Eleven years ago, I drove a moving van up to a really cold, miserable year in the Northeast. (It did improve thereafter.)
Five years ago, I drove a bitter orange tree a thousand miles to come live in the land of lakes, cheese, and sausage. Bug was just a tiny little lima bean.
Tomorrow, the children and I are getting on a plane and we are going back to the South. We may never leave again. Oh, God, we may never leave again.
I had to call around and was reminded of a few key facts: 1) Everyone in them thar hills has the same educated-Southerner-who-never-left-the South accent; 2) they all think I am some damn Yankee because I have the Southerner-who-went-to-school-in-the-North accent; 3) there is no such thing as a short conversation in the South.
My family is there, but I'm not. I don't sound like them, but I'm from there. Neither here nor there... this is going to be hard.
So: I'm happy! I'm sad! I'm going to a hellacious wedding full of lawyers! I'm travelling alone for ten hours with two little kids! We get to see my family! I'm living in the mountains! Oh, $%!+, I'm living in the mountains! Et cetera.
There's going to be some of this:
And some of this, except not Texas, of course:
And some bourbon:
And some deeply conflicted feelings:
And I'm pretty sure it will be all right in the end.