Southern Sojourn

So, we are leaving South Carolina. My experiment in southern housewifery is over, and I have to say it is with a great big sigh of relief.

A sense of relief not unlike the shockingly icy temperature of a Maine ocean on a hot summer day. I’ve been longing for that burst of coolness, refreshment from the stagnant. I’m actually looking forward to the fall and a change of scenery.

I miss my family, and we’ve done enough exploring here. The South is a different country from New England, with a different value system and culture from what we prefer. I want to raise my son in a place where being different is not jeered at, a place that values education and alternative takes on life. I’ve met acquaintances with many new variety of tree, plant and human. I recognize the weather, speech and traffic patterns, and I am okay with eliminating the term “y’all” from my vocabulary. Maybe some day I will curse the snow, but I miss those gray winter landscapes, and we all miss poking around in the woods without fear of lurking alligators and snakes. But, I have no remorse haughtily saying see ya to cockroaches. Its been like a year abroad for us, and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience the regional differences in the country, not just overseas.

I have made a list of things I love about South Carolina.

…in no order of importance:

  1. Meandering the trails at the James Island County Park
  2. Easy to one of the top ten beaches in America
  3. Sitting outside on the patio all year long
  4. This place. And the view from this bar
  5. Walking along the battery with iced tea on a Sunday morning, and stopping to let our son splash in the pineapple fountain
  6. The amazing quality of local fruits and vegetables available all year–and my new love affair with okra
  7. Hearing the trees rustle outside our bedroom windows (never the dull roar of sirens and traffic)
  8. The general lack of anything even slightly resembling traffic
  9. My rediscovery of a genuine yoga practice
  10. How my plants flourished here–my lavender blossomed this year for the first time in 6 years.

It has been a swell year, but I think if I was really honest with myself I knew we weren’t really going to live here for long. It was a fun temporary change, this sojourn in southern living.

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The last time

I found the WordPress app for my iPad this afternoon. Now I can blog easier than ever.

Baby is sleeping propped up against my chest. I should probably wake him up, since bedtime is a short 48 minutes away, but I treasure this closeness, and there are five busy days ahead. These moments will sustain me. And besides, I’ve been trying to get him to slumber on me like he did so often his first weeks of life. The full on heavy desperate sleep of days. I’m not sure when he stopped falling asleep that way, but there were many days that had us both closing our eyes and falling into dream world together. That I do not remember his last sleep curled up on my chest makes me a little sad, nostalgic I guess. Because he is growing so fast. Because maybe if I had known it was the last time he’d be sleeping that way, I would have captured it on camera. On my hipstamatic so I could have possibly framed some pseudo-arty photo of us some day. Or maybe I would have just breathed a little deeper, held him tighter, whispered my love for him once more.

But then again, maybe I should be glad I can’t recall the exact last time. Life is better that way, no? If I had known 10/22/2011 would be the last morning I’d wake up only concerned with my own needs, I would have panicked. Each time a last time happens, it will fade into the fabric of my love for my baby son. He’s at this amazing stage, that with each time I realize a last time occurred, we have three first times to anticipate. This weekend we had the unbelievably timely First Time Sleeping Until 8am. And tomorrow he has his first March 26th. Later this week he’ll have his first trip to the greenhouse, and next week (we think) his first taste of butternut squash.

Whether you’re 5 months old, or 28 years old, I think it’s worth recognizing that each day is a new one, imparting a chance to reflect that life is literally less about the things we did than the things we’re doing.

Carry on!