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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuesday Southern-style Tunes

A few weeks ago I told you about my trip spent listening to some classic country mixed with recent past classics and some of the newer tunes.

You cannot know country music and not know who Tim McGraw is! Nor, can you not know who Hank Williams was. Without the early sacrifices of one, the other may not have a career.

What you may not know, is that Hank Williams--regarded as one of the best Country & Western singers, songwriters, and musicians of all time--died at the young age of 29. Think about that. Twenty-nine. Think about what he accomplished in such a short period of time. But, most people believe, drugs and alcohol were the bottom line in his pre-mature death. Such a sad statement. Wonder what he could have done without them ...

Before we look at any classic Hank, let's look at the song recorded by Tim McGraw in tribute to this great king of Country & Western. Sit back and enjoy: The Ride.

Tuesday Southern-style Tunes

Photo taken from: www.sweetslyrics.com 

I grew up on Southern tunes. Country and Western, Southern Gospel.
I pretty much hated all of it. Still, it has a way of getting into your DNA.

Two of my first three children had a love for Country, as it became to be known. I recall afternoons riding in my son's cherry red '66 Mustang, windows down, wind blowing through the car, Bocephus playing as loud as the radio would allow. It was crazy fun. A few years later, our oldest daughter (Child 2) showed her love for country. Alabama was big back then. 

Both kids tried to make me love it, but I couldn't shake the old stuff. 

Then kid #4 came along. She introduced me to the really new country. Crazier still, I fell in love with it. I sang the lyrics. I danced to it in my bedroom while getting ready in the morning.

Now Child #2 gets in the car, hears country coming from the speakers, listens to me singing along, and laughs.

Yesterday, on a return trip from GA, I found a station in Jax-ville that played the new mixed with the sort of new and, be still my heart, the classic country songs of yesteryear. My first thought was, "Oh dear ..." but then a song came on I remembered well. "Hello, darlin' ..." Conway Twitty crooned. 

I was taken back. A simpler time. A simpler place. A memory of being in K-Mart with my mother (I always got lost in there!) and hearing the song for the first time over the speakers. 

So, take a trip back with me if you will ... this is Conway Twitty (dare ya not to sing along!):

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

I'm in North Carolina this week. Not sure when this is going to post; nonetheless, I am in North Carolina this week. It's where I hope to retire one day, even if only part time. Whether part time retired or part time residency, I do not know. I just know I love it here.

Yesterday my friend Sharon Decker, who gets to live here, made a funny statement. She said, "I was sittin' in the catbird seat."

I told her I'd never heard that before. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I looked it up. Turns out, she thought the idiom had something to do with a cat and a bird. But, there is actually a catbird. A bird. Called a catbird. Pictured here is the gray catbird.

What it means doesn't change with this new found knowledge. It means "sitting pretty."

Sharon was "sitting pretty."

Okay, I have to admit, hearing that Sharon was sitting in the catbird seat sounds ... prettier. Don't you think?

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

A reprint from one of my favorite recipes:

From Miss Betty's 1950s Hand-written Recipe Book:

Browned Rice


1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can beef bouillon soup
1 can onion soup
2 or 3 pats butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
2 T Worcestershire Sauce


Combine uncooked rice, beef and onion soups in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover, turn down to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Brown onions and mushrooms in pan with butter and Worcestershire sauce. Add them to the cooked rice mixture. Pour rice mixture into a greased casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

"Miss Betty" was my mother. I found this old date book in which she wrote her recipes, in her own hand, after her death in 2010. 

I particularly remember this recipe. Not sure when she added it in, I'm thinking the early 60s.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

I leave for Cedar Key again tomorrow. I want to experience the Christmas Season there ... for one, I want to experience the Christmas Season there and two, I have a scene set there during the season ... so ...

Any excuse will do.

Stay tuned for videos and pix.

And know that I'm working on doing something NEW here. Some giveaways will be involved. Something FUN!

Don't ya love fun? And giveaways?


[Photo taken in Cedar Key by Eva Marie Everson]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the week

Another recipe from Miss Betty's handwritten 1950s/60s recipe book!

Carrie's Three Hour Rolls


2 yeast cakes
3 T sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
Self Rising flout


Combine yeast cakes in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar over yeast. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix the milk with the warm water and pour over the yeast. Sift in enough self rising flour to make a soft dough. Work in the shortening and knead well. Let stand 2 hours. Form into rolls and let rise 1 hour. Place rolls into a preheated, moderate oven of 400 degrees. Bake until golden!

