I’ve had the privilege of living in two great Southern states: South Carolina and Louisiana. I love them both, but the Carolinas will always be my first love.
I was born in South Carolina and many of my “little ways” are a result of my deep Carolina roots. My Christian faith, devotion to family and tradition are important to me. Some values were entrenched early on like “don’t air your dirty laundry” and “you never talk about your family.” Money was another “off limits” topic. My mother never talked about money and until she died, my sister and I never knew how much money she had. To this day, the only people I talk to about money are my husband and sister. Of course, I’m sure many Louisianans would argue they have similar values, but most seem a little lax when it comes to holding on to them.
I have fond memories of wonderful grandparents and countless cousins. My fondest memories include my Granny’s house. She was loving and gracious and welcomed everyone with a hug. My cousins, sister and I would spend hours there playing games, telling stories, catching lighting bugs - you name it. Summer vacations were split between Myrtle Beach and the Mountains and last minute trips to a river or a hike in the mountains were the norm. Growing up with vacations to Myrtle Beach resulted in me becoming somewhat of a beach snob; as a result, places like Galveston Beach left me sorely disappointed. Who can resist The Great Smokey Mountains or an east coast beach - not me.
I love the Carolinas and at times, I’ve held it as a high standard of Southern Living. I know now as an adult, this high standard was really a devotion to my own family. I have missed them all so much. I have loved and been loved by some incredible people. I can relate to a line in one of James Taylor’s songs, “in my mind I’m gone to Carolina.” Literally and figuratively, I’ve made that 800 mile trip from Louisiana to South Carolina many times. I’m in Louisiana to stay, but the Carolinas will always be a part of me.