Tag Archives: Spring

46

22 Apr

We lived that first year in a tiny yellow house, all brick, with a steep driveway.  The yard was overgrown, long neglected, and the front stairs were rickety.  We didn’t have heat, not because of a lack of opportunity but because of a lack of finances, and we spent those long winter nights huddled together under the quilt, watching movies, talking, or sleeping.

Spring came, and the whole world turned green.  The house was set back from the road, down a hill and in front of a creek.  The property was surrounded by trees and separated from the neighbors by bushes and brush.  I awoke one morning to tiny bursts of green, a relief after seeing so much brown for so long.  We slept with the screen door open, fresh air circulating through the house and providing us with solid nights of sleep and mornings filled with sunlight and birds.  We traveled to his family’s farm for Easter, two solid hours of driving, our new puppy sleeping in the backseat.  I met everyone that day, an overwhelming prospect even to the most outgoing of souls.  I forgot everyone’s name and relationship to each other the moment I stepped away, but the food was good and people were kind, and with that combination it doesn’t really matter if names are recalled.

The summer was hot and long, bringing lots of bugs along with it.  We killed roaches nightly, and it made me hate that little house.  And when we got that problem under control our air conditioner went out, leaving us breathless and sweating, moving slowly from room to room, taking cold showers and lying naked under fans.  We fought a lot, mostly because of the heat and the rapid way that our lives were speeding up to, leaving us fragile and confused, blinking in the new light of change.  He told me he loved me at the end of June.  Then his ex-girlfriend left that August for grad school, five states away.  We fought bitterly the night he went to say goodbye to her, leaving us both hurting deeply, in different ways.  But soon she was gone, and autumn came.

The trees lining the property turned fire-like when September rolled around.  Soon there were no leaves left on the trees; instead, they all lived on our deck and front steps and on top of the cars, flying about in a blaze of glory whenever the wind picked up.  He moved into my room in November, and spent Christmas at my house, braving my family, who prefers their holiday with a little drink on the side.

We left that little house in the last days of 2010, leaving behind a cold kitchen that we hadn’t used since the temperature dropped below freezing.  We spent the whole month of December in our bedroom, the space heater on high and planning where to go next.  We live in a generic condo now, where heat and air conditioning is included in our monthly rent.  I love it here (no bugs) and so does he (better floorplan); it’s a step up from the little yellow house.

I miss those cold nights, sometimes, when it was just the two of us and everything was new.  We spent the whole workday looking forward to going home, putting on pajamas, and climbing into bed with each other.  It was a good start; something I think I’ll always look back on with a warm, happy feeling.  It was the start of something good.

13

25 Aug

Begin rant.

I am proud to be from the South. I don’t care what you damn Yankees say, the north is not better than the south, no matter how many times you throw your meaningless examples into my face. If it is indeed so much better there, go back. Leave. No one, I assure, is begging you to stay. I love my heritage, my city, my side of the Mason-Dixon Line. I love the Great Smoky Mountains, the accents, the tiny little towns with one street light and old, historic houses lining the road. I love the farms, the rolling land and trees and rivers. I love the dogwoods and magnolias, the way Atlanta looks in the spring, new and full of light and life.

I love Easter Sunday and Christmas, and family, and friends that turn into family, and the way my nanna cooks every Sunday and major holiday, or just in the middle of the week when family come into town or friends come to visit. I love how we can trace my family back to the 1700’s, and how we’ve been in the south since then, and by God, if anyone derogates that my southern accent is coming out and I’m gonna get mean.

I love my southern universities and southern literature, and especially my southern music. I respect my elders, say yes ma’am and no sir, and I still wear a dress on holidays, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. My momma makes the best fried chicken, my nanna makes the best cornbread anywhere, and I’ve got bowls in the kitchen passed down from said nanna and recipe cards with my great-great-great grandmothers handwriting, and that is a real thing of value here.

I love my summer nights with crickets and lightning bugs, my hazy afternoons with front porches and cicadas and my early evenings with a book, a hammock, and the smell of honeysuckle floating across the yard. I love roadside vegetable stands, old pickup trucks, air conditioning. I love my spring days when the world is bursting with newness and color; I love my autumns when I can finally walk outside without breaking a sweat. I love my country roads and my farms, my mountains and wide open fields. I love my southern beaches. I love the smell of charcoal and grilled food on summer nights. And finally, I love my history, my tradition, my stories, my people – I love my South.