Monday, August 6, 2007

Hush up or get in the yard!

Well, we're back from our whirlwind weekend in South Georgia and we had a total blast! It was so fun to get away from the hustle and bustle for a bit and also to have some quality girl time with two of my best friends. I had absolutely no cell service while we were down there - none of us did. So I was truly out of touch with the world for 48 hours.

We were mainly down there for the bridal shower, of course, but that was over by 11am on Saturday. And the shower was exactly as I described it... it was in the fellowship hall of the Baptist church where the bride grew up. We stayed up late Friday evening assembling the hostess gifts for the 14 hostesses. (And, by the way, the bride went on to explain, as we're tying ribbon onto these 14 gifts, that probably half of the hostesses wouldn't even be at the shower. What? "Oh yeah, they'll just make a dish and drop it off with their gift." How does that qualify them as a host? OR bettter yet - worthy of a hostess gift?!)

As soon as we entered the hall, we saw that either side of the room was lined with banquet tables to display all the gifts. The bride was immediately swept away by a couple of old ladies before we even made it to the gift table. One of the hostesses introduced herself to us and eyed our gifts and said, "I'll take those!" We were a little overwhelmed, so we just let her take them. And then before we could so much as turn around, I saw tissue flying out of my larger-than-life gift bag. She was opening my gift!!! It just happened so fast - and it was too late! The bride must have caught my look of horror from across the room. We looked over at her and she mouthed "I'm so sorry!!!" to us as the ribbons and tissue were thrown in every direction. Oh well... she did at least see my wrapping since the package travelled down with us in the same car. The food was pretty much what I expected... fruit, cheese straws, brownies, etc. But the "punch" was a little lacking - it was literally Sprite in a punch bowl with a couple of lemon and lime slices thrown in for color. Sprite is fine or whatever... but why the need to put it in a crystal punch bowl and serve it in crystal cups? It's Sprite. A 2-liter and some solo's do the trick, y'all.

But all in all, the shower was real nice (picture me saying that in a nice drawn out Southern accent). The bride totally loaded up on gifts. I mean, how could you not with 160 people invited? But really, they were great gifts for the most part. There was one piece of yard art and one random antique plate that will have to battle it out for the most horrendous gift award, but other than those, she really made out well.

As for the rest of our weekend adventure, I feel it's best to present my experiences in bullet format. So the following is made up of things we saw, things we did, things I learned, and new items added to my vocabulary...

  • We stayed at Daddy's house for the weekend. Yes, Daddy - the bride refers to her dad not as "my dad" but as "daddy." And her mother is "mama." Apparently this is the norm down there. Mama and Daddy are divorced and Daddy got the house, so we stayed with Daddy. The house was itty bitty but sweet and homey. I've heard about Mama and Daddy and "home" for years, and it was really cool to see it all in person. The kitchen had no dishwasher or garbage disposal, but it did have some lovely wallpaper from the 70's. The den was maybe an 8x10 room with a large TV, a couple of chairs and a couch - all of which also looked like they were bought in the 70's. The carpet definitely was from the 70's. And on the wood-panel walls hung several deer heads. One of which was a fake one that you could make talk and sing. Uh huh. And how the bride, her sister, and her parents shared one tiny bathroom all those years, I don't know! But there was something really cool about the simpleness and smallness of it all. Things are just a lot more simple down there. Her daddy did, however, add on a master suite after Mama left, so the house nearly doubled in size. In the back yard was an above-the-ground swimming pool, a trampoline, a shed, a tire swing, a sandbox in a big tractor tire, and a huge dog pin.

  • The bride's daddy deserves his own bullet point. We fell in love with him and totally wanted to bottle him up and take him home. He was just hilarious. I think he thought we city girls were crazy. Some of his random phrases just got us rolling (my blog title being one of them). He loves Nascar and Dale Jr. He loves to hunt and he drove us around to see a couple of his deer stands - on the back of his truck, mind you. Now THAT was an experience. And it was the first of two times on Saturday that I sweat completely through my pants and had to change. Yeah, he definitely thought we were crazy.

