I always thought I was from the South. I was born in the South, raised in the South and I still live in the most Southern located state that there is; Florida. But living at the furthest point does not make you Southern. It doesn’t make you speak with a stronger southern dialect, it doesn’t make you swoon with larger vapors, nor does it mean that you will ever drink mint julep tea in your entire life.
Even the land that is swallowed by corn fields, tobacco fields, cotton fields, and soybean fields have a grace about them that cannot be denied. The rows, one by one times a million, are straight as an arrow, lining every field, on every paved and dirt road. Some are plotted with family homes off to the side or the far back, and some are simply empty fields except for the product they bear.
Road after rough asphalt road have been tagged with names that ironically drip with southern softness; Butterfly Lane and Puddin’ Swamp Road. The stories that these old back-roads could tell if they could talk; well there is just no end to the wondering.
Their historical districts are just glorious. Old homes with wrap around porches and rockers galore. American flags perched on the corner of each porch stoop and gardenia’s blooming and smelling-up lawns all the way to the sidewalks like freshly spilled perfume. Multi-colored Lantana lining the flower beds and sprinkled around like bursts of sunshine in some of the more obscure areas of each lawn.
But what I also found here thru the eyes of my husband was his childhood, his memories and his life before me. Learning his life through his stories only makes me wish I could turn back the hands of time, and found him sooner, so I could have loved him longer.