Georgia – the place where evenings are best spent on front porches. A place where hanging ferns can never be large enough. A place where summers appear endless and tree frogs sing loudly. A place where gentlemen always hold doors for ladies and strangers say hello. A place where the tea is sweet and collars are popped. There is just nothing like it.
I have had the privilege to live in many states and I am going to highlight one each week. People can always find negative things, but I choose to highlight the positive and share some of my wonderful memories from each place I have called home.
The state of Georgia has it all – from mountains, beaches, canyons, waterfalls, parks, forests, professional sports teams, vibrant cities, lazy small towns, wildlife and some of the best Southern cuisine you will ever find.
Some of Georgia’s sons and daughters include civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; sports figures Jackie Robinson, Walt Frazier, and Ty Cobb; singers and musicians Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee, Gladys Knight, Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, and Kanye West; writers Flannery O’Connor, Margaret Mitchell and Carson McCullers; artists Jasper Johns and John Abbot; comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Nipsey Russell, Kenan Thompson, Wayne Brady and Chris Tucker; actors Julia Roberts, Joanne Woodward, Kim Basinger and Scott Wilson (In Cold Blood and Hershel from The Walking Dead); TV personalities Ryan Seacrest and Paula Dean, and the infamous Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd and Doc Holliday. It is the birthplace of President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low.
I was born and raised in Polk County in a rural setting nestled in the foothills of Northwest Georgia. I am a proud GRIT – a Girl Raised in the South who never wears white shoes after Labor Day and not before Easter. I love hearing the cacophony of crickets, tree frogs and cicadas, with the lonesome calls of bobwhite quail and whippoorwills echoing through the sultry night air of long summer evenings. Most of my life was spent in Georgia so therefore, most of my memories are from there. Memories like going to all day singings at church with dinner on the ground at lunchtime. Memories of my mother and me sitting on the front porch steps playing bluegrass music on the guitar and mandolin. Summers spent swimming every day in the creek near our house. Memories of lying on a blanket of pine needles warmed by the sun, listening to the wind whispering through the trees, dreaming young girl dreams.
I have enjoyed every place I have lived but Georgia will always be my home. I will always miss its hospitality and graciousness, its diversity, its simplicity and magnificence. I will always long to be there and enjoy the comfort of being with people who have known me all my life. I will always love it and it will always be on my mind.