My Journey from Magnolia to Granola

I come from way down yonder

Your friend Dixie was reared in the South and lived there for the first thirty-sumpin’ years of her life. Then, fate (and marriage) took her far far across the Mason-Dixon line to the Pacific Northwest.

I had no idea that it was not just my coast that would change. Now, do go on. Born n’ bred on grits n’ gravy, things they were a’changin. The first thing that made me stand out amongst the locals, was my choice of attire. Apparently, Gortex, Nike and various squall-worthy (aka “sensible”) outerware are appropriate for any occasion. Sundresses and pearls were not. There are worse things than a mandatory new wardrobe. But, I refuse, I say REFUSE, to wear those “shoes”.  I’d rather drink a Pepsi.

Let’s clarify: You cook on a grill. You eat BBQ. Any questions?


Which brings us to the food. Second to shopping, another prized pastime. The South prides itself on culinary tradition…typically beginning with a rasher of bacon or butter that would make pre-Diabetic Paula Dean proud. Pork is king and veggies were boiled (with the requisite fatback) within an inch of their lives by most “Cooks”.

Northwestern cuisine is just dandy

“Chefs” here tend towards olive oil, local grassfed beef, and CSA fresh vegetables. There will always be a place in my heart for finger-licking ribs and cornbread, but since I want that heart of mine to last a long long time, my new culinary atmosphere would suit me (and my new wardrobe) just dandy.

My pearls and family heirloom charm bracelet were temporarily replaced with handmade babbles made from recycled objects and sold from independent artist co-ops. Granola replaced grits. Electric cars took the spots from pick-ups. Not a “Yes, M’am” within earshot. Soda or Pop replace Coca-Cola. I was busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time trying to figure it all out.

Geography would be my next challenge. Folks here go to the ‘coast’ and not the ‘beach’. Maybe that’s because it’s too cold to swim – even in the heat of Summer.  Then, there are all these words I’ve never used before: valley, pass, … and, don’t get me started on the difference between a mountain, hill and ridge. I do declare!

Words to live by from the ol’ south

I still refuse to drink a Pepsi or wear those “sensible shoes”. My children call adults, “Miss Patti and Mr. Tom”. And I  insist on holding on to my favorite Domestic Square Peg Southern slang – just to keep the hipster West Coasters wondering. Now, say them with me:

“A whistling woman and a crowing hen never comes to a very good end”  (be who you are)

“Every dog should have a few fleas” (no one is perfect)

“Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine” (doesn’t grasp or worry what’s going on)

- Now, holla back at me, ya’ll!

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