Chasing a Dream: I LOVE Being Southern

An interesting thought occurred to me today:  I LOVE BEING SOUTHERN.

Why Do I Love Being Southern?

I know, people everywhere make fun of our accents (but they secretly LOVE them), and they think that we think slowly just because we talk slowly.  You know, that can actually work to our advantage because folks constantly under-estimate the intellect and tenacity of those of us who hail from the South.  We sound all soft and sweet, so we must be all soft and sweet.  And they have no idea of the planning, strategizing, and organizing of which we are capable.

There’s another reason I love being Southern, too.  That has to do with how I was raised.  You see, in Pegram, we had neighbors who actually were neighborly.  I remember times in my childhood when one of my parents would be in the hospital and we would come home to find wood chopped and stacked on the front porch and casseroles or pots of beef stew on the counter.

I remember being six years old and waking in the middle of the night to find my mama lying in the bathroom floor.  By the time the ambulance arrived, neighbors had arrived to take care of us while Daddy accompanied the ambulance to the hospital—and they stayed during the several days Mama was hospitalized.  Daddy didn’t worry about his children a single time—he KNEW BEYOND A DOUBT that the neighbors would take care of us as if we were their own.  And the neighbors knew that in the reverse, my parents would do the same for their children.  It’s just how we were raised.untitled-69

Being Southern Means I Was Raised With a Community Heart

Until recently, I had not realized how special it is to have a heart that sings for the good of the community.  The adults in our small community participated in so many things for the betterment of the community and its residents:  there were Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders who gave generously of their time and energy, there were Room Mothers and PTA members and church members and aldermen and so many others whose efforts made the community a better place to be.  There were all-night barbecues and camp-outs and carnivals and parades.  The community pitched in to help families whose life challenges would have been otherwise overwhelming—whether it was temporary help they needed due to sudden illness or unemployment or long-term help they needed with a disabled family member.  In fact, twice as an adult I have run into childhood friends who told me how much they loved my parents and shared stories of help their families had received that I never knew about.

I May Live in LA But I’m Still from the South

What that means to me is that I am HAPPY when I can help people.  Now, that is not a common thing here, for sure, and people look at you as if you have two heads when you offer to help them do something.  Everyone seems suspicious, their eyes asking, “What do you want from me?”  The truth is, I want nothing from them—I am merely offering the assistance just because I can.  Just because it’s how I was raised.  Just because I am a Southern woman.  And just because my heart soars when I can contribute to someone’s success in any way.  I love being Southern because that’s the way we are.

Dream big!  It’s so much for fun to have a big dream than a small one!

Thanks for being here!

peggy!

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