Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Southern Heritage

We originally came to Utah so that I could attend Brigham Young University. Now that I'm done with school and I'm "taking a break" before finding a job, there isn't anything necessarily keeping us in Utah. We're just still here, trying to find our way. Hoping the future has some babies in it. Not knowing where to go from here.

I feel really nostalgic about the South sometimes. There are so many things I miss about living in Georgia - the people, the accents, the food (boiled peanuts ... mmmmmmmmm), the rain, the heat, the trees, the majority of my family who still lives there, and the overall comfort of country living. I miss having land and lots of animals. I miss living where expectations are low, so happiness and success are pretty easily achieved. Ha ha. Living in the country vs. the city can be much cheaper too. And relaxed, laid back. Not so anxious and busy, busy, busy like living here has felt to me. I'm a country girl. I like running around barefoot, building fires, catching lightning bugs, BBQ'ing, sitting out in the hot night air and talking and laughing until the mosquitoes finally drive us in the house.

But these last 5 1/2 years in Utah have been life-changing. There have been moments when I've said to myself, "This is the home I never knew existed." There were many reasons why I wanted to come here in the first place and now Utah has a huge part of my heart. The LDS culture - lots of people who share our religious beliefs, the BYU student atmosphere, the football fans, the snow, the lack of bugs (I haven't encountered a single mosquito or roach since I've lived here), the friends we've made, the safety of our neighborhood, the community and how much more people contribute and hold themselves accountable to each other than I've ever seen before, the huge families.

I guess I just wonder where we'll ultimately end up? There are downsides to both places. Zay has said so many times about Georgia, "I've served my time there." But we miss it... I wish we could take the best of both worlds we've experienced and squish 'em together into our own little utopia.

Or we could pull a place out of a hat and just pack up and go! Try somewhere new. So many things seem up in the air right now and my future looks so hazy and unclear. Making decisions right now seems more difficult than it's ever been because there seem to be so many of them. And I've got time on my hands to reflect on it all.

Where would I want to raise my kids? Will I ever be able to settle down in one place? I feel like I would need to for my kids' sakes, but I like the freedom of being able to get up and go. Buying a home anywhere scares me. Would my kids fit in here? Would they do well in the schools here? There isn't much diversity - how much would that matter to them? On the other hand, Georgia still has a lot of ignorance and racial tension. Will it be that way when my kids are older? The South laid the foundation for who I am now. There are things I learned - traditions, values, even my crazy thick accent that I love, silly figures of speech, the feeling of Southern hospitality - that I want my kids to experience. That's important to me.

We visited Georgia a few years ago. I went back through the pictures and picked out a few that stood out to me:

It was Christmas time - my brother playing the new Wii with his trucker hat on. Ha ha.

Christmas at my dad's house.

Zay's brother.

Zay & a couple of his brothers.

How country is this picture?! With the dogs on the car roof. I love it.

Speaking of country, this picture was taken way back when we were both teenagers, but do you see the broke down car in the neighbor's yard? HA HA HA.

Bon fires! One of my favorite memories.

The Bug House - my dad's mechanic shop. I spent a lot of time here as a kid.

My Granny, feeding the chickens!

The Red & White - the only grocery store in our whole town. I lived off Nutty Buddies and Mickey Mouse ice creams (the ones with the chocolate ears) from here when I was a kid.

Ooh! I found a picture!

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