Monday, July 29, 2013

Southern Living, Sweetie

My favorite morning happy place
Out to dinner in Wisconsin with about 10 close friends, one of the men in our group chatting with our waitress called her "hon" (as in honey) and let me tell you, the head of every woman in our group did a quick, in-unison turn in his direction as our jaws dropped.

Now this was years before I even considered living in the South. But this friend, Mike, is a salesman and at the time, he traveled extensively in the South and spent the rest of that night defending his "hon" remark to five women who had some seriously ruffled feathers.

Fast forward five years, and now I'm a shopgirl in Chattanooga. In the past four months, I've been called "sugar," "sweetie" and countless times "honey." The first time it was a young woman, bottle-blond with bubble-gum pink toenails, who called me "sugar," and all I could do was squint my eyes, cock my head and recall that night in Wisconsin. 

But now when a customer drops that Southernism on me, I flash a quick smile, slip into a Southern twang and move on with selling them that starter fertilizer or some other upgrade. Now, don't get me wrong: I can't imagine I'd ever use the lingo myself. And I think what works in the South doesn't necessarily work in Wisconsin. And maybe it doesn't "work" in the South, but believe me, it's here to stay.

SO, back at the homestead. ... The endless rain has finally ended and the power of the sun continues to amaze us, now in our third month of relying only on our solar panel for our blender drinks, evening TV and lights. The native black-eyed Susans are in full bloom, as are the coneflowers, and the grass lawns remain fairly lush. I've been well-behaved, saving my money rather than bringing home new plants; we'll see how long that lasts.

And life -- the good life -- goes on.

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