Tuesday, July 26, 2011

South Carolina Peaches for a North Carolina Girl

My mom went down to my aunt's lake house near Clemson, S.C. over the weekend and returned with a basket full of fresh South Carolina peaches for me to enjoy.

Two of my aunts live in South Carolina and my grandmother lived there before she passed away about six years ago. I don't get down there as much as I used to since my grandmother's death, but I have really special memories of my time there.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a Carolina girl all the way. See? Just by saying that I'm equating Carolina with North Carolina and I'm sure South Carolinians would argue their little Southern hearts out about it. But I love my state. I love that we are Southern enough without being over the top. I love that Chapel Hill is here. I love that shagging is the official dance of North Carolina, not South Carolina. I love Wrightsville more than I love Myrtle and absolutely nothing beats North Carolina barbecue.

But when I was younger, I used to go to my grandmother's house in Greenville, S.C. for a week or two each summer. My grandma was awesome. MaMa (pronounced MawMaw) was as Southern as they come. We used to always joke about her accent and made up a sentence that used all of the words she said extremely southern. "Let's dance (daaaantz) with Martha (Mahhhhhtha) in California (Caliphoneya) while Lindsay plays the yellow (yeller) piano (pianer)." For those of you that know me, it's really hard to justify me making fun of a Southern accent. My friends make fun of me all the time for the way I say my "own" words like "clown" and "downtown" and the way I say "chair." But MaMa's accent was perfectly Southern and when I made fun of it she said she was going to "snizzle snozzle" me which apparently means to "throw one on the ground, stop on you and spit on you." She adored her Clemson Tigers and knew more about ACC basketball than any person I've ever met. Some of my best memories are watching ACC games with her and everyone laughing at us both for knowing the names of the last players on the bench.

When I see one relative that I am most like, it is her. And that makes me smile. Southern to the core, stubborn as a mule, sports addict, fights hard and loves harder.

So when my mom brought home these incredible fresh SC peaches, I immediately thought of MaMa. When I would visit during the summer we'd end each day with fresh South Carolina peaches, either milk or chocolate milk and a viewing of Nick at Nite. Those were some of the most peaceful times I remember having.

MaMa, you'd be happy to know I'm going to my first ever Carolina (North, of course) v. Clemson game in Clemson this year with the aunts. You know I can't bring myself to pull for your Tigers and I'll be decked out in my Carolina blue, but I'll be thinking of you the whole time. Love you to the moon and back. :)

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