I love, love, love my guest for this week. Ava Pennington is a delight to know ... and a delight to read. Check it out!
By Ava Pennington
I’m a city girl. A northern city girl. I was born in Brooklyn and worked in
for most of my corporate career. My Manhattan accent is as much a part of me as my brown eyes and crooked smile. New York
But things change. Twelve years ago, we moved south – one thousand miles south to
. Now, I know true southerners do not consider Florida a bona fide southern state. Southern wisdom dictates that “when you’re in Florida , you have to go north to get south.” Florida
Still, I’m surrounded by enough southern influence that this northerner has learned a thing or two…usually the hard way!
There was the time a friend hosted a gathering, but realized too late she only had unsweetened iced tea. It didn’t seem like a problem to me – why not offer sugar to those who wanted to sweeten their iced tea? I suggested. The collective southern gasp – followed by laughter – informed me of my faux pas. First lesson: true sweet iced tea is never sweetened when cold!
Speaking of sugar, one of my dearest friends at church is a lovely older woman who hails from the
Deep South. As our relationship developed, I made a point of greeting her with a hug each time we met. Soon that wasn't enough. One day, she greeted me with, “Gimme some sugar.” Was she asking for another hug? I didn’t need to puzzle long. She quickly complemented her warm embrace with a big kiss. Second lesson: southern kisses are sweeter than sweet iced tea!
After living among southerners (and southern wannabes!) it was bound to happen. I began to pick up southern mannerisms. I even address my Bible class as “y’all,” although it does sound funny with a
accent. Still they are quick to remind me that I haven’t quite arrived until I address them properly: “all y’all.” New York
Sigh. I have much to learn.
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