Living in the south has truly been a blessing. Life’s a little slower, the air is a little cleaner, and the folks are jist plumb friendly. I must admit I’m southern through and through. I use southern dialect in my speech and expressions. I definitely use it in my writing. It used to be a well kept secret that the south is often called “heaven on earth.” So many people have moved here from the north, the west, and the mid-west…so the secret’s out. My husband and I have one friend from New York who wants to be one of the good ol’ southern boys so bad he can’t stand it and will blatantly insist that he is southern. But his strong New York accent gives him away every time. He can live here a lifetime, but he’ll never talk like us.”
Why do folks love the south so much? Duh!—Just look around! We have beautiful mountains, enchanting coastlines, beautiful rivers and streams, clean air, rolling farmlands, beautiful people…I could go on and on. We tend to get our water polluted sometimes, but it gets taken care of eventually. It’s the “Bible Belt.” What else can I say. As a matter of fact, you might say North Carolina is the buckle of the “Bible Belt.” We have churches on every corner. At any given time on Sunday morning in my little town, you can walk into a service and see entire families worshiping together. It thrills my soul to walk in at Waxhaw Baptist Church and see the Parker family. You will see the great-grandmother tending to her great-grandchildren while the grandmothers and parents participate in the worship service. Now ain’t ‘at jist som’um else!
We love some good ol’ southern gospel music and the old hymns of the church here in the south. We are gradually learning to tolerate contemporary Christian music. It’s not that we don’t like it…we jist ain’t let it speak to our hearts, jist yet. Some contemporary singers don’t pronounce their words, and so us old folks can’t understand the lyrics. What can I say? We are plumb guilty of lovin’ that “ol’ time religion.”
I can’t say enough about my unique southern neighborhood and church. The little historic town of Waxhaw and the Land of the Waxhaws gave birth to the seventh President of the United States. Andrew Jackson was a true southerner through ‘n through. He grew up “the way the crow flies” might near five or six miles behind my house. He was here when the Native Americans roamed the woods behind my house.
Yes, you can tell I’m southern and proud of it. The Christian novels that I have written are filled with southern stories and phrases. (I’ve italicized some of the southern words and phrases.) The only place I’d rather be than to be here in Waxhaw is HEAVEN. I’m reminded of the old hymn, Until Then, written by Stuart Hamblen. I have reworded it somewhat.
So until then, my heart will go on singing.
Until then with joy I’ll carry on.
Until the day my eyes behold that city
I’ll keep on writing…’til God calls me home.
“Y’all Come Back Now”