For most people that know me, I’m a country girl through and through. I even had a nickname of Southern Belle for a while in high school. Ironically, I was born and (kinda) raised in Buffalo, NY. That’s right, southern people, I was born a Yankee (yuck!). But when I was ten years old, my mama and me moved down to sunny south Florida from bleak and dreary Buffalo. Of course, at the time, I thought that Florida was Disney World and that we would basically be moving next door to the world’s most famous mouse. (Oh, how I quickly learned that was not true).
As upset as I was, as the years went on, I was introduced to something that was not so readily accepted up North (not everywhere up North but at least where I came from). That something was more of a lifestyle, I guess. That lifestyle consisted of country music, camouflage, hunting, fishing, and basically anything else you could do outdoors. It was meeting people and doing some of these things that I became who I am today. I sleep under a camouflage bed spread, I get excited at a red light if I pull up next to a lifted pick up truck, and there ain’t nothin’ like relaxin’ on a lake waitin’ to catch something.
Now I’ve been called redneck a handful of times, and I’m sure some people saying it meant it as an insult, but I take it as a compliment. One time, my uncle and I decided on a whim that we were gonna go to the beach one day. We got to the beach and realized we didn’t bring a single chair, towel, or anything and the only thing we had were these old mats. So we grabbed those and laid them on the sand so we could sit down. I told him that’s the most redneck thing I’d ever seen him do and he thought I was trying to be funny. But I began to explain to him that what redneck truly means is resourceful. How many times do you see a redneck make something outta nothing? You never know when an opportunity will arise so you gotta be quick thinkin’ on your feet!
Anyways, to wrap this up, I do get teased a little when I visit some family friends up North for saying y’all and other common “Southern sayings” and I even get teased at when I don’t know 38 songs out of the Top 40 lists they play on the radio these days. I know that I am meant to be somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line for the rest of my life but I do know my humble beginnings and what brought me to where I’ve been so I could figure out who I was and where I belong. So I guess, if there is a moral of this short story, that would be it. It might take a little while to get where you’re going, but if you know where you’ve been, it helps to pave the road ahead…