1. Humidity. Okay, so when it is really hot, the humidity makes the heat feel worse. But, humidity is wonderful for the skin. I haven't had to use lotion on my arms and legs since we moved here, winter being the exception. And people, I have really dry skin, so that is saying a lot. Also, the humidity keeps everything green through the summer and into fall. I love that.
2. Sweet Tea. Nectar of the Gods, for sure! Ah yes, you might say, McDonald's has sweet tea, even in California. That does not count! You haven't had sweet tea until you have had it in the South. Matt has mastered the art of making sweet tea.
3. Fried Okra, Catfish, Barbecue. As to the fried okra, all I can say is Y-U-M! The Original Cotham's has the best fried okra, although Matt does a good job with it too. Catfish is not seafood, you Arkansan restaurants! Catfish is a freshwater fish...it does not come from the sea. But who cares, right? Roll a fat fillet in egg and cornmeal and cajun spices, and then fry it up, and all sorts of tasty goodness! And then there's the barbecue. Barbecue is a type of food, not something you do. Barbecue is a culinary art form, one you rarely find on the West Coast.
4. NASCAR. The second I typed the word, I could already hear your protests. NASCAR? A fine thing of life? Oh yes, it definitely is. Let me explain. First of all, in what other major, nationally televised sport is there prayer in the name of Jesus before the start of every event? I love that. I love the patriotism of the sport. Many cars frequently display paint schemes that are dedicated to honoring our military and our country. Every driver has a foundation dedicated to doing good. Whether the foundation benefits the Make A Wish Foundation, cancer research, the Humane Society, Autism research, Habitat for Humanity, it doesn't matter--millions of dollars are being given by the drivers, race teams, and car owners, to worthy causes. Yes, the cars go round and round for 3-5 hours. But there is so much else going on. Each race is a story. When you learn the personalities of the drivers, the rivalries, the dreams and goals, you get caught up in the story. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. And the end of the race? Adrenalin rush! On a Sunday afternoon, I am guaranteed to be standing in the middle of the living room screaming at the television and biting my nails.
5. Southern Hospitality. The people here are so kind, generous, and thoughtful. I have been welcomed into many homes, and treated with the utmost of care. These people have loved me, loved my kids, been there for me through everything, and allowed a California girl to become southern. Really, I should have been born here. I was made to be a southern girl.
6. Thunderstorms. I know, I know, I have been raving about thunderstorms for the last 4 1/2 years. I can't stop the raving, because the storms are so beautiful, wild and powerful. I can't get enough of them! I will say though...I will be able to enjoy the storms in Florida without worrying about tornadoes. That will be nice.
I'm sure more thoughts will be coming to me in the next few days. I'll write them as they come. I think it will help bring some much-needed closure to this chapter of my life. Come Tuesday, the new adventure begins.