Friday, August 5, 2011

A Northern Lady & A Southern Man

I was born and raised right here in East Tennessee. I grew up VERY southern. Fried chicken, sweet potato pie, and RC Cola. My wife is a northern girl. A transplant. She was born in IL, raised in Cleveland, OH, and later moved to NH. She eats things like parogies, snickerdoodles, and some kind of ginger ale that I can't remember the name of (Update: Vernors). This got me thinking about how our children have and will have the best of both worlds.

I'll show them The Great Smoky Mountains, Vols football games, how to golf on hills, and all the beauty that this area has to offer. I'll teach them about Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston. I'll read them classics from Mark Twain. We'll count Baptist churches and Waffle Houses and see who has the most corners occupied. We'll probably spend some time in a rocking chair, whittling. We'll get our behinds dirty sitting on a muddy bank while we try to catch some bluegill. I'll have them out shooting guns and riding four-wheelers. We'll go to Nascar races. And Dirt track races. They'll get to experience southern music, the home of Elvis, and the gulf of Mexico. We'll sit in the sun, eating a hotdog, at a Braves game. There's a lot to say about the south. Mostly, it's the people. We make it what it is. Our people are strong, independent, lively, God fearing, "help your neighbor" spirited blessings for everyone to enjoy and admire. That's how I feel about it, anyway.

Karyn can teach them some of the things she grew up doing. I'm sure at some point she'll take them to see the house that they used in the filming of A Christmas Story. We'll take them to see the Red Sox play. She'll teach them to talk funny. "Pahk the cah in tha cahpaht". She will want to show them where the Browns play. Maybe visit King's Island or Cedar Point like she did as a kid. Share her love of lighthouses or take them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She'll pass down the motherly love that was passed down to her. The kids will learn to love the northern people. Even if they are different from what they'll be around most of the time. They are fast paced, often unfriendly, unsweet tea drinking, hard working, family oriented, wind blown patriots. That's just the way I see it. ;)

There are some things that are common between the north and the south. We all love good food. Karyn and I both grew up watching John Wayne movies and both our parents had 40 foot long station wagons. Everybody loves a warm fire and spending time with the people we care about. At the end of the day, we're all Americans. Even if our cultures are worlds apart. I hope my kids respect and appreciate their heritage. On both sides.

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