My guess is that "Carrie" is Carrie Hicks, who was a "backyard" neighbor of my mother and father in the earliest years of their marriage. I loved this woman DEARLY! She was a delight to all who knew her! If I remember correctly, her grandchildren called her SIS ... and I often wrote about them in my 12-year-old diary, found recently. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style CHRISTMAS tunes!

Okay... you have to check this out. Not sure where this house is ... but it's a common site in the South during the holidays!

You'll have to trust me on this one...

Just click on the link...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday's Musings on All Things Southern

This little bird was quite the model. 
My mother adored Christmas. Every year, when I arrived "back home," I was greeted by holiday smells and sites. Pine-scented candles flickered just inside the door. The scent of holiday baking wafted from the kitchen while the wood-burning stove (where a fireplace once stood) added it's own flavor of pine cones popping and sizzling, filling the room in warmth, both physical and emotional.

As soon as hugs were over and suitcases were put in away, Mother ushered me into her living room. There, before the wide picture window, stood the tree. Brightly lit. Heavily decorated. Presents clustered around the base.

"See my little birds," she would say. "I got them all on the tree."

Mother loved "little birds." She had dozens for decorating (she and I shared a love for the red bird), especially for the Christmas tree. One year, during the holiday, I decided to take walk around the lake. I spied several birds, took pics, and then came home and showed Mother. She instantly wanted me to take her to where I'd seen the "little birds."

The bird who waited for Mother and me to return.
So I did. All but one had already "flown the nest." Like a child seeing snow for the first time, she marveled at the one who hadn't.

Mother kept all her holiday decorations in the attic. Each year after Thanksgiving, my brother would climb the stairs and--one by one--would then haul tradition back down. Mother spent the day watching Hallmark Holiday movies (she and I talked through them) and decorated.

Her last Christmas was "decor-less." In November my brother fell about 20 feet from a tree, broke his back, and wasn't climbing anything for a while. Mother bought a very tiny tree "up town," one that could sit atop the television. She said to me, "I didn't get to bring my decorations down but that's okay. My children are more important than my little birds."

What a precious thought. Hadn't Jesus once said something similar?

Then she added, "I'll bring everything down next year. Just gives me more to look forward to."

Of course, we had no way of knowing she would never place a little bird on the tree again. After our Christmas spent together, my brother climbed those stairs, brought down the boxes marked: CHRISTMAS and we began to divvy up "the last of it." My brother said he probably wouldn't decorate the way Mother did and I do, so I took the majority of the items.

Yesterday, I started placing little birds on my tree.

"See my little birds?" I could hear her say. "Aren't they pretty?"

Yes ma'am, they sure are.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Squash Casserole

I remember being a little girl, hating squash ... unless it was fried, that is. If it was fried, I'd eat it as fast as Mother could pull it out of the grease!

Then, we went to my Aunt Bettye's for Thanksgiving on year. She had Squash Casserole. I thought I wouldn't like it much, but Mother had taught us to always try what was put in front of us, especially when at the home of family and/or friends.

So, I took a bite and ... yum! It was marvelous! It soon became a favorite ... both as a child and as an adult.

You'll see why ... if you try ...

Squash Casserole

4 cups cooked mashed squash
2 cups broken Ritz crackers
1 cup scaled milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 TBS grated onion
1/4 stick butter

Mix all ingredients and place in a buttered casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for one-half hour.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Southern Style Dressing

Ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I probably shouldn't be sharing this. If I do, EVERYONE gets to know how good REAL SOUTHERN DRESSING is ... and they'll be jealous and heartsick they haven't known all along.

Oh, well. It should be done. It must be done!

So, here it is:


A meal's worth of cornbread
4 slices toast
1 large onion, diced
4-5 stalks celery, diced
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 eggs
1 small can broth
salt and pepper to taste


Boil onion and celery about ten minutes (until tender), drain

Mark cornbread. Crumble, add crumbled toast. Add onion, celery, cream of chicken, eggs, broth, and seasonings.

Mix well.

Pour into baking pan

350 for one hour

[photo from TennZenn: Enlightenment, Southern Style blog]

Share your recipes or comment for that free book drawing!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings On All Things Southern

Mother's Sweet Potato Souffle

With Thanksgiving just days away, I thought I'd share a favorite recipe or two from the Southern kitchen of my mama. This will always be a favorite. Goodness, you can practically eat it as dessert it's so good!


