Saturday, September 30, 2017
Whisting Dixie for a week
I moved to the south at age 11, halfway through the fifth grade. I left the south the last week of 1989, so from 1961 through 1989 I lived in Alabama and Mississippi. Jr. High, High School, College, Seminary, Four years in a small town., six years on the Gulf Coast.
I moved to Phoenix AZ and unpacked and got to living in January of 1990, if we are still here through the end of this year we will have lived in Arizona 28 years. I am thus, really South Western of equal division.
We try to return to the south every couple of years. Last time was four years ago. We only have time to touch base with New Orleans, where the culture, the music and the architecture keep us enchanted. We are staying in the Mazarin, which was the Hotel St. Louis when we stayed there 42 years ago on our honeymoon. Nostalgia!
We visit the gulf coast area of Pascagoula, Gautier, Moss Point where we lived for seven years before we headed west, where Laura was raised, where I served a church for over 6 years. Where we enjoyed daily fellowship with Laura's mother, Mary, a wonderful women.
We visit Pensacola, where my Sister and Brother in Law have lived, where my parents ended their years and where they are buried. There we remember many happy vacations, and stick our toes in the white sand beach and stare at the ocean we love.
For one week we become southern, charmed by the accents we hear, the traditions we observe, and the food we love. We see some friends, we are all aging. As I look back over my two geographical lives, my young life, and the one we have lived in our huge western city, I see the blessings of each, try to minimize in my mind and heart the hurts, heartbreaks, and near financial disasters we weathered. I also remember all the good days, the simple pleasures, the weekly, yearly routines we observed as our own family grew up together, imperfectly, but together.
We still see the big scars from Katrina and other hurricanes, we still see the poverty and struggles that endure in the south, and the list of saints who have passed on grows in our mind and hearts, and we are oh so much closer to the reality if the day....When the Saints Go Marching in...I want to be in that number, When the Saints go marching in. Gumbo, grits, BBQ here we come. See Yall Soon!