I am currently writing this blog in my home state.
The Magnolia State — the Hospitality State — my Mississippi
And while Mississippi needs no introduction in our short history as a country, it is my home. Well, my home when I don’t reside in the Pacific Northwest. Though, I’ll always call this place home like many of us who move away and get caught in the excitement of new possibilites.
So far I’ve eaten all things that are good.
Smith County watermelon. They’re the ones you see off Highway 49 laying so snug in the back of those old beaters — usually accompanied by sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Sold by men with pot bellies who probably eat all too well the things they grow. (As they should.)
I devoured a shrimp poboy (and half a roast beef, I know, I know) from Frostop, even though their AC was out — we took it to go and ate them in the lobby from the newest hotel in Picayune, MS — the town I grew up in. It’s kind of funny, when a place becomes somewhere to rest your head for a night and move on the next day.
I had my first kiss there…at the bowling alley.
I played little league with one of the hotel managers. Oddly enough, he recognized me. (When I grow weary that anyone recognizes me from my glory days of 11th grade at Picayune Memorial Highschool or my green hat at the prestigious University of Southern Mississippi.)
I ate crawfish and fried chicken and more watermelon at my cousin’s wedding in Louisiana. It was gloriously hot, but felt necessary underneath that great Magnolia tree. I watched my little niece and nephew climb the great tree I climbed as a kid.
As the icing melted from the cupcakes, the cicadas began to sing from the swampy backyard where I used to throw rocks.
We hugged and would see each other at Christmas — we hope.
And this is my South — my little bit extra.
I leaned back, with sweat dripping down my face and it felt all too familiar.
That place called home —
…just goes with you wherever you are.