3 cups cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canned milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine, place in greased cooking dish

Ingredients for topping

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup butter (not melted)

Sprinkle on top of above mixture

Bake 1/2 hour at 350

Share your own sweet potato recipes with us and take a chance at winning the Potluck Club Cookbook, by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday's Musings About the Books

Daddy & Me, 1957
I'm working away on Book Three of the Cedar Key series. I'm calling this one Slow Moon Rising, but the pub house, Baker, may change that. I like the title. It fits. Maybe they'll think so too. Maybe not. Doesn't matter to me right now because what's important is getting the inside words done, not the outside title.

Daddy & Me, 1959
I love this story so far. I'm taking a look, first, at the dynamics of the relationships between Ross Claybourne (Kimberly's father) and his new wife, each of his daughters, and then ... well, I can't tell you what happens, but something does happen that makes each one of his girls re-exam their relationship to their dad.

Ami has misunderstood him. Heather has used him financially. Kimberly, when her marriage to Charlie was falling apart. And Jayme-Leigh during a health crisis. Each girl knew she could depend on Daddy. Now, Daddy needs to depend on them.

Daddy & Me, 1972
I keep thinking back to when my father first told me he had multiple myeloma. I thought of every wonderful thing he'd ever done and then I thought of every moment I'd been a stinker.

Daddy & Me, 2001
I was Daddy's girl all the way up to the end of his life. I didn't think twice about sitting in his lap, throwing my legs over the arms of his recliner, laying my head against his shoulder and together we'd rock ... we'd rock ... we'd rock ....

Daddy is buried in a cemetery next to an unmarked but owned grave. Every time I to "pay my respects" I stand on the opposite side of that particular plot of ground. Which I own. That will be my final resting place. Next to Daddy. Right where I've always loved to be.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Daddy story? Share it here, why don't you ... I'd love to read it!

Eva Marie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Southern Style Tunes

This Christmas, think about giving the SERVICES of your fellow Americans. If you know someone who likes to have manis and pedis, give a gift certificate. If you know someone who likes to eat at a particular restaurant, give a gift certificate to that restaurant. If you know someone who likes having their hair cut at a certain salon, or their lawn cut by a certain landscape team ... give their services. Stop giving everything "Made in China" for crying out loud. 

Here's a song that reminds me greatly of my roots. Love this song!

Photo Copyright: Eva Marie Everson

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

Have you ever sat under a magnolia tree?

There are several types of magnolia tree, but the ones I grew up around--the Southern Magnolia--are all thick in the trunk, with dark green, glossy leaves, and the most fragrant flower, some pink, some white. So massive can these beauties grow, one can sit under them as a child and pretend she is inside a great cathedral, or inside her own home. Or, if caught in a summer shower, one can rest under the tree and stay relatively dry.

The flower, which can grow to the size of a child's head, are not only marvelous for their fragrant offering to the outdoors, they bring the same to the inside of a house. I've clipped many a magnolia flower and allowed them to rest inside a bowl of water. A perfect centerpiece or decorative idea.

Magnolias are so prevalent in the South, streets are named after them. Festivals. Stores. Plantations.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Charleston, South Carolina. I was a guest in the home of a childhood friend who lived in nearby (and equally beautiful and historic) Summersville, but made the short trip into the old Southern city several times in just a few days. One route--Ashley River Road/Hwy 61--afforded me with a remarkable view, not to mention a glimpse back to the past.

As the sun danced between the canopy of trees lining both sides of the road, I exclaimed, "Can you imagine taking this road in the days of horse and buggy? How absolutely romantic and inspiring it must have been!"

I was with fellow author Tim Owens at the time. Tim, who takes this trip most weekdays, said, "I love this route. This is my time with God. To think. To be quiet. Some people want to four-lane this road. I can only hope it doesn't happen."

Me, too.

But back to Magnolia Plantation. If you are ever in the Charleston area, I would like to recommend taking a few hours away from the old city to this grand remembrance of the Old South. I was only fortunate enough to drive past it several times and, quite honestly, this writer's mind went creative-crazy.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot make it to Charleston, enjoy the virtual tour here: http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

(Photos from http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style Tunes

Special spot with Larry Gatlin...
More serious fun...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Southern Style Tunes

Okay, this is not a TUNE, but it is so funny and so Southern, I could not resist.
Thank you Dennis Everson (huggy hubby) who sent this to me a couple of weeks ago and said, "You are going to laugh!"

