I’ve been a proud resident of rural Tennessee for the past five years, and I’ve gleaned a bit of unconventional wisdom that I wasn’t aware of before moving to the South. Here are the 5 lessons I’ve learned after 5 years of living here.
1. Always wear yer boots. We have 30 acres of mostly rough land consisting of hills, trees, and brush. 30 acres with all kinds of poison ivy, poison oak, weeds that irritate my sensitive skin, creepy crawlers, bob cats, coyotes, and snakes. You never know what you’re going to encounter. For example, you might be out exploring in the ranger in your flip flops with your toddler and the vehicle gets stuck in the mud and you have to trek back to the house, in your flip flops with said toddler on your back hoping and praying you don’t run into anything too dangerous. True story. Thank you Lord for traveling mercies and for protecting my poor feet and legs from all sorts of evil that day.
2. Bless your heart doesn’t usually mean bless your heart.
Bless your heart is oftentimes a really kind way of saying, “Good lord woman, you have lost your damn mind.”
Or, bless your heart can act as a period; a sweet way to end a conversation when you have finished talking but said person might not be finished – “bless your heart” – period – walk away. My introverted self has employed this method.
Bless your heart can also be said on repeat while shaking your head to give the impression that you are paying attention to what someone is saying when in fact, you do not have the slightest clue nor the slightest bit of interest and have checked out of the conversation about three “bless your hearts” ago.
Once in a blue moon, bless your heart really means, “Wow, that’s too bad, I empathize with what you’re going through, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers. This one, although special, in my experiences is the rare bird.
3. You can buy anything online. We’ve bought groceries, mattresses, clothing, vitamins, flour, wine, books, tools, school supplies, pillows, garden seeds, a writing career and on and on and on. I’d say about 75% of our belongings originate from online source and we happen to be on a first name basis with most of the UPS and FedEx folks.
4. Free range chickens do not produce beautiful idyllic landscaped yards as the pictures in the magazines portray. Nope. They produce crap all over your yard, garage, porch, deck, and children’s shoes – which eventually leads to crap in your house – and anywhere else that is not safely enclosed within a tall fence or wall.
5. Slightly setting myself up for a little bit of controversy here, but I can’t dismiss this lesson. The confederate flag represents ALOT more than just slavery to Southern folks. I’m talking to you, my friends and family from the North. We who originate from the North were taught history from one particular slant, a slant that was slightly misleading and which left out many of the facts – a slant which failed to mention the horrific deeds and actions accomplished “in the name of the Union” in complete malice towards OUR OWN CIVILIANS, our friends and neighbors a few states away. Deeds oftentimes as horrific as those plantation owners inflicted on their slaves. Please research – in depth – the Civil War, read the commentaries, seek out the eye witness accounts, read Southern Storm and then you’ll have a deeper and more accurate understanding of the pride and sentiment and memorial value that is deeply attached to the confederate flag.
That’s all I got!
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Just keep livin!