Thursday, January 7, 2010

Top 5 Reasons I love Alabama

I love living in Alabama. I haven't lived anywhere else {See? I told you I loved it!}, but have traveled all over our grand country when I was hip and 20-something and had a job that paid me to do it.

There is just something about Alabama- home- that lures me back here. I even love that cheesy, over-played song Sweet Home Alabama and it makes me tear up a little bit if I'm out of state.

But there are a few other things that I love about the South, in general- and specifically Alabama:

5. We like to eat.
You'd better be hungry if you have a baby, lose a family member, have an outpatient surgery or it's a Tuesday. Because we bring you food- tons of it. I don't know why. It's just a rule.

4. We take our football seriously.
You probably know I'm an Auburn fan, thus a lifelong sworn enemy to Alabama football. I'm not bitter AT ALL that they are playing for the national championship tonight. WHAT. SO. EVER.
*Ahem. Wipes tears.* Where was I? Oh, yes.

What I do love is that nobody jokes about football. For instance, we have some weather in our area right now {see #1} that would normally call for some scheduled TV interruption with updates, etc.
There is a movement- yes, an organized and collected movement- that has been announced that come hell or high water- or snow- the weather people should NOT interrupt the game. There could be people dying down the street, blizzards outside your home or a fire at the trailer next door, but that football game better NOT be interrupted.
Thank you.

3. People call you ma'am.
I don't know why, but I like it. It just makes things nicer. "Could you move your buggy" sounds just a hair less testy with a ma'am added at the end there.

2. We know you.
If you are in a small town, people know you. They know your whole story. They were most likely 3rd cousins with your Aunt LuAnn's high school boyfriend. Or their Meemaw used to babysit for your former next door neighbor. It's not even a 6 degrees of separation; it's about 2 if you count knowing somebody from the grocery store.

We were down at the beach over Christmas and visited some family friends who we hadn't seen in a long time. Jason asked me how we knew them and this is the word-for-word explanation:

"Other Mama and Big Daddy were best friends with their grandparents Em and Elsie. So, mom grew up with their family and then their children moved to Alabama when mom did. Their son was the photographer at mom and dad's wedding and at ours {if you recall} and I went to school with all their children. And their cousins lived in the next town over and we have just always known them."
And it turned out that one of the cousins my age is married to a guy who went to high school and was college roommates with several of our best friends in Huntsville.

And that's how it works in the South.
I couldn't graph it if I tried.

1. We freak out at any snow at all.
Maybe it's because we can't drive in it.
Maybe it's because we don't see it very often {"Bubba, look at thay-ut!!"}
Whatever our excuse, we go absolutely bonkers at the prediction of snow. {I know it's really that we aren't equipped to clear the roads, etc, but it is fun to see everyone go crazy.}

It's snowing right now and is supposed to snow up to 2 WHOLE inches today. Schools are closing, there are wrecks everywhere and milk and bread are flying off the shelves at grocery stores.
I don't know what the allure of milk and bread is, either. Do people make milk sandwiches when they are stuck inside?

And just in case you think I'm exaggerating, this is the amount of snow on the ground: {kids in front of pre-school this morning. It closes at 11:30, but by gosh they were going for 3 hours.}

H in snow

O in snow

And this is the amount of bread left at Target this morning. Seriously. no bread
You'd better like hot dog bun and milk sandwiches, but that's about all that's left. I'm sorry I can't report on the milk; I wasn't brave enough to go near that area.

Family, food, football and freaking out. Yes, that's Alabama. And I love it.

I can hear the base line of Sweet Home Alabama, so need to go make my milk sandwiches for the big game tonight.
Y'all take care now, okay, ma'am?

What's your favorite regional quirk or trait about where you live?


Eve said...

Hillary, you make me laugh!!! That is all so true! All of our schools were closed today and they announced it yesterday just at the threat of snow! And the thing that everyone is most worried about is losing power and not being able to watch the game tonight!

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

That was one of my favorite posts so far, hilarious and absolutely true!!

Terry said...

love it!! we live in middle tn and all of the hype has closed schools in all of mid tn and we got about the same as u.

Kelly said...

Being a southern (mid-south actually) myself .. I completely relate to this post 100%. We have a tad more snow in Memphis and it shut us down. Rediculous.

Kim said...

Too funny! We have decided that French Toast is the breakfast of choice when it snows cause the hot items are the key ingredients...bread, milk & eggs!

glassmom said...

Okay, my lunch almost came out my nose when I read "milk sandwiches". You are so very witty and I love knowing I'm not the only "other" mama! Hugs to keep you warm,
Stacy Hoffman Glass

Phillips Phamily Mama said...

Girl, I love your style. The only part of Alabama I love is Auburn and it's all because of my man.

He told me in all seriousness that the college football season ended yesterday and what game???? when I mentioned the National Championship. He's even laughed a little devilishly at the thought of the power going out due to the "blizzard" tonight.

I'm definitely creating a "file" of things about Florida, which is absolutely NOT Southern, but I'm getting used to it.

Jodi aka One Blessed Mama said...

Too cute!

mary bailey said...