Click Below:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

More definitions for those not in the know:

What is the difference is toting and carrying?

To my way of thinking, when you tote something, it's heavy. It's work. It's a haul.

"Jimmy, tote that box of books over to the library down the hall for me, will ya? My back's been actin' up."

But when you carry something, you are simply bringing it somewhere.

"Dora Lee carried some potato salad to the dinner on the grounds. It had way too much mayonnaise."

Get it?
What are your sentences for toting and carrying (or, as we say, totin' and carryin')?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

The amazing thing about Cedar Key is that one can view the sun as it rises (my next book is called Waiting For Sunrise) and watch the sun set (Chasing Sunsets , the first book in the three-book series).

Here are some of Cheryl's most recent pix of the sun rise (I was too lazy to get up):

When the sky changes from black to blue
and the clouds from gray to pink ...
When the birds sing and fly ...
It's nearly time.

Peek-a-boo ... the sun begins his early ascent near Dog Island while this bird (and Cheryl) watch on.

The higher he climbs, the longer his beam of light across the rippling waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Moving closer to City Park, now we see the water changing color too.

Time now for boaters and fishermen to join us.

From City Park, abandoned by all but Cheryl, the birds, and the warmth (and humidity) of a new day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

From Miss Betty's 1950s Hand-written Recipe Book:

Browned Rice


1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can beef bouillon soup
1 can onion soup
2 or 3 pats butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
2 T Worcestershire Sauce


Combine uncooked rice, beef and onion soups in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover, turn down to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Brown onions and mushrooms in pan with butter and Worcestershire sauce. Add them to the cooked rice mixture. Pour rice mixture into a greased casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

"Miss Betty" was my mother. I found this old date book in which she wrote her recipes, in her own hand, after her death in 2010. 

I particularly remember this recipe. Not sure when she added it in, I'm thinking the early 60s.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

'lest y'all get confused ... last time we talked about the difference in a hissy fit and a conniption fit.

Now, let's talk about the difference in "cuttin' up" and "actin' up."

"Jennifer's colon has been actin' up for so long, she can hardly leave the house."

Yes, I know that's pretty gross, but Southerners are known for talking about all the fine details in life. Leaving no stone unturned.

"That Tommy has been actin' up ever since his daddy went off to work in Savannah. His mama can't do a thing with 'im."

But "cuttin' up" is something usually done by teenagers and adults.

"Don't get upset, Dora Lee, Jimmy was just cuttin' up with ya when he snapped your bra strap." (Yeah, I bet Dora Lee had a hissy fit, that's what I bet.)

One can also be a cut up.

"When Jimmy was in high school, he was always a cut-up. Now that he's married to Dora Lee, not a thing has changed."

See the difference?

Can you write some actin' up/cuttin' up sentences of your own?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

It's Wednesday! And that means another recipe from "Miss Betty's* handwritten recipe book dating back to the late 50s, early 60s.

Curried Rice


2 T butter
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1 t curry powder
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 1/4 cup chicken stock
2 t lemon juice
Chopped parsley


Melt butter in a 2 qt. saucepan. Add chopped onions, cooking until tender and slightly yellow. Stir in salt, pepper and curry powder. Add rice. Slowly add chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn down to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat but leave lid on for at least 10 more minutes. Serve topped with chopped parsley and a generous sprinkling of paprika.

Miss Betty is the name so many called my mother, Betty Kicklighter Purvis, 1935-2010.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

Last week I shared that in Chasing Sunsets, Patsy tells Kimberly that most people take photos of only the sunset. But, if you wait fifteen minutes, the best colors come out.


Looking toward the west from 1st and G toward the airport.

I'm not sure what this structure is in the water. It seems to be a little more worn every time I come. At high tide, you cannot even see it.

Same view

The most photographed location in Cedar Key. We'll talk more about it later. It's known locally as
"The Honeymoon Cottage."

Before going completely dark, the sky actually grows brighter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

"I'm going to tell you right now, if that girl doesn't come home by the strike of ten, I'm gonna have a hissy fit they'll be talkin' about for the next hundred years."

