Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hospitality, Welcome to the South


During the week leading up to the 4th of July, two blogs will be featured every day sharing their interpretation of the "She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour" theme: “Southern Living.”

People who leave insightful comments on the blog post(s) during the tour will be entered into a random drawing to receive a special Southern Living-themed prize (worth $50) donated by Zetta Brown and JimandZetta.com Author/Publisher Services. The more blogs you visit and the more comments you make throughout the tour, the more chances you get.

I've always considered myself to be a southern girl, and not just because of the places I've lived during my childhood--Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. However, I never tried to put a reason to that feeling inside me that said, "Girl, you are southern through and through."

I'm going to try and do that today.
Even as a teen I wanted to be Scarlet O'Hara--at least the part of her that got to dress like this and be waited on hand and foot.

I wanted to live on a horse ranch with miles of white fences, fields, trees, and a plantation style home.
Don't you love those trees? They whisper history while embracing the present.










Well, I don't get to wear huge dresses or ride horses every day up and down my plantation lane. In fact I live in the suburbs of a medium sized city. And I love it! I love being close to anything and everything I could imagine needing.

So what makes me a southern girl?

After thinking long and hard about it for a month, I finally hit on what true southern living is to me. It's hospitality.

Hospitality is the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. It involves showing respect for one's guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals. (from Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like to host parties at my house. Small ones, large ones, for any occasion. An intimate lunch for my girl friends (I miss these!) complete with theme, decorations and games, or a large open house for dear friends where we have 85+ people coming and going through our modest home--I thrive on all of it.

In fact, one of the items on my bucket list is to own and run a Bed and Breakfast. I would love to decorate it and then welcome people from all over the country to experience southern hospitality.

Maybe this is why I love cooking for others so much? Maybe it's also why I can't say no to people. I feel like it's my job to take care of those around me, making sure they have everything they need to feel happy and welcome.

It's easy to adopt a life of hospitality. The first step is simple and it means more than you may ever know to those around you.

SMILE!
Welcome to Southern Living

If you made it this far you are in for a treat! I'm giving away a copy of Gone With the Wind! One lucky commenter will get their choice of the DVD with Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh or the book by Margaret Mitchell.

Check out the other Tour Stops over the next two weeks:

Tour Date: Wed. June 27
Title: "Evolution AND Creationism: The Birth of a Southern Novel"

Tour Date: Th. June 28
Title: "Patrice Melnick: Louisiana Poet, Festival Muse"
Title: "Pictures and Words"

Tour Date: Fri. June 29
Title: "The Flavors of My Childhood"
Title: "Not Your Storybook Southern Belle"

Tour Date: Sat. June 30
Title: "Changing The Past, Inventing The Future"
Title: "Southern Gentlemen"

Tour Date: Sun. July 1
Title: "New Orleans Caulbearers"
Blog Name: A Penny and Change
Title: "Change...as the moon goes on shining"

Tour Date: Mon. July 2

Title: "Texas Tornadoes and Other Memories"
Title: "A (Southern) Life in Poems"

Tour Date: Tue. July 3
Blog Name: A Penny's Worth
Title: "Books & Business & Reality: No magic bullet"
Blog Name: The Novelette
Title: "Southern Living with True Grit"

36 comments:

  1. Hey Charity! Not commenting to win, but I think you chose the right word for Southern. People are very hospitable here and always willing to do anything to help others. Or feed them. Especially the food part...

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    1. Oh yes! We can't do anything without food, and a lot of it.

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  2. Hi Charity!
    Thanks for kicking off the blog tour with such an excellent subject.
    And I think you should open a B&B. You sound like the perfect person for it. In fact, my husband and I hope to offer guest accommodation and a writer's retreat when we relocate to Texas. :)

    Sometimes I think people have forgotten what it's like to really "host" a party. There's more to it than simply inviting people over and giving them something to drink and eat...if they're lucky.

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    1. Ooo! Writing retreats. There's another great reason to open a B&B. Now I just need to get my kids raised and out the door. I'll keep watching for your news of opening a retreat in Texas. Maybe I'll get to come meet you one day.

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  3. Hmmm...Maybe my ancestors were from the South :) I Love cooking for people. Huge massive groups of people! Last summer we had a paella party for 30. That was awesome! So yah. I entirely get what you're saying about hosting. I love it too. :) Now..the B&B? Crazyness!!! But mainly because Mornings and I...we don't speak anymore. ;) You could have a B&B in a HUGE plantation house! And greet your guests in a Scarlett dress! They'd love it.

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    1. *giggles insanely* I'd so dress up in a huge dress if my B&B were in a massive plantation home. Poor hubby knows I would!

      I actually love the mornings, mostly because its the only time I get peace and quiet in my home.

