I think I can pinpoint exactly when it hit me. I was in my dad's car, windows down, going to Chick-fil-a to get a chicken biscuit, and Buddy Jewell's "Sweet Southern Comfort" came on the radio. Here are some of my favorite lyrics:
Just a snapshot of downhome Dixie
Could be anywhere you are
In Carolina or in Georgia
Open arms are waitin' for ya
Louisiana yellow rose of San Antone
Old man river whispers to me
Carry on, carry on
Sweet southern comfort carry on.
As I sit here I'm surrounded
By these priceless memories
I don't have to think about it
There's no place I'd rather be.
Don't get me wrong, I really do love DC. I adore living here, and I'm so glad I up and did it. I love my job, my friends, the great restaurants, the fun bars, the Metro, free museums, and the feeling that important decisions (whether you agree with them or not) are being made all around you. DC is in your face, and it comes at you rapid-fire. It's a fast-paced, cosmopolitan, intellectually stimulating place to live.
But the Southern girl in me thinks that DC is just temporary. That it will never be home. From age 6 to age 25, I found comfort in Alpharetta, Athens, and Knoxville. I miss the take-your-time, how's-your-family, honey-glazed feel of it all. I miss collard greens, the Vol Navy, biscuits and gravy, Toddy's, honeysuckle, the Arch, the Varsity, and sweaty nights beneath the stars in Valdosta. I miss the South.
Anyone up for a road trip? I hear Nashvegas is lovely this time of year. ;-)