Friday, May 27, 2011

Motor Oil and Magnolias

The magnolias are in full bloom and NASCAR is in town for the weekend.  Somehow, outside the South, that sentence just wouldn't sound the same.

 But this is what I love about the region I call my own - the South is always full of surprises.  This is a confusing, confounding place for the uninitiated.  Our code is hard to crack.  We love Moon Pies.  Sometimes we serve them on silver platters.  Our heroes drive loud tacky race cars that look like rolling billboards, but off the track one of them was caught doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone - driving a $300,000 prototype Lexus.  Admittedly, he isn't really "from around here", as we say, and he hasn't actually been given the "hero" designation yet.  Southerners are careful with their title bestowing, and we aren't overly fond of rude behavior.  Ask any newcomer.

When we speak, we are famous for dropping the "g" and adding extra syllables.  But just up the road from here, linguistic scholars have long been fascinated with the remnants of Elizabethan English that they insist are still being spoken in some of our mountain communities.  However, when we refer to "The King", we're talking about either Elvis or Richard Petty.  Period. Two members of our royal family are known simply as "Junior" - and we never seem to have a bit of trouble explaining to each other which "Junior" we're talking about.  We just know.

Drive over to the Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend if you need a good visual of what I'm talking about.  It is rimmed with million dollar skyboxes that overlook several square miles of RV's and pickup trucks.  Look closer and you will also see the Mercedes S500's sporting banners and bumper stickers that say things like "Honk if you love Earnhardt".  We're good with a curve ball.  It can be maddening and fascinating, all at once.

A Facebook post came my way this week that said, referring to the South, "Sweet tea is the house wine, everyone is darlin, and someone is always getting their heart blessed".  Suffice it to say, this is a wonderful, lively, magical place, clouded by illusion, marked by contradiction and famous for it's hospitality.  Be careful of that "Bless Your Heart", by the way.  It can be the kiss of death.  And mind your manners. Somebody's mama is always watching.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend.
Remember our service men and women who gave their lives for our country.

Today is Countdown Friday

Take time to stop and smell the magnolias! 
These beautiful photos were taken by my husband, just as the sun was setting.


1 comment:

  1. Even your Yankee friend loved this post, Darlin!