The Road Home

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On my way home tonight, I realized one of my favorite things about living in the south…the road home. On my way home, I drove through Huntsville’s exquisite Twickenham Historic District and the historic Maple Hill Cemetery. (I’m waiting to write about Maple Hill until I can get Fall pics of the beautiful trees there when foilage turns colors, so stay tuned!) In every area I traveled and on every street, passersby waved at me. This is not the case in many areas of the country and it is endearing to me that my hometown is so hospitable.

Drivers in oncoming lanes did the “steering wheel” wave, a simple raise of the hand off the steering wheel before resuming their previous driving position. My street is popular with runners and walkers, so they had a wave all their own, more of a hearty wave holding an iPod or water bottle. Regardless of how it was delivered, it left me with a sense of welcome and hospitality.

I was also reminded of my late grandfather who would drive through the streets of Huntsville waving and calling out greetings to people by name. “Hello, Joe!” “Hello, Bob!” When he didn’t know someone’s name he always commented “Hello, Guv-nah!” in his best southern drawl. When I asked him if that was the real governor he replied, ” I have no idea who that was…” Not only did he not know who “Guv-nah” was, he did not know any of the people he had greeted along the road. When I called him on it he told me that people should greet one another, whether they knew each other or not. “It’s just how we do things.”

Hospitality, whether southern or not, makes people feel at home. It makes them feel connected and welcome. My road home made me feel that way today. From the beauty of the area to the beauty of the people, tonight I’m feeling super happy in Huntsville.

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