Reasons to Love The South

Sweet tea, summer nights, y'all, and Bless your heart. The Reasons to Love The South. South has its own special charm and there are so many reasons to love it.*Written while enjoying a pint of Blue Bell ice cream*

I never saw myself having a life here.  I had visited southern cities several times in my life, but I never thought I would end up in one.  We have now been stationed below the Mason-Dixon line since we met seven years ago.  Y’all…the South is amazing.  There are truly so many reasons to love The South.  It has everything I want for myself, my family, and our future.  Yes I know that we may be told to pack it up at any point; but we both agree the South is where we will call home in the end.

Let me explain why….

FAMILY

This word DOES NOT have the same meaning down here as it does everywhere else.  Family down here is not something just determined by blood.  They are your people.  They are your tribe.  You will have some sweet, some sour, and some plain crazy (honestly probably a lot of crazy); go ahead and accept that.  Southerners will pull you in and treat you as though you’ve been related all your life.

FOOD

Boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, etoufee, meat pies, fried pies, muffulettas, king cakes.  I truly could have kept Reasons to Love The Southgoing.  Part of me is convinced that the people down here are so nice simply because they are so happy with the food!  Ok Ok, most things have at least one stick of butter in the recipe.  I don’t care.  I could spend a lifetime visiting every southern restaurant there is.  There is flavor, there is spice, there is sweet, and there is savory.  It is all covered down here, and it is covered so well.

BLUE BELL

Yes, I just wrote about the food.  Yes, Blue  Bell ice cream gets its own heading.  Why?  When I first started working at my high school, my co-workers (now family) were in mourning.  I am not exaggerating.  Blue Bell was having a crisis and was off the shelves for months.  You would have thought that we were having some sort of national emergency or something like that.  Nope.  It was ice cream.  My apologies, it was BLUE BELL!  There are actual conversations that start with “Have you tried the new Blue Bell flavor?”  I didn’t get it then.  I get it now.  Go get some.  You’re welcome.

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MANNERS

“Yes Ma’am” and “No Sir” are alive and well down here.  I love it.  I have never understood why people outside of the southern states get offended by these titles.  When a student doesn’t understand something I have said, 100% of the time their response is “Ma’am?”  All ladies are “Miss” and all men are “Mister.”  It is second nature and never ceases to remind me that there is still room for manners in this day and age.

LANGUAGE

Southern terms just roll off the tongue a little sweeter.  I really mean that.  The words, the accent, they feel like honey in your mouth.  They move a little slower, yet they have more “sugar” than regular words.  “Y’all” just sounds right.  Go Reasons to Love The Southahead, try it.  Someone is always “fixin” to do something or other.  If you are caught off guard you might just “fall out.”  Southerners are also geniuses at insulting you while sounding sweet.  “Bless your heart” is quite possibly the best sentence in existence.  They might be saying something kind, or they might be telling you to F*** off, you may never know.  However, I guarantee you they are saying it with a smile.

PEOPLE

Do not be surprised when the lady behind you in the grocery line starts telling you about her grandma.  She will somehow fit her last five years of family history into the five minutes you are both waiting to check out.  This is completely normal.  Have you met this woman before?  Nope.  Will you see her again? Doubt it.  Will you somehow fit her story into one of your own later in the week?  You bet you will.  That’s just how it works.  It’s kind of like how your friends quickly become family.  Well, strangers become friends; five minute friends.  These people will wish you a good day or say that they will keep you in their prayers, and they really do mean it!

DIRECTIONS

I was raised with “Drive five miles down so-and-so rode and make a left on so-and-so street until you get to 123 Main St.”  If you are down here, go ahead and kiss “regular” directions good-bye.  Down here it’s “You’re gonna go keep goin’ a piece until you get to the Shell.  Make a right by the Smith’s house and go down to the white fence.  The house is caddy-corner to it.”  Good luck; hope they didn’t paint that fence.

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WEATHER

I love southern weather.  You get that crispness in the fall, mild winters, rainy springs, and long summer days.  While I was annoyed by southern summers in the beginning, I adore them now.  The humidity makes everything slightly sticky.  Lightning bugs come out and find new homes in mason jars.  People sit in their driveways sipping sweet tea, watchingReasons to Love the South kids run through sprinklers. You have significantly more t-shirts than you do sweaters and flip flops can be worn (and are completely acceptable) nearly year round.

A FEW MORE….

Sweet Tea – It’s automatic.  I think you would have to actually ask for unsweetened; and why would you do that?

Big Bows – The higher the bow, the closer to God.

Monograms – If it ain’t movin’, monogram it.  Shoot, even if it is movin’, hold it down and monogram it.

“The” – as in The Walmart, The Target, The Chik-Fil-A.  Yep, it’s a thing.

Slow – Everything.  If you are in a rush, you are in the wrong place.