Hillary, I love that everything you said can be applied to life here in Small Town, South Carolina, too! I love the way you said "Can you move your BUGGY, ma'am?" 'Cause that's what it is---a BUGGY, not a shopping CART.

It's supposed to snow here tonight. I hope you're with me when I say that my son will be wearing his "toboggan" on his head. We southerners know a toboggan is a knit hat, NOT a sled, as people in other parts of the country tend to think. And you're not really saying it right unless you call it a "TOE-boggan".

Fun post ;-) Enjoy your snow!

Lindsey said...

so true, so true. the sight of a snowflake sends our heads spinning.... i think i'll go have a milk sandwich.

Anonymous said...

I love this entry! So funny! I'm watching as my puppies are wondering what all this strange stuff is falling from the sky. It is beautiful by now (1:00 p.m.). The kids are so excited to be out and hoping for school closing tomorrow!

Krista said...

This made me laugh! I'm a California bred girl that moved to NC for a bit, I dated a boy from deep SC, his dad was a high school football coach and how true this all is! Football is like a religion, I never took offense when someone called me ma'am (although I hate hearing it anywhere outside of the South!), Southern food is my FAVORITE (I adapted Frogmore stew when I left the South and still make it!) and I love how everyone knows everybody! In my past life I loved being a Southern girl (too bad the boy didn't work out!)

Lydia said...

I love your list! I love your description of how you knew your beach friends! I love even more that although we were a few years apart, I know exactly who you were talking about. My Mamaw and Papaw went to church and were friends with Em and Elsie, I used to go to the beach with Claire and her family to Apalachicola after Christmas, and Art took my parents and my wedding pictures. Don't you just love a small (Southern) world??!
We are waiting on the snow here. I've been to the store for necessities...chips, salsa, ruffles, ranch dip, Sister Schubert sausage rolls. And oh yeah, bread and milk!
Ya'll have fun in the snow and send some our way!!

Sandra said...

I'm in Alabama, too. They closed school for today & tomorrow. Yoo Hoo!! It's snowing, but nothing is accumulating yet. I'm ready, though. I went and got my "snow groceries" yesterday! Our family are big Auburn fans. We just cannot bring ourselved to cheer for Alabama tonight. :)

Hook'em Horns!

Tara said...

You crack me up girl! That is sooo true about the ballgame tonight. There would be killings in the street if they interrupt with weather alerts. Ha Ha!!

I forgot to comment about you mentioning Jo Jo watching the game from her jail cell. I seriously almost fell out of my chair at work from laughing so hard!

The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...

We were JUST having this discussion on Facebook! (Not you and me, but me and other friends.) I shared you- linky love- and was falling over about the milk and bread. It's true everywhere. Also, our tolet paper aisles are bare bones. Apparently milk sammiches have an adverse side effect...

Jamie said...

Awwwww....look at you guys with your little snow and empty shelves. We're supposed to get another FOOT here today. It's a lot less cute.

Whitney said...

As someone who lives in North Alabama, I cracked up throughout this entire post. I almost fell out of my chair when watching the news, they made the announcement that would NOT, for ANY reason, interrupt the game.

Roll Tide!

sorry :)

The Hairstons said...


The Hairstons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Nunnally said...

I think I'll trade you! We've had so much more SNOW here in Colorado than usual, and I know that by March it won't even be close to over! It warms and gets sunny between the snowdays, which is great, but today it's 12 degrees outside!!!

Congratulations on baby #3, by the way. Were you reading my mind??? Our baby #3 is due on July 18th! You seem to be good at having boys, so if I get another girl, we might have to work out a deal!

thedettras said...

Oh girl.... I am only laughin....cuz it goes down just like you said here in Arkansas! Except this morning's big news, "The snow missed us! No need to run and get bread."

Mandy said...

Hmm... guess there are a few differences up here in Manitoba. Snow really isn't a big deal to us, unless of course it happens in June-August (and it had happened, rarely) I (and most of my friends) learned to drive in the snow, and have accepted it as a normal part of life. It needs to be -45 or colder, with the windchill for school buses to be canceled, colder then that for schools to be closed. Hat's are called toques.

Hockey is bigger then football, but that's part of having snow more then half the year.

I'm usually a little upset when someone calls me ma'am. Not something we hear a lot of, and I've always taken it as something you call an old lady, rather thena respectful term.

BUT! The we like to eat and we know you portions of your blog are bang on for us too!!

All the best in the New year!

Susannah said...

That's funny! Milk and bread...hmmm that is pretty strange. But milk and break sandwiches pretty gross! I'm glad you guys have snow:) The boys get to enjoy it. And I heard "Sweet Home Alabama" just today and yes I too teared up -ha!

Allison said...

I love this post! I went to college in Arkansas, and it always made me laugh at the way everyone freaked out over snow. It was fun!

I live in Nebraska, and my favorite regional quirks are that on fall Saturdays EVERYONE is dressed in red and every business is vacant during Husker football games. Seriously...everyone is either at or watching the game. Also, when there are tornado warnings and watches everyone is running outside or getting in cars to go find it! Crazy...but it happens.

Michelle said...

