The 1,500 miles between my dorm room in Rhode Island and my parents’ house in Mississippi made visits difficult. Though I flew home for Thanksgiving my freshman year, I gently explained to my mom that the appalling price of the ticket seemed a bit excessive to attempt four years in a row. And so the following Thanksgiving,
It can be easy to think these days that everything has already been discovered, and not only that, digitized too — that all the books have been scanned and the rivers charted, leaving not a square inch of Terra Incognita on Google Earth. But anyone who has done any kind of archival research knows otherwise
by Kayla Smith
Sometimes when I hear people with southern accents, I almost wish my own were stronger. It’s not because of a desire to sound southern so much as because I don’t want people to think I’m intentionally trying not to.
by Rebecca Brady
Tears trickled from my half-shut eyes, not quite surrendered to the dawn that pried and pleaded with them to open. I could hear the birds chirping outside, bidding each other good morning, and for a moment I forgot whose pillow had been cradling my head.
by Heather Philpot
Even though I was a weird little kid back in the ‘80’s, one with a hideous home perm, a mouthful of braces, and a compulsion to fidget - EVEN with all of that - I considered myself blessed. Blessed, because I had a saint. My saint was
by Kara Martinez Bachman
I used to think only rich people lived in Mississippi. I got that crazy idea from my fourth grade friend, Tiffany. She was always primly dressed, her cotton gingham clothing covered in all manner of lovingly hand-shaped bows.
by Krista Creel
Riding in my Sunday dress in the passenger side of a well-equipped Cadillac DeVille down an old gravel road, I was feeling the kind of sublimity that not even my small town, southern preacher could’ve gleaned
by Jamie Berube
Last Sunday night I talked to my best friend on the phone for four hours.
Our conversation was full of nonsense and thoughtfulness and sprinkled with plenty of bad jokes followed by fits of laughing; it was a good talk that we both needed. It's hard being far away from your best friend. She lives in Florida, 2,500 miles away from my West coast home.
It would take more than a long telephone conversation to compensate for the year that's gone by since we've spoken face to face, but it lessens the sting of long distance to just hear her voice. And it makes me feel like I'm back in Florida, sitting with her and a glass of Merlot on my mom's front porch late on a summer night.
Sometimes I'm jealous that she still lives in the town where we grew up - the place where I wept through adolescence, had my first kiss, and learned how to drive through tropical storms and hurricanes; hearing her voice makes me miss my Southern roots.
But like any twenty something aspiring writer with a slightly wounded past, I have a confusing and conflicted relationship with the place where I grew up.
If you've read writers like Dave Eggers
by Billy P. Hall
In 1948, most poor folks (and most people fit that description) raised chickens and hogs for food. In a mostly agrarian society, most folks around Winnsboro still clung to the lifestyle they grew up with. Many could recount the hungry times during the Great Depression and it was a life-changing event for many of them. Genesis 12:10 says "
by Noelle A. Granger
The South seemed like a nice place to put down roots, and those travel magazines can be pretty convincing. My husband and I first thought about moving to North Carolina thirty years ago after looking at pictures of the eye-popping fall colors in the mountains and the crystalline sandy beaches and cerulean blue waters off the Outer Banks, plus we were told that the weather was nice, but mostly we came because we both found jobs here.
During my first week in North Carolina, temperatures hovered around 100 degrees, with humidity that made it feel like a blast furnace, and I dreaded going outside. But gradually over the years, and with the help of whole house air-conditioning, I’ve come to welcome the heat and found it’s the perfect topic to open a conversation.
“It’s a scorcher outside today.”
“Yep, even the flies aren’t buzzin’.”
Shortly after learning to begin conversations this way, I became aware there is a distinctive way of speaking in the South. Part of my transition as a North Carolinian was a gradual discovery that the Southern lilt is soothing to my ears, and some of the more unique terms are downright enjoyable. I’ve even found myself using