We are back in Alabama now after about six days of road-tripping through parts of Canada and the northeastern US. And it seems it only takes a few days of me being back in my old stomping grounds for memories to start flowing back. I don't even know if memory is the right word. More like feelings and flashes, sounds and smells.
It feels like a poem or stream of consciousness babbling in my head. I return here and almost step back into my old life- walking down to the mailbox on baking hot days, entering supermarkets with cold a/c blasting and browsing Betty Crocker cake boxes- as if I never left. My accent seems to come back as if by magic (or do I put it on to fit in again?), droppin' the "g" and using expressions I almost forgot existed.
I forget that I wasn't always happy in my old workaday life here, that every day wasn't like being on vacation. Because now I am on vacation and that does make a difference. But home has a special flavor that I love to taste again. Here are a few impressions and pictures…
Dappled sunshine in my mom's yard. Crepe myrtle trees in every color.
Cicadas and crickets singing all day long. Balmy evenings and slightly cooler mornings.
Peaches and corn on the cob and farmer's markets. Southern-style decorations and tanned college girls in pony tails.
|Durbin's Farms in Chilton County.|
Middle-aged men in college football polo shirts, American flags everywhere and pick-up trucks that look like monster trucks to me (and especially Juliette).
The renovated split level and one-level houses in my mom's neighborhood. A few front porches with gracious ferns hanging on the ceiling. Shutters that don't necessarily shut but are for decoration.
Familiar intersections and shops interspersed with new places I've never heard of. Darkened movie theaters on hot summer days, back-to-school sales while I'm still playing.
People talking about their weekend on the lake or travelers coming home from beach trips on the Gulf of Mexico. Little children who say, "yes, ma'am." (Not mine, for the record, though she should take a cue from the others…)
Things that I used to slightly scorn or outright shun seem cozy now, as I smile kindly at my surroundings.