Can you really ever go home again?
Last week was spent up North in Ohio, where we used to live. I got to spend time with my son every evening, after he was done working, which to be honest was the highlight of my trip.
One day I went up to the small city I used to live in, to see a few friends I hadn't seen since moving South two and half years ago. It was really great seeing them, and the bonus was getting to get my hair done by my favorite girl that I used to work with, when I worked at the salon in the said small city. She doesn't work in the same salon anymore, but she is still in the downtown area.
Honestly, I thought it was going to be like going home for me, to be back in that city I'd lived in for fifteen years of my life, and where my son grew up... but it wasn't, not even close. Don't get me wrong, seeing the few friends I did get to see, it was like I had just seen them yesterday, we stepped right back into the easy talking we'd always had, and for that I am grateful.
It was the city itself that felt different, almost like I was a stranger in a strange land. And after talking with them, it wasn't so far-fetched, even they said things have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years, in very different ways.
Now, I understood why I felt like the stranger.
Thankfully, my son still has really good friends there, and it is where he is choosing to return to, when he moves in a couple of months. He has made a point of returning to his hometown every few weeks to hang out with friends. He will be one of the reasons we'll return for future visits, but it will never truly feel like home to me anymore. And that saddens me, but while I loved seeing my son, I also couldn't wait to get back to North Georgia. Trust me, I've tried getting him to move down here, but it is always a no. I think he likes having a reason to travel, because he loves to visit Georgia, so maybe someday...
Apparently, I am a Southern country girl at heart, and never realized it, until I left it for six days, came back and it felt like home. Now, I've been away from Georgia before now, but this time was different. It hit me when I walked out of the airport, and breathed in the fresh warm air, then again at the grocery store when the cashier asked, "How are y'all doing today?" And when she exclaimed as we left, "Y'all have a blessed day." Two very simple phrases, but ones that packed a lot of warmth into them.
How can so few words mean so much, and give such a sense of belonging? I don't know, but one thing I am not going to do, is question it. Southern hospitality is a thing, and I wish more states/people were like they are down here. Even in Tennessee, the people are just nicer and not as rude. The scenery is beautiful too.
I pray that the people in the South that are raising children today, raise them with the same values, love of God, respect for adults, and with a love of family that they did back in the day. I've never been called Ma'am so many times in my life since moving here, and I thought I would hate the day someone called me ma'am, but that person is just being respectful to me, and how could I hate that?
There's so much negativity in this world hitting the news on an hourly basis, and that's all they will show you, hence the reason I don't watch news outlets. They are not journalists anymore either, they are mere opinionists, (new word, get used to it) and that is not news, it's just their opinion of the news. Even in the big cities here in Georgia get caught up in the crap news, so we aren't' immune to it by any means, but I choose not to take part in it.
So why don't we take a few pointers from the old southerners and be a little kinder, a little warmer and make your neighbor feel like they are truly home.
Much love my friends, until next time. I have to get back to writing my current WIP, "Of All the Fates".