I’m so excited you stopped by! Allow me to introduce myself…my name is Michele and I’m launching my new website and blog, MySimpleSouthernSlant, today. It’s My hope that you enjoy our time together, and when you leave- your heart is little lighter than when you came.
I want to highlight and celebrate all the wonderful aspects about living in the Deep South. It’s the Simple things in life that have the most value to me. The love of my family, the sweetness of friendships, sharing a meal, or a recipe that has been passed down from a generation gone and deeply missed…all worth more than money can buy. My Southern roots run deep. I have traveled our beautiful country, but there’s no place like home- and for me that’s the Heart Of Dixie.
The seasons here are stunningly beautiful yet sharply different. There’s nothing like Summer- strolling the sugar sand beaches of the Gulfof Mexico while the setting sun displays its glory in hues of pink and purple. The Fall leaves as they turn unforgettable shades of yellow, orange and burgundy while the cool breezes sneak in from the north. Winter here will typically bring one or two snowfalls of enough significance to close schools and delay business openings- meaning a few inches! Spring is a welcomed friend- all of the bulbs and perennials awake from their slumber, the trees burst forth, and the pollen covers everything like dusting a cake pan with butter and flour. I suppose I’m partial- and therein lies my Slant– even the air smells sweeter here…or could it be the smell coming from my kitchen… its certainly not from our cow pasture!
Going along with the seasons, we Southerners enjoy certain activities associated with each… Summer brings trips to the beaches along the Gulf- where soaking up the sun, warm white sand between your toes, and the taste of the salty air, make freshly caught seafood absolutely delicious! Escaping the heat and humidity statewide from June to September can be a challenge for sure- especially if you have naturally curly hair… Thank the Lord for air conditioning! Bug spray during the summer is a must too, lest you wear pink polka dots not from a fashion choice but because you were eaten by pesky mosquitoes. Fireworks for the 4th of July, chilled watermelon and cook-outs are staples here. I can’t forget to mention the fireflies, a.k.a. lightening bugs, many a childhood evening was spent catching them with friends down the street, putting them in a jar, and then placing the jar beside my bed to watch them blinking until I fell asleep (don’t worry, my grandma would remove the jar and let them go before she went to bed). By the time Fall arrives, most Southerners are ready for cool breezes and bonfires. Leaves begin to change colors and pumpkins show up in grocery stores and local markets- all signalling a welcomed end to the lingering heat of the dog days of Summer. The cooler temperatures allow everyone to catch their second wind just in time for the beginning of COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Southerners dress, unashamedly, in their favorite collegiate colors and everything revolves around Saturday game day. Couples think twice about setting wedding dates during football season- its that serious. Copious amounts of chili and BBQ, top secret-closely guarded recipes, are prepared and tailgating is kicked into high gear. Bragging rights, both on and off the field, are at stake. Thanksgiving brings gatherings with family and friends to feast on prized family recipes and count the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on each of us throughout the year. Football and feasting culminate together with the Alabama & Auburn game, otherwise known as the Iron Bowl, which is traditionally played Thanksgiving weekend. Depending on the outcome, in our home it sets the mood for an entire year! Still, all the gratitude ushers in the Christmas season…decorations adorning homes, mailboxes and shopping centers abound. Its not unusual to have temperatures in the 60s on Christmas Day, which is a bonus for children itching to try out their new bicycles received that morning. Despite the commercialism pushed by so many around the holidays, Christmas in the South offers so many opportunities to attend wonderful events centered around the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of Jesus. Local churches, large and small, welcome any and all who desire to join in the celebration to honor Him and celebrate His birth. The atmosphere is full of kindness and joy. Presents and baked goods are given to neighbors, friends and mailed to family as tokens of appreciation and love. The New Year brings with it renewed possibilities and fresh beginnings, but only after a New Year’s Day meal including black eyed peas- for good luck and prosperity. Yes, we do have a few interesting traditions! Winter is typically gray, cold and often wet- lending it to a time for hibernating until things begin to green up announcing the coming Spring and celebration of Easter…not the bunny…the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the reason for new birth, new hope and new life. Easter church services are as elaborate and abounding as those celebrating Christmas- perhaps even more so! The music, attendees dressed in their best, and the message proclaimed from pulpits echo His victory and invitation to all who will come and receive it. He is risen!…He is risen indeed! Of course there is more food, more gathering, more love and more blessings counted around elaborately adorned dining tables far and wide.
No matter where you go in the South there will always be someone willing to lend a hand, share a smile, exchange a friendly word…and always food…always food! And if your lucky, there might just be some fried chicken and a coconut cake….
Well friends, that’s my first blog post! Thank you for stopping in. I so enjoyed our time together. Please leave me a comment and share something about where you call home. As I go along, I promise to share more about what brings me joy in life. You are welcome here…
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent, or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippans 4:8