"Mr. Bannings had a conniption fight right there in front of the class. I'm talkin' he was stompin' his feet and pounding his fists against the desk like you would not believe."

You may not know it--especially if you are from the Northern United States, but there is a difference in a hissy fit and a conniption fit.

A hissy fit involves a lot of yelling and drama. A conniption fit requires some physical display.

Y'all got that?

What are your best "hissy fit" or "conniption fit" stories?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

Chasing Sunsets, book one in the 3-book Cedar Key series, tells the story of Kimberly Claybourne Tucker who, in the second half of her life--confusing as it is--returns to Cedar Key where, years before, she "chased the sunset" with her high school sweetheart. All that was necessary was a truck and a camera and the spirit of adventure.

Recently my friend and assistant, Cheryl, and I went to Cedar Key. We did a little sunset chasing. I thought I'd show you a few pix:

The clouds start to change from white to pink. It's time.

We decided not to go to our usual place to begin with, but to start near the airport.

Now we're at Bridge 4. Sunset on the marshes. Gorgeous.

The treeline of a nearby key is swallowing the sun.
Bye-bye ... until tomorrow.

In the book, Patsy tells Kimberly that most people only photograph the sunset. But if they will just wait fifteen minutes, the best colors will come out. Next week, we'll look at some of those.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

It's Wednesday! And that means another recipe from "Miss Betty's*" handwritten recipe book dating back to somewhere in the late 50s/early 60s. 

Broccoli Souffle w/Cheese Sauce


1 10 oz. package frozen broccoli
3 T butter
2 T flour
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 t salt
Dash nutmeg
Dash white pepper
1 t lemon juice
4 eggs, separated


Cook and chop the broccoli into small pieces. Melt the butter in a double-boiler and add the flour. Blend well. Gradually add the evaporated milk. Stir until thick and smooth. Stir in the salt, nutmeg and pepper. Mix in the broccoli and lemon juice and remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks and add a small amount of the hot mixture to them. Add this to the remaining broccoli mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the broccoli mixture. Turn into and ungreased 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Serve at once with cheese sauce.

Cheese Sauce


3 cups grated cheese
2 T flour
1 cup evaporated milk


Mix the grated cheese and flour in the top of a double boiler. Add the milk and cook until sauce is smooth and thick. Yield 1 1/2 cups.

*Miss Betty was my mother. This recipe book was among the things I found in her kitchen after her death in 2010. I distinctly remember it being opened out on the kitchen countertop and her cooking recipes from it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Southern-Style Tunes

Ever tried to make a video
with a dog,
a truck,
a creek
a railroad track,
a steep incline
and a big snake?

This one will leave you laughing!
David Phelps: The Fall

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

I traveled to the north this past week ... all the way to Ontario, Canada. I was there to launch a Christian Writers Guild Word Weavers (Christian writers critique group), which is part of what I do.

The launch was set for Tuesday night. We had dinner at Swiss Chalet in Mississauga, and, after an hour of gabbing, I began my presentation. When I was done, I asked if there were any questions.

The first one asked about experience. "How much experience do you need to be in this group?"

It was a good question. I said so ... and then answered it.

The second question asked if we allowed for the critiquing of poetry.

"Absolutely," I answered.

Another hand went up. "Yes, Denise," I said, having just met the young woman with the long, wavy hair an hour earlier.

Her large eyes lit up, her shoulders rose to meet her ears, and she said, "I don't have a question. I just want to say, 'I love your accent.'"

Everyone giggled and agreed. Then Larry (who I'd also just met) said, "She probably likes ours, too, eh?"

And I did!

Funny how the way we say our words helps denote where we're from, dunchathink?

I say "HOW-se" for house.
They say "HOE-se."

I say "uh-BOUT" for about.
They say, "uh-BOAT."

But I'm thinking the "house" is still the place we live in ... and "about" is still what this message is in regard to. And that message is simple: make sure, no matter how you say the words, that the words are uplifting and true.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

Another recipe from Miss Betty's* Daily Diary Cookbook...I remember Mother making this...

I don't know who Ethel is or was. For some reason, the name is resounding within me as being the first name of one of the State Trooper's wives of which Mother was a part in those days.

Or maybe it's Ethel Mermann. LOL

Ethel's Punch


1 gallon water
4 lbs.sugar
3 T almond flavoring
1 T vanilla
1 large bottle lemon juice
3 large cans pineapple juice
2 quarts gingerale


Mix ingredients together making sure to add the gingerale last.
Makes 50 5 oz. servings.

