I constantly becry the loss of regionalism but being in the South makes me rethink all that…..possibly because of things like this:
1. The cop who pulls me over in North Carolina asks me who the van belongs to. I reply that it belongs to my husband and me and he taps the registration and asks "why the different last names then?" I tell him I didn’t change my name when I got married. "Huh," he says and thinks for a moment. "How long have you been married?" I tell him 18 years and he says "huh," and thinks for a moment again. Then he says, "I’m just asking because we don’t see that much around here." I smiled hesitantly and said, "oh, welllll, it’s not that unusual where I come from." "So they do that up in Illinois?" he asks. "Some people do" I reply. "Huh," he says.
I get a warning.
2. The nurses call you ‘honey,’ ‘sweetheart,’ and ‘baby.’ They also seem to say ‘ain’t’ with a regularity not seen in hospitals around here. They also hug you and tell you that they are going to pray for you. The more prayers the better but I don’t how reassuring that is…..
3. at a rest stop on the way there…..
4. An older man comes in Judi’s hospital room and introduces himself as a volunteer patient advocate. After talking to her he asks her when her husband is coming. She replies that she doesn’t have a husband. He says "oh my" and says, "well, do you have children" and she again says no. He looks shocked and says "oh my, that’s very unusual," pauses, says’ "well God bless you" and quickly escapes from her room.
5. Unfortunately I can not adequately describe the surreal experience of being taken by ambulance to another place for her second procedure. I have tried but I just cannot explain it…….just pictures a southern good old boy with a seemingly capable woman for a partner and another young man who was just there to ‘get experience’ and who didn’t know left from right (I’m talking literally…they said to turn right and he turned left) and trailing them with Judi in a stretcher through hallway after hallway, department to department to the emergency room, the good old boy talking and waving the whole way. I couldn’t even understand half of what he said to me.
The ride back was quick and efficient and served to emphasize how bizarre the first one was….
6. down the road from Judi’s house….
7. ohhhhh, there were so many other pictures I wanted to take but I just didn’t have time and/or daylight. The trailor selling guitars and some of the wonderful "Boiled P-Nut" signs will have to wait. Oh, and the kudzu….there were some incredible stands of kudzu. I am just fascinated by the stuff….I swear there’s a coffeetable book just waiting to be made on kudzu….
8. Next time I have to take LOTS of pictures…..
9. The hospital had a barbecue station in the hospital cafeteria…..pulled pork, ribs, etc. I kid you not.
10. The sweet tea…. oh. my. god. Of late I have been regularly drinking the Arizona Iced Green Tea which comes sweetened. It was too sweet for me at first but I’ve gotten used to it and love it. So when Judi offered me the sweet tea that came regularly with her lunch and dinner I said, "oh sure, I like sweetened tea." I took one sip and practically exploded. The stuff was positively viscous with sugar. I think the straw would have stood up in it even without the ice. AAAAAmazing.
11. I can’t wait for my next trip…..