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 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.

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: " 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"