Monday, September 5, 2011

You ain't from around here, are you?

Almost fifteen years ago, Hubs and I took a trip to New Orleans. We did it up Louisiana style with drinks at starting 10 AM and the like. We ate too much food, stayed up much too late, and after a few days the muchness was too much. We decided to drive two hours north to St. Francisville to take in the sights, and yes, to dry out a bit.

St. Francisville is a gorgeous little town filled with plantations and old south graciousness. We stayed at a B & B, got plenty of rest, and recharged.

One night, we stopped at a little local non-touristy meat and three for dinner. We were finally feeling like a beer with dinner. It might have been a dry county or something of the like, but when Hubs asked about drinks, the waitress actually said "You ain't from around here, are you?"

I thought about that question when I was back in Georgia visiting family last week.

I grew up in the country on a dirt road named Pine Needle, near a place called Pumpkin Center. My high school had something like a fifty percent graduation rate. After I left home, my parents moved to the suburbs. Usually when I go back to visit, I'm not really going back to the way things were then. I almost forget. But this time we stayed out near a lake where Hubs' family has a little place, just a few miles from my childhood house. The lake place is off of a dirt road, just like where I grew up. As you drive down the road, red dust billows up behind the car. There are potholes and deer to watch out for. And snakes. In that part of Georgia there are always snakes.

But my parents were never country. My dad didn't hunt or fish or farm. My mother never in her life made a scratch biscuit or fried a chicken. If you asked, my parents would say they just liked the peace and quiet of living away from town. We never fit in. Though I can't quite put my finger on why, it always felt like we were hiding.

So when I did get back there last week, it felt intimately familiar yet I couldn't really find myself anywhere, like one of those memories you might only be able to bring forward because you still have the pictures. I thought about that waitress in rural Louisiana.

Definitely ain't from backwoods Louisiana or rural Georgia or even suburban Boston. And though I can tell you where I grew up, I seem to be still trying to find the place where I'm from.

1 comment:

Allison Kruskamp said...

Since our parents were from FL where most people are northern transplants, I often felt what you just described. You're such a talented writer!