I realized last week that the next 3 months may be the last time I live in the South. My masters will take 2 years, Bech's MFA will take three, and my PhD. will take another 3 (or 4 or 5...I'm going to try for the 3 year route!). None of the programs Bech is looking at are in the South, and I don't think any of my PhD. programs will be either.
So we are leaving the south for at least 8 years. And then, when it comes time to getting a job, we will take jobs wherever we get them! Of course, we will apply to places in the South, I am sure, but its hard to get jobs in the academic world, so we can't be too picky!
I love the south. I am not one of those die hard southern people. I fully supported the new chancellor of Ole Miss who made the students stop singing, "The South will rise again," at the end of "Dixie."
But I do love living in the south, in Mississippi. I love the seasons here, especially Spring (I say especially Spring, mostly because its Spring right now and I am enjoying it...in a few months, I will say especially Summer). I love the grove. I love the Junior League and Mistletoe Marketplace. I love Belhaven and Fondren. I love Oxford.
I like what Kathryn Stockett says at the end of "The Help":
"Mississippi is like my mother. I am allowed to complain about her all I want, but God help the person that raises an ill word about her around me, unless she is their mother too."
I feel like that too...I can complain about issues in Mississippi, but I do NOT like to hear people from other states say things about my state or my region.
I am trying to make a list of everything I want to redo or do for the first time while I am still in the South. Here's what I have so far:
1. Go to Double Decker in Oxford. Double Decker is a huge outdoor arts festival. Tons of local artist set up booths around the square. All of the restaurants have food in booths, and bands play. I am going this weekend! It's usually on a Saturday, but this year (because of rain) they moved it to this Sunday.
2. Go to New Orleans. Eat at Cafe du Monde (beignets!) and a nice restaurant (maybe Clancys or Commanders Palace?). Also, I want a shrimp poboy from Johnny's Poboys.
Here are beignets. They are kind of like funnel cakes except not as greasy and ten times better. I haven't been to New Orleans since my freshman year of college. Well I've been to the airport, but not to visit. I want to go sometime this summer for at least a day trip. It's only 2 hours from my parents house.
3. Go to Does in Greenville. We used to have a Does in Oxford, but it closed. It is a total whole in wall restaurant. They have the best steaks and lobster, but you're in a kind of rundown sort of restaurant...amazing!
4. Eat tons of snow cones! Brookhaven has the BEST snowcones, and mom and I go get them everytime I am down there.
5. 4 words: Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka! I am pretty sure only Southerners could make a sweet tea flavored vodka. I am bringing some of this and some grits up to Vermont so I can share it with those Yankees.
6. Picnic at the Lookout on the Reservoir
7. Pepsi Pops...I haven't been in forever, but this year we are going to be on Bech's parents sailboat in the water during it...I can't wait!
8. A drive up the Natchez Trace, even if its just for 30 miles or so.
I can't think of anymore things to add...Any suggestions? Any favorite things to do/visit in or around Mississippi?