Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Town and Country: Reprise

Heaviness online this week.  I could lose HOURS reading all the stuff that flashes before my eyes each day.  I’m one who really likes gathering information so it’s hard not to read all I see but because there is so much, I basically choose not to read any of it.  That’s how I deal with “overwhelming”.  There’s probably a better way to handle it, but for now, that’s it.  However, a friend sent something last night I read-- and loved-- but it sucked me into a clicking here, clicking there marathon that continued this morning.  This article related to that article and the “hmmm, this looks intriguing” and the “I cannot believe  I just read that.” or “I cannot believe that blogger wrote that.”   So today, I am posting on a rather lighter note.  Hope you enjoy!

I heard some disturbing news the other day.  It came to me second handed but that made it no less depressing.  Leave it to an all men hunting trip to find out all the stuff you never knew and maybe didn’t want to know.  Once a year for the last four years my Dad and brother have driven from Soperton, Georgia to Noodle, Texas (17 hours- with 5 dogs and a 4 wheeler) in order to hunt quail.  On their way, they spend the night with us and Jeff joins the last leg of the trip the next morning.  It is one of the things Jeff looks forward to every year.

Hardly anything brings my Dad or brother larger laughs than to tease Jeff, and I mean, tease him good.  Only Blake can get away with the things he comes up with for my husband!  Thankfully, Jeff is no novice at dishing out a little smack either, so they make a pretty entertaining pair, or annoying, however you want to look at it.

Of course, Dad and Blake’s favorite thing to rib Jeff about is being a “city boy” having grown up in Atlanta, “ITP” --inside the perimeter.  If it is bass fishing in one of our ponds, putting him in a deer stand, deep sea fishing 25 miles out from St. George, or quail hunting in Noodle, they will figure out how to highlight his “urban-ness” whether it be regarding his choice of shoes, what he needs to plug in, his pants, his lack of camouflage or his lack of accessories that are headache orange.  As my Dad MIGHT say, to Jeff’s parent’s credit, his family spent a fair amoutn of time in the country because both of Jeff’s parents grew up in a small town in south Georgia and moved to the city after marrying some fifty years ago.  So for a city boy, Jeff has some country boy  “know-how” and joined my family with some good ol’ boy experience tucked under his fancy leather belt.

I called my Dad the night Jeff had left Noodle to see how the hunting had been that day.  {The people from Soperton had cell service in Noodle, TX but not the guy from Fort Worth, TX.  Yep.} The only thing I can come up with that might communicate his excitement to you is if you were out shopping at each one of your favorite stores and every door you walked through, the manager met you at the entrance and informed you that you had been chosen for a thousand dollar shopping spree.  No strings attached. Start shopping.  No kidding.  Daddy was that excited.  The best thing he said was, “Even your husband (he probably couldn’t remember his name for the moment, for that has happened before) was a good shot today!”  So he was really saying, “Even with his city-fied handicap, he did pretty well.”  {And to my husband’s credit, since this was posted a few years ago, he’s honed his aim quite respectably.}

Okay, I need to get to the real disturbing news.  Last night, as Jeff was bagging quail for the freezer at our house, he was reminded that I really didn’t like the taste of quail.  This always surprises him.  I think, growing up, I watched Daddy clean a few too many of them at our kitchen sink.  I can recall the smell in an instant before each naked bird was dropped into a Pringles can headed for the deep freeze in the utility room.  Sadly, I remember always being fascinated by seeing what the birds had been eating before being shot out of the sky.  I imagined it being picked up in a slobbery mouth of a bird dog, and then stuffed into the “bird bag” and then I would watch it be dissected over our kitchen sink. It makes complete sense to me that I don’t really enjoy eating them.  All of this reminded Jeff that Daddy, once again, had called him a city boy.  In his own defense, Jeff said to my Dad,  “Don’t you think it’s funny that I grew up in the city and spent lots of time in the country and Krista grew up in the country, but spent a ton of time in the city?”  My daddy’s heart piercing response?!  “Oh, she’s a city slicker too.”  Ouch.

Yes ma’am.  Only in the backyard in the South.  I hope this one does not come back to haunt me.  Maybe on timehop?  I know.  I am SO trendy.  My nephew explained it to me only minutes ago.

 There is probably a country song about getting the country out of a girl-- or not.  In fact, I am almost sure there is and I have no idea to what conclusion they came.  Well, for me, you can’t.  A girl may love her Mac, be frustrated that her cell phone has no signal “in the country”, have a tedious order at Starbucks, like that art from around the world makes stops in her city,  have a postage stamp for a yard, and love being 2 minutes away from a retail fix but it doesn’t mean she’s a “city girl”.  There are just some things a true city girl just can’t understand-- like a deep Southern accent, how NOT to hold a catfish, why you must wave and smile at everyone you pass, why to never grab hold of a metal fence before checking it, what it’s like to have every grown up watch you like they are your parent, how this present monogram trend is not so trendy, why when walking through the woods you HOLD the branches you pass so the next person doesn’t get whacked, why you marry in your home church whether it holds everyone or not, how discussing cooking is as controversial as religion and politics, what frog giggin’ is, why knowing how to climb a fence can come in very handy (even in the big city), the difference between a lima bean and a butter bean-- or a field pea and a zipper pea for that matter, why you can never beat news home from school, why you never lack for food when sick, have a baby, lose a loved one or your wife is out of town, how once tasted fresh from the garden, grocery store veggies cannot compete, why being called "Little Miss Pine Seedling" or "Forestry Queen" is a good thing, how pine straw could save a city dweller money, why you don’t send “local” wedding invitations, why some things are just better fried, how much sugar really goes into sweet tea, what a fishin’ rodeo is, why a girl would want her wedding reception at home, how anyone could possibly make a 14 layer chocolate cake, why seeing the same people year after year after year never gets old, how people become your family over a lifetime of raising kids and grandkids, and how growing up in a county of 5000 people may be one of the best things that ever happened to you.

So Daddy, I beg to differ with you.  You did it.  You and Mom raised a country girl- a country girl who happens to like a few city girl things and who happens to love coming to the country every chance she gets.

And, Daddy……. really…….. how many city girls would ever look at a mess of fish like that??   I mean, c’mon.

Kudos to my Mom here, using all her bicep muscles to hold these overgrown catfish for who knows how long?   You look beautiful, by the way. 

{As I mentioned, this is a repost from 2008.  It is the only post in 7 years of blogging that ever provoked a phone call from my Daddy.  It’s okay, Daddy.  I don’t hold the comment against you.  Just remember, I love it all.}

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