(Miss Betty was my mother. These are the recipes I found in her penmanship, written in a Sexton's Daily Diary from c. 1955.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style Tunes

During our road trip, we started talking about old movies. REALLY old movies but also modern day classics. Debby H brought up watching Smokey and the Bandit (staring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed) with her husband and kids recently. For about an hour later, this song played in my head.

There are about three "words" here, so be aware of that. I chose this particular video because it has clips from the movie...and oh! What a movie!

If you'd prefer to just hear Jerry Reed sing the song without the video clips, watch the video below.

Debby H, thx for the memories. While you can recall watching this with you kids just last week, I went to the theater, stood in a very long line, watched and laughed with the rest of the South...way back when in

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

I had an interesting experience this past weekend. I traveled ten states in three days. Okay, technically, I traveled five states in three days but I drove them first forward and then backward. Thus ten states.

At 6 30 on Friday morning, three other women and I met in my driveway. The air was cool but humid. The sky was still dark but growing lighter. Insects swarmed around the lamppost in my front yard. We loaded up Debby H's Saturn Outlook to the absolute brim, climbed in, and headed out the driveway. Goodbye house, humidity, and insects.

Together, as the sky grew increasingly lighter and our coffee kicked in, we--Debby H, Debbie B, and Patsy B--started to chat a little, discovering how alike we are in our differences. Debby H has a husband and two teenage boys. Debbie B is experiencing empty nest for the first time, now that all five of her kids are out of the house. Patsy B has been a widow for 11 years; she loved her husband dearly and misses him like mad, even after all this time. And then there was me.

Florida became Georgia. The sun was now gleaming over the marshes along the coastline as we sped up I-95. We had already made I don't know how many stops--potty breaks and grabbing a little something to eat or drink. Our conversation was opening up along with the day. Debby H, who was the Driver # 1, and I had switched places;I was now behind the wheel of the luxury suburban.

We got to Savannah and decided we were hungry. It wasn't quite lunch, but we had all agreed on Cracker Barrel, of which there are a ga-billion along Southern highways. I ordered chicken and dumplin's, as always. Turnips. Fried okra. Patsy said she had never had okra fried so I remedied that. She and I both agreed, better fried than boiled. Yuck.

Georgia soon became South Carolina. We drove about halfway up, cut across toward North Carolina, and then entered the incredible Great Smoky Mountains. Majesty rose on both sides of the highway. We oo-ed and ah-ed. Our conversation continued to grow with the same intensity of the landscape. Four women in one vehicle cannot be quiet long.

We grew quiet at the sight of a pretty serious accident involving a car and an 18 wheeler. Traffic backed up like crazy.

We had to make, ah-yet, another potty break. This was our fiftieth of the day (or so it seemed) and we had gotten badly lost at one point. Okay, two points. Not really lost...we just couldn't figure out how to get to where we wanted to go. I don't think that really counts as lost.

So...we needed gas and restrooms. We got off the interstate, and drove up the driveway of a gas station/convenience store. And I do mean drove "up." We were taking turns putting gas in the car; it was Patsy's turn. But there were a lot of bikers milling around the pumps, not pumping gas and not really moving out of the way either. Debby H got all gutsy, rolled down the window and basically told a burly biker to "move it."

And he did.

We went inside for the potty break but, alas, their well was broken. Interesting. So we got gas and drove across the street to another convenience store, whose well was not broken, to use the restrooms, then felt all guilty that this was our only reason for being there. So we bought stuff. Junk nibbles. We got back on the highway.

Our conversation soon turned silly...and I do mean silly.

We turned on the music to XM radio. For a while, we grooved to the 70s, then the 60s, then the 50s. At one point, Debby H--who doesn't know the words to too many songs but can figure out the chorus after she hears it a time or two--got her groove on...and I got out my camera. (see video)

We came to a tunnel. Debby H said, "Everybody scream!" And we did that too... (see video) although I admit I couldn't hold my scream for laughing so hard.

By the time we arrived in Gatlinburg, TN (we were attending Cheri Cowell's marketing retreat in her lovely mountain cabin), we were positively loopy. In awe of our surroundings, but loopy.

But wouldn't you be if you had been in a car with four women from all walks of life for nearly 13 hours?