Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nectar of the Gods

In some quarters, it is known as The Nectar of North Carolina.  My sister, however, promoted it to Nectar of the Gods when she moved to Georgia back in the 1970's and found out you couldn't buy Cheerwine down there.  Now, some things are Southern.  Others are SO Southern that you can't buy them in Georgia.  That's pretty bad.

And what is Cheerwine, exactly?  Well it isn't wine.  It is a soft drink, born in Salisbury, NC in 1917 and still being produced there today.  What does it taste like?  Think Cherry Coke with way more cherry and no Coke but a nice mystery kick with a Southern accent.  That at least gets you in the neighborhood.

Maybe times have changed since the 1970's.  Maybe you can buy Cheerwine in Georgia these days.  I just know that every time she came home for years, my sister would load her car up with several cases of Cheerwine for hauling back down to Atlanta.  Just for the record, there were other Carolina delicacies not available in Georgia back then, either - things such as Duke's Mayonnaise (don't talk to us about Hellman's), and Neese's Country Livermush (I don't have time to explain what that is.  Just keep reading...).
Lots of things have changed around here since the 1970's.  The smart people at Krispy Kreme (while you aren't talking to us about Hellman's, don't bother talking to us about Dunkin' Doughnuts, either) have teamed up with those Cheerwine folks and have come out with a Cheerwine Krispy Kreme.  By the way, Krispy Kreme is another North Carolina native.  I've told you in previous blog posts that we love our sugar in these parts.  I don't joke about such things.
And while we're talking about marrying Cheerwine off to Krispy Kreme, we should mention the other Southern match-made-in-heaven, RC Cola and Moon Pie.
But that's really another post, too.  And besides, all this sugar is making me light-headed.  

I wouldn't know where to tell you to look for Cheerwine, except to say that I have heard you can buy it in Norway - hardly a bastion of all things Southern, so go figure - and of course on every street corner in the South and probably even Georgia by now.  

Looks like they are headed for The Big Time.  According to the New York Times, Cheerwine has recently exploded with a cult following that includes more than 63,000 Facebook fans. I'll bet one of them is my sister.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunshine State of Mind

I don't know which makes my heart sing more - the turquoise blue of the Gulf, or the sight of my grandson, Miller, playing on the beach - just a week shy of his first birthday.  Well, really - I do know which makes my heart sing more.  He is the love of our lives these days.

We were blessed to be in Florida for the week in early March, and doubly blessed that Miller and his mom and dad were able to come along.  As you can see, below, Joe rediscovered his inner toddler as well. 
After "Mama" and "Daddy", Miller's first word was "Joe!" (including the exclamation point).  No surprise there.

In addition to Miller, Joe has some other Florida fans as well.  He ran up on a flock of pelicans at the St. Petersburg Pier, waiting, according to Joe, to buy pelican food.
We found another enterprising group of them offering fishing expeditions out into the Gulf.  We decided to pass.
 Their CEO was not amused.
 Only in Florida...

I'm counting the days until our next trip.  Meanwhile, back to work with dreams of coconut and palms and white sand and blue water drifting in and out of the studio on the memories of a Gulf breeze.