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  4. I always thought Scarlet was cool too and I was a Long Island girl back then. Proud to call myself Southern now, thanks for the hospitality. Hope you'll visit my blog tomorrow. -Holly

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    1. Definitely! I'll be a few days late, but I'll be swinging by everyone's blogs before the end of the tour.

      Tomorrow starts a grand adventure without electronics for a few days. I'll post pictures eventually...if I survive!

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    2. You can make it, Charity! If I can go two weeks with barely a sniff of Internet or television, so can you!

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  5. demure mystery and a charming smile, thats what southern girls are made of =)
    my novel is set in atlanta & has many scenes on a refurbished plantation

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    1. Yummy! Love Atlanta, well most of it. Hate the traffic. Hubby and I actually got married in Atlanta.

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  7. My family has lived in Michigan for a few generations now, but I swear my mom has some Southern blood in her. She cooks Southern style food quite often, but I think you nailed it on the head with what makes her seem like a Southern woman--my mom's hospitality. Whenever she has an event, our guests always rave about that aspect of her (and, of course, her cooking).

    This post made me hungry, great job!

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    1. I love that your mom is Southern at heart. Personally, I think we need to spread this Southern hospitality far and wide. ;)

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  8. Charity, What a wonderful and gracious blog post! I agree, hospitality is one the basics of Southern living. I enjoy having guests and being a guest! And I have definitely enjoyed reading your blog today.

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  9. Wonderful post !
    Hospitality is our specialty , here in the South !

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  10. I already own a copy of Gone With The Wind in video and in book form (which I've read). I love the story and wish that they hadn't put out that book...Scarlet...to satisfy everyone on whether or not Scarlet gets Rhett Butler back.

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    1. LOL, I've never read Scarlet, so no comment there. Glad you stopped by!

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  11. So enjoyed this welcoming post. It is befitting the subject, Southern Hospitality. I love living in the South, and I am glad that people will visit our blogs after your introduction and learn more about this unique way of living.

    My dream is to add more gardens to my current ones, landscape until we have a real botanical garden with more native plants, and build some little guest houses for friends, writers, and anyone else who would like a rural Tennessee experience. What is it "they" say? Great minds think alike!

    Glad to meet you!

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    1. That's the one thing I don't like about living in town--no room for gardens. At least not the kind I want. I'm working on flowers in the front, but man I'm not very good at it. I have a small box out back and the other day I cooked up my first "mess of beans" (now that's a southern phrase!) from the garden. They were SO good!

      I may be in NC now, but I'll always claim TN as home. That's where I went to high school and where I met my hubby.

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  12. We lived in Georgia for a year, and it wasn't long enough. I share your love of the green and the plantations, even the wonderful dresses. Now that we're in Texas Hill Country, it's not quite the same, but that southern flavor wanders through. You explain the joys of hospitality and the southern style well. ;-)

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    1. Isn't it funny how there are different flavors of the South? Wait, that's making me hungry again. LOL.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. Hi, Charity! It's a pleasure to visit your delightful blog--thanks for the hospitality. I'm a lifelong southerner. Have visited a lot of other regions and countries. They're all very nice, but here is where I want to live.

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    1. Me too! I spent 10 years out west and all I dreamed about was coming home. Even with the humidity, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

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  14. I love the friendliness in the South. No one is afraid to say hi on the street, strangers will begin conversations in line at the store. I was raised in Dallas, which is in a Southern class all its own, but still friendly and out-going.

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    1. This is SO true! I talk with people in grocery lines ALL THE TIME! It drives my husband crazy.

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  15. Well Fiddle-Dee-Dee, I loved your post! I too wanted to be Scarlett when I was a girl, but I must confess it was more for Rhett Butler than the dresses:)
    Southern hospitality is indeed the trademark of the South. And the food - ah, we can fry anything in the south and make it taste better!

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    1. Oo, yes! I loved that Rhett was a take what he wanted kind of guy.

      And as for the food, I heard something shocking today--Paula Dean is cutting down on her butter usage!!! NOOOOOOOO! The world might just come to an end.

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  16. The South is just different -- in a good way! I know what you mean. Hospitality extends far beyond our homes in the south. I'd love to visit your b&b when you get it open.

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    1. Give me a few more years to get the small children grown and I'll send invitations for my B&B!

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  17. Here's another howdy from Texas! (DFW area) Loved the hospitality theme, perfect for a Southern blog and a great kick-off.
    Moving here from California, I discovered that yes, the south IS friendlier!

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  18. Absolutely wonderful blog. You have captured the essence of true southern living.

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  19. Yes, being hospitable and, when necessary, feigning hospitality without seeming too disingenous is truly a southern attibute...bless our hearts. And, speaking for the other half here, southern women are the best! I've very much enjoyed taking the tour of your blog today!

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  20. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi! I'll announce the winner of Gone With the Wind at the end of the week.

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