In another life I lived in Alabama, The Shoals area, as it's called. I always thought I'd return there to live, rear my children, teach at the local university, learn to cook good barbecue (the kind with southern white sauce as the condiment of choice), make mustard slaw, and have southern drawl speaking grandchildren. But - nay, not so. So I've resorted to returning, to at least some part of the south, whenever I can. I've been back to The Shoals a few times, with the kids, and by myself 12 1/2 years ago - a time when I was trying to sort out what to do with my life as a recently divorced woman of 2 adult children. I spent time then with my friend, Debby, who is now living in Florida.
Scott and I are heading there soon. Although I've been to Western North Carolina, DC, Eastern Tennessee, I need true South. It's not a glamorous place. As I've told folks where we're traveling this summer, many have wondered why Alabama. No answer, just that it's calling me; I left a portion of my heart in the south, thinking I'd return to live, but now I return to get grounded, There aren't many people I want to visit, really just a couple of folks, but the area, oh boy, I am so excited to get back to the humidity (Southern arms wrapping around me), the Tennessee River, the Natchez Trace, Shiloh Battlefield, Muscle Shoals Sound, Ivy Green - Helen Keller's birthplace, the Dismals, and just soak in enough green and rain and love to fill my soul.
Oh yeah - I'm going home!!!