I’m happy in my place in this small world
It has always been said it’s a small world.
But I never realized just how distant people are from one another until I began a friendship with a pen pal.
My pen pal, Jenny, lives in California. For the past three years, we have corresponded with each other through countless letters, cards and emails. We have even sent each other small gifts, post cards and other treats.
I consider her a dear friend even though we have never met face to face.
One thing I find fascinating about our relationship is just how different our worlds seem. Jenny and I live on the opposite side of the country. She lives in the Los Angeles area in sunny California while I am here in Yazoo.
Jenny lives in a bustling city with thousands of people. She is surrounded by tall buildings, concrete and other urban fixtures. She can catch an orchestra one night and World War II reenactment the next one.
And yet she is intrigued by the South and some of our customs, sights, mannerisms and such. The many things around me here in Yazoo that I take for granted seem to fascinate her. And in the end, it reminds me of just how lucky I am to be a Yazooan now, and more importantly, a Southerner.
I am not speaking harshly of California. It has some of the nicest scenery in some parts. But Jenny has to deal with a lot of things I have never experienced like concrete parks, crowded interstates, earthquakes and smog.
My South is somewhat different.
I like the fact that I have to move my vehicle over on the side of the road sometimes to let a tractor pass. I am the happiest when I am traveling down a gravel road with the windows down.
It means a lot to me to see Goose Egg Park from my office and take in the vibrant colors of the flowers and trees. It’s kind of neat that I can walk into the mayor’s office to have a quick word with him.
I like that every time I go to McDonald’s in the morning, there is a group of older gentleman sipping their coffee and talking about the weather every morning. I like the fact that everyone knows Fridays are “fried chicken days” in local restaurants.
I am glad a live in a town where Friday night high school football games are where everybody is seen and heard. I like that I can stop by Little Yazoo Grocery and put a Dr. Pepper “on the ticket.”
There is a warm spot for that little elderly lady who calls The Herald to ask what time it is or wanting the phone number to the post office. It touches my spirit to know that a new baby, the loss of a loved one or a job promotion calls for a hot dinner from family and friends.
I don’t even realize that I automatically wave at anyone who passes me on the road. I sometimes even get offended when someone doesn’t wave back.
I appreciate the fact that I can pretty much get you anywhere in Yazoo County through a series of back roads. I like that my dog can run free in my yard with no leash.
There is just something about fishing in the family pond or camping out on the family land. I like to stop in our pastures and mingle with the cows.
I like that I can still buy a Moonpie and RC. Some of my best conversations have been on the back of a tailgate.
Soda pop cans do make excellent checker pieces. And when someone says “chess,” you instantly think about pie.
A cold drink tastes better on a front porch around here. Dinner on the grounds seem to make food taste better.
And I even like the fact that if I got pulled over for maybe going a little too fast down Broadway hill that everyone in town knows about it before I get my ticket.
Big cities and urban meccas have their selling points. But those are places I like to visit and visit only.
And maybe one day I could visit Jenny in California, and I would love to introduce her to the south, especially Yazoo.
It’s a place that never leaves you. A place I am blessed to call home.