Sunday, January 8, 2012

Down South

Spending time in the South during the holidays was like, well, being in Seattle in the summer.
In my mind, I'm thinking Christmas= snow/cold/brrrr.
Ok, I take that back. It did get cold some mornings but it always cleared up into a beautiful spring/summer Seattle day!
Walking along the Chattahoochee river banks was so relaxing .
I brought clothes to layer for the colder nights...I used them once. During the Fantasy Lights display in Callaway Gardens. But after having that Kahlua and Baileys hot chocolate, I was warm again.
The good thing about this weather this time of year down there in Alabama and Georgia bugs.
Which means no bug bites.
No Colleen Buffet! Yay~
But it honestly felt like a fantastic spring day just threw me off. Was not what I was expecting. We had a bon fire on new years eve. Roasted in the new year with cool is that?
I did notice the neighbors burned fires a they not have burn bans there?
I also noticed something else in our drives around the cities
Tons of land.
I mean, tons.
And every now and then, in between those stretches of land and homes and ranches...there would be a burned out home. Or not so burned, but just empty.
And my mind would just shoot off questions......who owned this, why did this happen, what happens to it now? And it's not like it's a rare occurrence either....they were everywhere.
What happens to the land? Who is letting this sit here like this...why? See? the brain wants answers.
Or, at least, mine does.
I must have lost count around 20 homes...or more.
You won't see that here. Shoot, you won't see land here either. Unless you drive out a spit.
That's right, I said spit.
I WAS in the south for the last 20 days you know.
I always give Breanne a bad time about being a "geographical oddity" they are 30 minutes from everywhere. ( any "Oh Brother, where art tho fans" out there?)
Seriously. it takes 30 minutes to go to work. To go downtown. To go eat dinner. To shop.
A geographical oddity


Michael and I took a little trip this week to Tuskegee. Home of the Tuskegee Army Airman National Historic Site. Fascinating. A story of courage, racial barriers and honor.

At the airfield, A park ranger told me that one of the original woman mechanics, Fannie Gun Boyd, still lived in Tuskegee and was doing very well at 94. That intrigued me. So I wanted to drive thru town.

Picture if you will, a town back in the 50's. Now picture that same town, run down, boarded up, dilapidated.
As we drove thru town.....we felt out of place.
Never mind we were driving Danny's White Hummer.
Never mind we were white.
Never mind we were driving.
Was what I was seeing actually real?
Men hunkered against buildings, hanging out on porches that looked like they might give out at any given moment, stores boarded up, houses abandoned, ......
Where was a large grocery store? You know, the kind you see in every town?
Not here.
We were driving through a time zone. That just so happened to be smack dab in the middle of  Tuskegee University.

fast forward to today:
The campus was beautiful. What surrounded it was a 1950's backdrop to some movie.
It was surreal.
Living where I live and seeing some of the world like I have, this surprised me.

My next quandary is the mass amounts of ponds/lakes/wet lands they have everywhere! I mean everywhere!
You can't drive more than a couple miles without seeing some body of water in front of, in back of, or around someone's home. Seriously. Party barges parked in a lot of driveways!
So, let's get down to the nitty gritty here. My questions is......are there alligators in those bodies of water?
Cause there are behind some gas station nearby! True story!
On the way to Breanne and Danny's home, there is a stretch of road I call "alligator alley".It's a long stretch of road flanking a swamp.  Creeps me out just to drive on it. And that means in the daytime as well. So much swamp and reeds and turtles and wild boars there....what's to stop an alligator from being in there?
Does anyone have an answer for me here?  Does Alabama and Georgia have alligators in their bodies of water?
So,wrapping this up, I am sure I am leaving something out about what I discovered this trip.
 I will either remember it next time I visit, or find something else that  fascinates me.
Because each time I go down South, I discover a little more. And I always have  a lot more questions.
Just ask Danny. " why are you asking me questions I don't have an answer to?"

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