Where Are You From?
Good evening, ya'll. How are you doing? I am much better today after my visit to Dr. Frankenstein yesterday. Of course my mouth and jaw hurt, but when you have mouth surgery, it is going to hurt. So I will give myself the same advice I used to give the children, "It's going to hurt, so get over it."
I had a wonderful surprise today! I received a sweet and thoughtful note from a fellow Camden, AL native, who like me moved away. She was writing in response to my letter to the local paper in Camden about our daddy. It was moving to know she cared enough to write a note and of course, being a Southern Lady, raised by a good Southern mama, I will write a note in return. I really don't mind for I was very touched. This is the second note from someone in my long ago past who has written in response to the letter and I am most flattered and warmed by their caring.
You know, being from a small town in the South is a unique and special experience and we carry those lessons we learned as children throughout our lives. The people in our home towns helped make us who we are and what we are. You see, all the people who touched our lives helped mold and shape us and most of the time with a caring and loving attitude. Occasionally, we would question whether the "Mama Police" was reporting our behavior out of love or otherwise but looking back, I know it was from caring about us and wanting us to stay safe.
I think back about our neighbors, who was everybody within a five mile or more radius, we could have called on them day or night for help and they would have been there. The people in our churches would give you most anything they had if you needed it and with caring and concern. Business people we traded with would charge what you needed until you could pay for it and took your word and/or a handshake to bind the deal. It was and is a place of trust and caring.
Our teachers were probably the largest influences in our lives, other than our parents. We were expected to not question a teacher's decision or authority under any circumstance. They were always right and we knew not to question that authority. If there was a problem, we told our parents and with respect for the teachers, they would have a conference and straighten it all out. Later we found out they didn't always take the teacher's side, but we didn't know it for they never wanted us to have anything but respect for that authority.
We were blessed by the teachers we had. They truly cared about us and that we not only learned facts and book-learning, but that we knew they loved us and wanted to learn how to be good people. It was taught by example and as far as we saw, our teachers were people to admire and emulate. Now I am sure they were not all perfect but as far as we saw and knew, they were good people. In the South, that is a high compliment to call someone a "good person." That sums it up.
Of course our church teachers and preachers were our other role models and a big influence on our lives. I can look back and name those teachers who taught me the books of the Bible, basic Christian beliefs, memory verses from the Bible, songs of praise,and how to pray. Most of all, they taught us, by example how to live these beliefs and how to be a Godly man or woman. These were also our neighbors, friends and school teachers for in a small town, we are all woven together like a beautiful tapestry and each thread is needed to hold it together. I thank God for our church and the caring, loving and training we received from it.
It was not only our church, but all the churches visited each other and denomination was not a barrier. We knew there were small differences in each church, but they were not that important. They were our friends and neighbors and we could all worship together and often did. It was a caring, sharing group which I am so glad I had in my childhood.
This is why in the South, we ask the question, "Where are you from?" The answer to this question will tell us who you are and what kind of person you are. If it is a small Southern town or a large one, it indicates your background in solid; loving and you were cared for by most of the people in that place. They knew your name, your parent's name, and sometimes names from generations back. Not only did they know your name, but they knew YOU and cared about you. Where are you from is not just being nosy, it is our way of identifying with you for if you were raised like we were, we already have a great deal in common and are well on our way to being friends.
Well, I have rambled on today and not sure I have made a lot of sense, but bear with me for as I grow older, I tend to ramble a little more. However, in my dotage, I am learning to appreciate "my raising" more and more and be thankful for being raised by a small, Southern town.
The Georgia Peach with her heart in Lower Alabama (L. A.)