This post absolutely cracked me up, especially since my husband was just out snow blowing the 3 or 4 inches we already have today and no one even bats an eye up here. I love seeing the opposite end of the spectrum.

BASSakward Tales said...

the quirky thing around my hometown is the talladega is called a bunch of different stuff but it will always be the talladega 500 to me...i live about 5 miles from the track so i can sit on my front porch and hear them start their that is not the fun part...i hate the town is not designed for hundreds of thousands of people...we have 3 fast food resturants and one mom and pop grocery store...people begin coming in for the race two weeks prior to the actual when the schools started planning their school calendar around the race schedule...and the kids were out of school for two extended weekends...what better thing to do than to have a long weekend beach i have reason to go the beach...i don't want my family of four to take up any space that could possibly be occupied by an rv with some faithful race fans...

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Love it. Do you like the movie, as well as the song? Because this Missouri girl loves them both.

And while I think that some of your points are true for most small towns (eating and knowing everyone in particular), but this summer when we were in Georgia, we had the craziest instance of the everyone knows everyone. I won't hog your comment section with my story, so remind me to tell you some other time.

Yeah, good comment, Mary.

I really enjoy the crazy amount of snow we've gotten this year. But the cold I could do without (temperature should not ever be single digit or, shudder, negative)! I think we've had about 20 inches of snow so far this winter; we've got at least a foot on the ground now. Most school around here have been closed all week, partly b/c of snow and partly b/c of the cold.

Rebekah said...

That's what Publix looked like, YESTERDAY. :) It never gets old, its always the same old story here. But you love it anyways, because its home.

Sara Plays House said...

As a Georgia girl, you and I share many of the same things. Did you see my post about the snow today? I TOTALLY mentioned the bread and milk thing! Seriously.
Only thing I can't relate to? Football. I don't get all that.
But my fave Southern thing? The way we add pork fat to all vegetables. Defeats the purpose of said veggie, but MAN, is it TASTY.

Elizabeth said...

We live in IA now and I still have to stifle the urge to fa-reak out everytime I see a snowflake. And I really miss hearing "m'am".

Elizabeth said...

I enjoyed this post, very much! The crazy thing, you could basically replace "Alabama" with "Texas," espcially with the particular topics you chose. I feel exactly the same about Texas. I grew up in a small town, snow is an enigma, football is king, etc., etc., etc.!
All the best,

Brandi said...

My SIL is in B'ham and called me this a.m. all ticked off that the snow was not as much/bad as James Span promised. ;)

Oh, and just so you know... Alabama is kicking some butt at the moment 24-6. I can come back and give you updates if you like! ;)

Scott & Liz said...

Ditto on everything, esp. the everyone knowing everyone. Although I was born in Opelika & my parents are from B'ham, I didn't actually get to really live here until I went to Auburn; It ASTOUNDED me that someone from, say, Florence would start talking to someone from Scottsboro that they'd JUST MET, and all of a sudden know all these people in common (2 degrees is right!) I thought N.AL was the world's largest small town. I was, at the time, from Germantown, TN, and I hardly knew anyone in nearby Collierville! (but, now that I'm fully an Alabamian, I'm almost with it.)

A hold-over oddity from my time as a Memphian? I like to eat my BBQ sandwich with a scoop of creamy coleslaw on it. Yea, it's a "Mem-fus thang."

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

You call THAT snow ;0) We have at least a foot on the ground and the low for today is -14... and I live in Kansas. We don't usually have such cold winters. What a year so far!

Mrs. NB

Connie said...

Loved your comments about the south! Especially the grid of who is related to whom and the snow! You make me laugh so much!


Jennifer S. said...

You are dead on with this one. For us I think buying the milk and eggs is truly in hopes of us getting enough snow to make snow cream but since that takes at least a good 5-10 incher it has only happened once in my life. Every good southern grandmother taught you that you had to scrape off the top couple of inches to get the 'good snow' and you can't go too far b/c you'll hit the dirty. ha

We can dream (and drink lots of milk)!

Anonymous said...

It is just like that here in NC too except that Carolina/Duke basketball is what really makes us crazy. Enjoy the snow!

Muthering Heights said...

As a tru northerner, born & bred, I find these attributes charming!!

I could totally hang out in the south though...I like to eat too! :D

Rachel Olsen said...

Our schools announced on Thursday that they would run 2 hours late on Friday because there was a small possibility of some slight sleet on early Friday morning. Of course there was none, but still there was no school either. Or bread.

Gotta love the South!

Melanie said...

Oh! I'm jealous! This florida-born girl looooves snow - but here in Charlotte - nothing but cold, but no white stuff.
And how exciting and congratulations about your news!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelli said...

OH HIL-ARIOUS! :-) Yet so very true! :-)

1/4 of an inch of snow and people go nuts! A torrential down-pour that drops 8 inches of rain in as many minutes and you BETTER not slow down your car on 10 or you are getting RUN OVER! :-) Rain, we can handle.. snow?? WOW! ROTFL!

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michelle said...

im moving to tuscaloosa may 1st from michigan! im excited and i have fam down there. Its just better ..ther is something i alwasy liked about it.

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