Saturday, June 11, 2011

Now I Know, There's No Place Like Home

When I was a teen I couldn't wait to grow up & leave Alabama; mainly the small town I had been born & raised in. Mother would just give me a look that I didn't quite grasp the meaning of until I was much older. Now I know!

Until you appreciate yourself, your uniqueness, how can you expect others to? And until you're around others that are different from you, how can you tell your differences?

I mentioned in the previous post about our first quilt guild meet this month & how about 10 of us ladies had gone to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. We had a great meet & a great lunch, but it was the company, companionship that we shared that made it so special.

Most of our group is locals; folks that have always called this home even if they have lived out of state for periods in their lives. But every once in awhile we get a transplant. Right now we have two that I can think of right off.

Betty is a transplant from Vermont. A super sweet person, but not at all loud & boisterous like most of the rest of us. She does have grown children & I just know those kids were never hollered at when they were little. Betty is so soft spoken that when she does speak, by the time everybody gets thru saying, "Ssssh, Betty's talking", she's halfway done.

Our other transplant is Marcie. She came to us from California via Minnesota. Now that's a combination! But I don't think she was quite ready for Alabama.

At meet the other day, she needed to know if southerns had a problem giving directions. She had called another member, Judy, about meeting a small group at another members house. Marcie's telling us this story. Judy tells her to leave her house & head to 280 (main highway), cross 280 & go to first red light & turn. Marcie says ok, sounds simple enough.

Said she crosses 280 & she starts immediately looking for the red light. In California, there's one on every corner. She keeps driving, no red light. She keeps driving, no red light. She keeps driving, no red light.

Fifteen miles later, there's the red light. She wants to know is this the way people around here give directions. She asks, "Is this a southern thing?" And we're all like yeah that's right. And Judy's like, " well you found us!"

So when we take off to lunch together, the conversations continue in about the same manner. Marcie is so funny at pointing out the uniqueness of Alabamians. Course it's not a one sided observation. She has us rolling in the floor doing her Minnesota accents & phrases, but that's a gotta be there & hear it thing.

At one point something came up about not cooking, husbands & do you think I have a boyfriend. At that moment, the crowded restaurant went silent. People love to hear other folks juicy stuff. Thought maybe any minute we were gonna be asked to leave, but not! That would have cost them about $100 if we all got up & left.

Then one of our southern girls, Susan, came over with an observation to add. She was an English teacher at one time in Louisiana. Started talking about the southern word y'all. You should hear Marcie say that! Another roll of laughter. You'd think we were all having drinks other than sweet tea. Or maybe the sweet tea was the problem; all hyped up on sugar.

Anyway Susan said she had figured out that y'all being a contraction for you all was the only word where there could correctly be two apostrophes in a word. Example: Get y'all's quilts & bring them with you. The first apostrophe is the contraction & the second apostrophe shows possession.

Course we all agreed this rule should be added to the American English language. Told them I had always thought y'all should be just one word yall, but since this new rule would be so unique, I give.

So thinking about my mother's look she always gave me when I started the leave Alabama routine; she knew one day I'd find out for myself. There's no place like home!


  1. We were just the opposite of each other. Growing up in Louisiana, I never wanted to leave. I finally left at 23 to get my Master's determined to return as soon as possible. I hadn't been gone a month when I knew I would never live in Louisiana again. And I haven't.

  2. Great post! I remember when I went to visit a friend of mine who had moved from Illinois to North Carolina. I met some of the family friends and they were just fasinated that I went to scxhool in Chicago. I got a lot of questions about gangsters and my accent. Great fun.

  3. Comment from facebook:
    Hi Cynthia,
    Vicki Grier Caquias commented on your link.
    Vicki wrote: "I enjoyed reading your post. I agree, I moved away when I was younger but came back to Alabama. No one could have been more shocked than me that I've spent my adult life back home in Alabama! I love to travle, but there's no place like home!"