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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

I. Am. Back!

Can you believe it? After two weeks on the road and one week recuperating from travels, I. Am. Back!

And, boy, do I have the perfect story to share with you...concerning Southern places and people.

During my travels earlier this month, I spent several days in the most charming place on earth (as far as I'm concerned), Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Now, if you find that to be a mouthful, let me tell you that most people from around there just say "Ruff-ton." At least, I think that's what they are saying.

I love Ruff-ton. I want to live in Ruff-ton. My husband says he won't move...and I fear a long-distance marriage coming up (just kidding). Maybe, one day, I'll write that great American novel and we'll have enough money to be bi-lingual. We'll speak both Floridian and North Carolinian!

Back to Ruff-ton.

While there, my hostess, Sharon Decker -- who I love like the sister I wish I'd had and who (we believe) is my cousin as my father and her mother had the same surname -- happened to mention that she preached at a church for some time that had quite the history. Not only was Brittain Church established in the 1700s, its behind-the-church cemetery holds the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, Civil War soldiers...and...slaves.

I had to see this for myself! A planned interview on Monday didn't pan out, so I asked Sharon to take me to this graveyard treasure trove. She said she would.

First thing I noted, he way the steeple of this church rose to the sky. Even though the church had been rebuilt over the years, it was if it stood in defiance of time, the seasons (a horrible storm had just blown through a few nights earlier), or any religious enemy. Yes, I still stand. We are a small congregation but we are what Christian faith is made of. As long as we are here, Christianity continues.

The second thing I noted was the sloping hillside where old stones, cracked and gray, dotted the landscape, much like the wildflowers growing among them. I couldn't wait to get back there, to turn on my camera and snap away!

Before I could do that, however, Sharon needed to introduce me to a woman who stood at the top of the church-front steps, accompanied by an old but formidable-looking dog. Sharon knew the woman (she'd preached her husband's funeral) and wanted to introduce me to her.

And so I met the woman who not only cleaned the church, she was also the choir director. She was being assisted by another woman who was also the organist.

You cannot make this kind of stuff up.

After formalities, I was led to the graveyard...more on that next week...'cause there were some very interesting graves out there...one in particular...