I love Oregon. I do. But, y'all ... I miss the South. Today, I feel homesick. Homesick for people and friends and familiarity. So, to help me grieve this loss, I'm compiling a list of everything I miss about the South (culture-wise, not people. I miss you all.).
In no particular order (except the order I thought of them), here are the top ten so far:
Kraft just doesn't cut it, and don't even talk to me about Miracle Whip. You can't buy Duke's west of Kansas or Texas. My tomato sandwiches are suffering these days.
2. Real Barbecue.
As in, barbecue is specifically defined as pork, slow-roasted over a fire pit, pulled, and slathered in sauce. It's something you eat, not something you do to your food, or a type of gathering. Here, people have a barbecue, and cook burgers. I want to eat some barbecue. Real barbecue. Get me a bun, some slow-cooked pulled pork, mustard sauce, and a Cheerwine. Please.
3. Sweet Tea.
Of course we make our own at home. but this goes without saying: It just ain't here. But this was no surprise.
Nope. Not here.
5. Sir and Ma'am.
This is one of my favorite things about Southern culture. I appreciate the respect given to elders by these titles, and I'm never sure if I'm insulting people when I say this outside the South. I'm always afraid they'll take it ironically, not respectfully.
6. Friendly Strangers
People here are nice, of course. It's just not a thing to talk to people you don't know. At least, it doesn't seem to be. How people make friends, I have no idea. Maybe I'm just not in the right places with the right people to start stranger conversations.
7. Big Open Yards.
Privacy fences are depressing to me, and a little creepy. I don't want to hide in my own yard. But I think it goes along with the not-talking-to-strangers thing. Neighbors here aren't necessarily friends like they would be in the South.
8. Cost of Living.
According to Zillow, many (if not most) houses in our town are $150+ per square foot. And usually for not very many square feet. That, ladies and gentleman, is ridiculous. Especially compared to the South. Also, don't get me started on groceries. Or gas.
9. Poison Ivy.
I mean, instead of poison oak. Apparently, I am severely allergic to poison oak. I'll spare you the graphic details.
Go to South Carolina. Eat there. Tell me I'm right.
What about you? What do you love about where you live now, and what do you miss about your hometown?