Friday, April 2, 2010

Sweetest Southern Sounds

Peach Blooms in Alabama by Frances Robson


Good evening from Lakepoint Lodge in Eufaula, AL. We came up for a couple of days to stay at the state park and enjoy the beauty of Sweet Home Alabama at one of the prettiest parks in Alabama. The whole park has recently been remodeled and cleaned up and it is a great place to visit. The lodge restaurant has delicious food which always enjoy. The staff of the park is so friendly and make you feel very welcome.

It is on Lake Eufaula and the lake has many fishermen busily trying to catch fish from boats, on the lakeside, or sitting on docks. The fish are biting for some and several told me today they had "cotched" a good string of bream or crappy. One lady said she was looking forward to frying them up and eating them with grits and homemade biscuits. We discovered we make biscuits the same way, from scratch, mixing with our hands, rolling them up in our hands and patting them out. This makes a flaky, tender biscuit that melts in your mouth.

We visited the town of Eufaula this morning to shop in a large thrift store. It has areas which people rent to display their wares and we are looking for a small baby bed which they had several at Thanksgiving. But as usual when you need something they don't have it. I did find several pretty little outfits for our little great granddaughter coming in May and a basket which I could not turn down. I am a sucker for baskets. Then of course there was the pretty box full of ribbons, lace and other pretties and several yards of white flannel to make baby blankets which I just had to buy. There were lots I passed by for I really don't need anymore stuff to dust.

The town is bursting with blooms for dogwood, flowering peach, Bradford pear, and other trees and shrubs. There is also pollen everywhere. You can see it floating in the air and it has covered everything with a yellow coat of dust. If we have to have this to have the lovely flowers I can put up with it and thank you benadryl.

As I shopped throughout the thrift store and talked to people there and here at the lodge I enjoyed hearing the sweet sounds of the South. I thought I would share some with you for they are what makes the Southern way of life so special.

"Ya'll come in. Can we help you?" - this is the welcome you get when you enter most any store and it is said in that lovely, slow way we speak down here.

"Do ya'll live here or just visiting?" this is not nosiness but just wanting to make your acquaintance. If you are visiting they will make you feel welcome and you always hear.....

"Where ya'll from?" It seems that no matter where you hail from they know somebody who lives there, they have lived there, or they know someone in the same county. Maybe this is because we keep kin to way down the tree . If they don't know anyone there they have been through it. We are pretty close knit down here.

"Are you kin to .......? " If you have a common name you will get asked this question so they can begin to trace your roots. Roots are important since you might be kinfolk and a "kissing cousin." It also checks your pedigree to see if you are acceptable in polite society.

"Do ya'll need any help?" Most people in the South are most helpful especially if you have white hair like I do or use a cane like Roy. They will open doors for you, let you walk in first, or offer to assist you up the steps. I appreciate this and even if I don't need help I often say yes so they can feel useful.

"Can I get you anything else? More coffee, tea or water? Just call me if you need something." These are the questions we got at lunch. The waitress was very helpful, friendly and made us feel right at home. She even told me the brand of the tea used to make the sweet iced tea which was so good. It made our lunch most pleasurable.

"Good evening, how are ya'll "- This was asked by the folks we walked by as they fished. We stopped and talked to some and all were friendly and willing to "conversate" for awhile. They either showed off their nice string of fish or bemoaned the fact they weren't catching any. It is so nice to just sit a spell and talk with total strangers and find you have lots in common. We like grits, biscuits, hushpuppies and slaw. It's a Southern thing.

Besides the sweet sounds of Southern conversation we have those sweet sounds of nature. We have heard squirrels chattering with each other, purple martins and blackbirds singing in the trees outside our porch, soft put-put of the trolling motors on the boats, and the soft plop as the bait hits the water. I am enjoying the soft sounds of conversation between the fishermen for if you talk too loud you will scare the fish away - that's what daddy said. There is a large number of geese close by and they are quietly talking to each other. Every now and then they honk loudly but mostly just geese sounds which I didn't know they could make.

The sweetest sound of all is silence. It offers you the pleasure of listening to your own thoughts and time to ponder the beauty that God has blessed us with. I am loving it!

Now ya'll come back to see me and we'll have some of that sweet, iced tea and "comersation" as Becky used to say. I am about to take my camera and walk around outside and take some more pictures which I will share with you.

By for now and...

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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