June 20, 2008

A Mississippi wedding and more

I know the tourists in New York by their starry-eyed, glassy gazes and slowness through the subway turnstiles.

But how did they know I was a tourist in Mississippi?

I have a few ideas.

When I opened my mouth: At a rehearsal dinner for my cousin Mike's wedding last week, I asked my table if they thought I had an accent -- and asked for a show of hands; everyone looked like robbery victims.

When fire ants attack: The scene: Amanda taking pictures of a magnolia blossom. The action(s): A little snapping from the camera. A little -- very little -- BITING. The result: Several blisters on my toes from prolonged flip-flop exposure to an angry fire ant colony.

When I ate: I don't consider myself a hoity-toity Yankee, but it must have appeared that way when I picked up my fork to eat fried chicken.

However, despite the tourist faux pas, the rhythm of the South is pleasing and easy to love.

The trip was long overdue. I thought visiting with family that I hadn't seen in over ten years would be awkward, but it surprisingly wasn't. We seemed to kind of realize, hey, they aren't so different from the freckle-faced kids I knew back in 1998. We were all just grown up.

And it was apparent that we were.

My cousin Mike, as aforementioned, got married to his high school sweetheart. My cousin Casey lives in Japan and works in the armed forces. Cousin Holly has been married for a year or so now, and is expecting her first child, Trey, who likes to kick her in the evenings. My sister Katie is entering her last year at Seton Hill with teaching aspirations. And then there's me in New York, preparing for journalistic greatness (or her first paycheck).

Each trip I take comes out differently. For some, it is the destination that matters most -- the location. And others, the people are the center of the experience. I have to say that this one was split right down the middle.

(My grandpa woke me every morning as I slept on the couch with the snap of a light switch and sizzling bacon.

The magnolia trees with their white hot blooms in the afternoon sun.

My grandma fixed her hair in French twists with pretty combs.

The deceptively fast Mississippi rushing with mud and branches.

Cypress trees with Spanish moss blowing over the water.

My cousin Holly held a baby jumper.

Casey expertly fiddled with the computer.

Pure solace and quiet on the top of a Native American burial mound.

Mike kissed his bride.

The moths thumping on the porch light as I talked to New York.

Katie sighed when she got into air-conditioned buildings.)
I like trips best when it means that I enjoy the company and the destination. This one definitely ranks high up there on my list.

I just wanted to also thank my grandparents for getting us all together and to my aunt and uncle and cousins and sister for the wonderful time that will surely have to happen sooner than ten years down the road.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at June 20, 2008 6:10 PM | TrackBack

Eating fried chicken with a fork? Sacrilege!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at June 22, 2008 6:25 PM

In my defense, I was eating with people I hadn't seen in 10 years...

Posted by: Amanda at June 23, 2008 2:29 PM

You could have eaten with your fingers. A rule to remember when you visit the south, there's no wrong way to eat, just as long as you are enjoying what you are eating. It's all about the experience. We love you no matter what!

Posted by: Holly at June 24, 2008 10:58 AM
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