maker. It will find a prominent place on my counter!

If y’all had to be away from the South (or perhaps you’re a northernly friend reading in on Southern life), what would you miss most?





Shame on you, South!

6 01 2010

Image from Knowledgepedia

There are so many things to love about the South. It’s easy to keep this blog positive, because it’s all about you Southerners, but for today, I have a bone to pick with y’all.

Let me begin with a story of my Christmas vacation. I got to spend two whole long weeks with my beloved family at my parents’ home in Kentucky. For the first week, it was just my parents and me and the hubs, but the second week, sister and I ditched the husbands (they had to go back to work) and just spent the last week as “the original family.”

Sis had to spend Christmas in Memphis with her in-laws, so we agreed to meet her in Nashville to pick her up, send the boys on their way (and of course, do a little shopping at Opry Mills).

But on our way, we had a flat tire.

Now those are bad enough already, especially in the winter, but it was a sunny day at least, and we did have the boys with us still, so Daddy and husband got out to change the tire.

Unfortunately, one of my parents’ friends had had a flat just the week before so they had lent him their tire iron, and somehow, that crucial part of the tire-changing process got bent. Don’t ask me who is strong enough to bend a tire iron (or what car company is cheap enough to put a tire iron made of aluminum in the trunk kit – ahem, Jaguar), but there we are, fully equipped with a jack and a spare, but no tire iron.

Well, no problem. We’re on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. It’s the day after Christmas. Surely the most hospitable people on earth (Southerners) are in the Christmas spirit still, right?

Wrong. Since Dad and husband are busy jacking up the car, I volunteered to see if I could flag down a friendly fellow traveler to simply pull over and lend us their iron, we’ll get the lug nuts off, throw the new tire on, and be on our way.

Wrong. Even in broad daylight, with a nicely dressed (albeit freezing) family, in the heart of the South, with a GIRL waving for help, we stood there almost an hour before anyone was kind enough to pull over.

Of course we called the Highway Patrol and the AAA, but they were too busy responding to other calls. (Though they should have come right by, because all the rubberneckers caused two wrecks in the meantime.) All we needed was a little tire iron after all. Something most of us keep in our cars (or should) at all times. It didn’t warrant a tow truck. Finally, a kind couple pulled over, didn’t have the size we needed, but was kind enough to drive to the next exit, purchase us one from the auto store, and bring it back. That’s the true Southern spirit.

But still… Shame, shame on us Southerners. I hope none of you readers were one of those passersbys, but even if you weren’t, let this be a lesson to you. Show a little kindness. You never know when you’ll need some in return. My husband said had it been 50 years ago, we would have had to shoo half the people away. That’s a sad testament to how far we’ve come. Remember who we are.

Now, as most of our readers tend to be ladies, I don’t suggest you stop if you’re on your own. And even you gentlemen, use your common sense, but what a better lesson would it have been, driving down the (major) interstate with your family, to pull over and help another family in need.

So the next time you see someone pulled over, at least slow down, take a glance to see if they look alright, and if you don’t, for heaven’s sake, at least change over to the other lane, rather than go speeding past the cold little family standing on the side of the road.

I forgive you, I-65 travelers. Just don’t let it happen again.