Just how does a mid western Iowa girl end up living in the south? Well, she did exactly what her momma did (she grew up in Wyoming)... falls in love with a sailor and moves far away from home!
Actually, the moving away part came first, when I enlisted into the Navy and went to Orlando, Florida for boot camp. That's where I first met Harley. While in boot camp, they pair up two female units with two male units and they are considered your "brother and sister" units as we all go through our training together. That just means every time we eat at the chow hall, perform calisthenics on the field, march, worship on Sundays or just whatever... you'll usually do these types of activities with your brother and sister units.
During meals, Harley and one of his buddies would come over and sit with me and my bunk mate, Darlene every time he got the chance. Seems he was smitten on her, but she had her eyes set on some other dude with short hair. Pfffttt... Ain't that just the shit? Anyway, being raised in Iowa (where they do a great job of talking normally), I was fascinated with this stranger spewing a foreign language from his tongue.
What the hell did he say?? My pal, Darlene, who was from Tennessee says to me... "he said hi."
"Oooohh." I responded in my Iowan long "o" fashion, to which she looked at me like I was the strange one. Good grief, I thought he was talking about that stuff horses eat!
And so it goes. Before long I realized that if you were fix'in to do something, you didn't really need tools, you just needed to be ready. I don't have to worry about ever walking anywhere, cause someone can carry you anywhere you want to go. (don't worry... there is a vehicle involved!) And soda is not just for baking. Speaking of sodas... they don't sell pop in the south. Just sayin'...
Well, to cut to the chase, we all (or most of us anyway) made it through boot camp hell and were soon disbursed into several different directions to our perspective "A" schools or duty stations. I had chosen the dental field so after a short leave back home to Iowa so my parents could see that I survived my first leg of my Naval journey, I was off to San Diego, California. Guess who I should run into on my first day there? Yep... that foreign speaking southern boy (whom I now affectionately refer to as Harley)!
I walked up to him when I spotted him and said, "Hi! Remember me?" He just looked at me and grinned from ear to ear and said, "Some others are goin' over yonder to the Enlisted Club. We could go meet 'em... yon't to??" I looked at him a moment and reminded him that he was after my bunk mate, the last I heard. He gave me a cockeyed grin and looked at me with the sweetest blue eyes and said... "I thought you were a foreigner."
And the rest is history! A year or so later, I married that southern boy and after we played sailor for awhile, we settled down right here in the sunny south... a thousand miles away from home. Just like my momma! Oh, well... she got 50 happy years out of her sailor before he left this world. I've got a long way to go yet, but after 31 years... I 'm not doing too bad!
Adjusting to life in the south has not been terrible. There is a great reference to help you along in this process in the form of a book titled, "How To Speak Southern" by Steve Mitchell. It's a really great read and totally reliable. The heat took a little getting used to, and I miss the snow at Christmas! However, as far as riding motorcycles and playing on the lakes, living here has been awsome!! For the last 8 years of our riding days, we've been able to ring in the new year... on the Glides! How cool is that?
Glider Rider is sad to bow out, but Southern Comfort is more than willing to step up and take it from here. This is the same blog with all my archived posts still intact, I'm just giving my blog the freshening up it desperately needed. Stay tuned for more tales from Southern Comfort.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?