I always had big plans to get out of my hometown, to go as far away as I possibly could. I thought I hated everything about it, but in reality leaving it made me realize how much I love living in my little southern town. I do go to school in the South, but I attend a university with many out of state and foreign students and while the southern atmosphere still exists it is nothing like my hometown. I'm beginning to realize that there is truly nothing I love more than the South.
First, of course, the weather in the South is wonderful. You get all 4 seasons. The winter is never too cold and is over before you know it, and the summer only has a few really hot days. I feel like the majority of days are sunny and 60 or 70. But even on those hot summer days, there is nothing better than spending my summer at the lake. Whether it is simply tanning, riding around on the boat, or floating in the water, I find I'm happiest on a dock by a lake on a warm summer day. My dad's side of the family has a wonderful tradition of all of us going to my grandparent's lake house for a week during the summer. This is one of the things I look forward to most every single year. But thankfully my family lives quite close to the lake house, so we are able to spend many summer weekends there!
There is something about the southern atmosphere, life is often lived a little slower with a little less worry. It's okay to be a little late and take the time to do things. People are always going to say thank you and help you when you need it. People are willing to put their lives on hold. Whether it's giving you their umbrella when it starts to rain or helping you when you have no idea where you are. When you meet someone they will remember your name, and always give you a smile and a wave when you pass them if not having a full on conversation. Everyone treats you like you are family: from a person in the supermarket, to your teachers at school, and even your mailman. People in the south want you to feel at home, and the element of southern hospitality exists everywhere.
I also absolutely love the landscape. I love seeing empty land and rolling hills when I drive down the road. It makes me happy to take in the beauty of nature all around me every single day. Plus there is nothing I love more than driving around chasing the sunset surrounded by a beautiful landscape. It's one of my favorite parts of coming home on the drive home I get to pass over the lake and drive by all these beautiful cow pastures with mountains in the background. How can you not live a happy life, when the world around you is so beautiful.
But most importantly I love a good southern accent. There is nothing better than hearing that southern drawl, especially from a guy. I'm not usually a fan of accents, but southern accents can charm me like no other. And more than just the accents, I love the terminology. There is nothing that melts my heart quite like hearing a guy call your mom ma'am and your dad sir. It's just the extra element of thought and respect. And a southern gentleman is pretty hard to resist, the perfect manners, the constant respect, and of course the mutual love for college football. I hope I'm lucky enough to fall in love with a southern boy one day.
Above all, I always leave my southern town happy and feeling loved.
My heart belongs to the south, and it probably always will.