Front Porches – How else are you going to get the neighborhood gossip?

Mason Jars – Crafting, canning, DIYs.  They are used for literally everything.

Funerals – I am serious.  The food and “getting a good seat” is really a thing.

Literature – Harper Lee, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner.  The vibrant language of southern authors…*sigh* It is truly storytelling.

 

The South is full of beauty, culture, and family you just haven’t met yet.  It is where I am happy to call home and plan to call home when it’s all said and done.

So tell me y’all, what would you add to this list?

 

 

65 thoughts on “Reasons to Love The South

    1. I was up north visiting family and was reminded that my perception of what is cold has certainly changed! Stay bundled up there!!!

  1. I used to live in Northern VA and my husband and I would drive down south during the holidays. Yes I miss The Chick fil A, sweet tea, shrimp and grits, the yes ma’ams and yalls. Such happy memories.

  2. I love this so much!! I grew up mostly in Maryland…as I had military parents. But now I’ve been in the south longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere else. It’s home…and I love it. All of these are so true and I love that you gave Blue bell it’s own section!

    1. I have only been here five years now, but like you, it is home. I love it. It took my southern “family” forever to get me to truly understand the importance of Blue Bell. I totally get it now.

  3. I lived in Alabama for about 10 years, and complained about it the majority of the time I was there. I’m originally from California, so it got a little boring for me at times (especially being single with no kids). If I had a family, it would be a little different. I truly enjoyed the open air and slower pace, less traffic and smog. Might be headed back! Who knows, you know?

    1. I moved here from Los Angeles so I TOTALLY know what you mean. It took some getting used to. I was already sold before we had our child, but now it is definite. There is something about it down here that makes me feel comforted raising a family in this area.

  4. I’m from Texas and I moved to LA two years ago and I just didn’t realize what a culture the South has. Plus, I can’t find any good Tex-Mex here!

    Thanks for sharing! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

  5. I’ve never lived in the south, but I do notice a different atmosphere when I visit. I seems to have more of that hometown feel. I don’t know if I could take the heat and humidity though!

  6. It sounds like a great place to live and raise a family. I would like to visit the south one day, the food sounds delish and the laid back, friendly lifestyle would be a welcome change from the busy city.

    1. The food is so so good!! I miss living in a big city every once in a while; but as a whole, I am much happier down here.

  7. I grew up in the south and just moved to the mountains and I’m so sad! You are so right- it’s a super unique place with so many good things, especially Blue Bell ice cream!!!

  8. Such a sweet post! The South has so many charming aspects and I love the ones you highlighted. My grandpa LOVES Blue Bell!

  9. Bless your heart, y’all up north just dont get all this southern stuff. We’re fixin’ Somethin’ To eat all the time. Honey, you are right. you ain’t seennothing until you have a piece a pie with Blue Bell Ice cream. Ice cream and sweet tea are our state emblem. So glad you have now experienced pure heaven. Even a hot day in the south is better than being a Yankee.
    Haha! Born and bred southern. Never leavin’ Texas. Thoroughly enjoyed every word you said!!

  10. Oh how I love the south! I’m a southern woman born and breed right in Georgia! Let me tell you, you can hardly see the preacher on sundays for all the bows and big hair! Love it!

  11. I might be bias but Southerners are the best people around. I’m born and breed in the South. There are times that I am shocked on how people act because they have no manners at all and are food is so good.

  12. Your post made me fall in love with the South! I mean I’ve watched “Southerners” on TV (like on Southern Charm or the bachelor/bachelorette) and these southerners seemed so kind and friendly and funny but i’d like to experience the real thing. I am dying to go to go to Charleston!

  13. Southern IL here, a different type of South but the values are the same. Love my part of Rural America and its people! And what I wouldn’t give to move a few hours farther south 😉

  14. I LOVE this post. I have never been to the South, but it does sound kind of heavenly. Besides, I give directions like a Southerner already – when giving directions, people shouldn’t use words like “west.” 🙂

  15. Love this article. My husband and I just recently moved to the south from Vegas, stationed in Georgia. We never that we would love it either but everything you listed is so accurate and true, the south is really something different! A good different

    1. Yes yes yes!! I am still surprised at how much I have grown to love it here. Ok surprised is not really the word; it’s easy to love

  16. As a Southern girl myself, I agree wholeheartedly! You’ve accurately captured what life is like in the South—especially small town living. Reading this post took me back to the small town in Tennessee where I grew up. I live in ‘the big city’ now (which I love!) but there’s nothing quite like small town living.

  17. I have a growing love for the south. our family moved to south carolina. we’re all from the midwest and in the beginning of their time there they would complain about the slowness. building their house took forever. Or that time the power went out? it took twice as long to get back on than it would where we were from. we’ve grown to appreciate it though, it’s good to slow down.

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