The saying always was that the Damn Yankees were the ones who stayed in the South.

I’ve been here since 1989, and would like to describe a little of my experience of the rural South:

  1. The sky is bigger. You feel like you are part of the cloud show instead of looking up at a patch of blue with a few strokes of white. You may find yourself in a watercolor during sunrise or sunset. Often, after the sun came out after a rainstorm, I would look toward a certain place from my front porch and enjoy a rainbow form and fade. Natural beauty is always a part of your day—you never have to go look for it.
  2. Despite volunteering, as well as being friendly and caring, I was never accepted into the community in which I live. I have no way of knowing if faking Methodistism or Baptistism would have prevented that.
  3. There was always a community of cats to love and care for. They belonged to all of us in the neighborhood, and were called by different names as different families loved and fed them.
  4. You may have a right to work in a “Right to Work” state, but that’s pretty much where your labor rights end.
  5. I loved watching owls, woodpeckers, and lots of other birds.
  6. Remember the Twilight Zone episode where a woman chooses from a few templates of “beautiful” women for her transformation? There are about 7 surnames where I live, and neither my daughter’s nor mine is one of them. My daughter won’t be sticking around to marry into any of these families, so no transformation for her.
  7. I like saying “All of y’all” and will continue to do so in my Brooklyn accent because it’s a great phrase.

Many people like the South. If you’re one of them, have at it. I’ve had it.

But there will be things and people to miss.