  • We visited a vineyard that wasn't too far outside of town. They were having a grape-stomping festival, so we decided to go check it out. They had free wine tastings, but it's probably not the kind of wine tasting you're thinking of... it basically involved dixie cups and a couple of girls in tight shirts. To cleanse your palate, there were goldfish crackers. And every one of their varieties of wine is chilled. I tasted a few but they were all way too sweet for me - mostly flavored stuff. We then took a hayride (minus the hay) around the vineyard. I thought the driver was going to give a history lesson on the vineyard, but no such luck. Besides letting us out for a second to pick grapes, he didn't say a word. I should've known better... there was a sign posted on the back of the wagon that read, "Pulled my mules, driven by a jackass." This was perhaps the longest "tour" I have ever been on, seeing as the heat was blazing and the gnats were setting up camp all over my face. This would be the second time on Saturday that I sweat through my pants and had to change clothes.

  • Daddy also took us out to some beautiful sunflower fields. I can't wait to show those pics to you... acres and acres of sunflowers. They weren't in full bloom yet, because they'll get about 5 feet tall or so. We had fun taking silly pics in the sunflowers. We also saw a huge field of burnt corn. Daddy jumped out and picked some off for us. We said we wanted a souvenir, so there you go. He also picked some peanuts out of the ground for us even though "they still got a coupler weeks on 'em." Peanuts grow in the ground just like taters... who knew?

  • We city girls also had our first experience with fishin'. (That's another thing, by the way - you gotta drop the 'g' on everything. As soon as the bride got around her family, the "wedding" became the weddin'.) We got a bucket of crickets for bait. I was sure to remain at least 3 feet from the bucket at all times (not a fan of bugs). Daddy found this particularly funny. We went to this beautiful property to fish. But its beauty was soon defeated by the raging gnat-fest in my face. The combination of the surrounding water and the sweat dripping down my face was all too appetizing for the gnat population. And bug spray doesn't help. Nothing helps. We city gals had no luck, but the bride quickly caught a fish. We totally screamed and jumped with excitement (which Daddy also found particularly funny - or perhaps frightening). But that was the first and the last fish caught that afternoon. My girlfriend got attacked by ants while concentrating on her fishin'. So we didn't last too long between that and the gnats. I managed to keep my pants dry though, so that was an improvement.

  • After taking my 3rd shower of the day, we cleaned up and went over to Miss Faith's and Mr. Jimmy's house for supper. I love how they call everyone by Miss or Mister and their first names. It doesn't matter if she's 25 or 95, married or single... if Faith is older than you, it's "Miss Faith." Miss Faith was one of the 14 shower hostesses (and she actually showed up). Now Miss Faith and Mr. Jimmy have a real nice house. They have a Christmas tree farm, two dogs running crazy (both of which they've trained to climb a tree), a huge shed with more deer antlers than I've ever seen in my life, at least 4 trucks parked in various locations, and a brand new house filled with some of the biggest deer heads I've ever seen (and they totally stare at you). Y'all may remember the tornados that swept through South Georgia a year or two ago that killed several people... well Miss Faith's and Mr. Jimmy's house was one of the ones completely destroyed, so they had to rebuild. For dinner we had fried catfish, fried alligator, and fried chicken. Also - homemade hushpuppies, slaw, and fried potatoes. The catfish was fried whole and my city girlfriend and I about fell out of our chairs when the bride's brother-in-law clamped down on the TAIL and started going to town. He ate the freaking tail! Ew!!! I did try the alligator meat and no, it does not taste like chicken. It's chewy. I asked the bride where one gets alligator meat... at the market? No, you kill it. Isn't that illegal? Yep. So apparently we were chowing down on some illegally obtained gator meat.

  • Sunday morning we got up and drove over to the market to pick up some breakfast. This is one of two markets in town. It's really cute - just an itty bitty little grocery store and they also have hot food served in the back which is really good. It's pretty much your only option for eating out, if you can call that eating out. There are no fast food places or any restaurants in town really. Those grits were some of the best I've had in a long time. So good! As soon as we got back in the car though, the bride's car died. Poor thing... "not now, not now!" -she cried. After a few more tries... she had to call Daddy. Luckily we were still in the grocery parking lot since we had no cell coverage down there. She ran back in the store and called her Daddy - whose reaction was, "aw, shit." He got it back up and running in no time though - it was just something or other in the engine that needed cleaning out. How nice to have a daddy like that who can stick his head under the hood and fix things. Up here we'd have probably spent $400 at a mechanic just to learn that they don't know what's wrong with it.

  • At one point during our stay, someone found a rattlesnake 4 houses down. They killed it, threw in the back of their truck, and drove around showing it to people. This was the talk of the town on Saturday. And not so comforting to those of us staying only "4 houses down."

Well that comprises most of the major highlights of our trip down South. We had a total blast, but they can keep those nasty gnats. The bride took some great pics, so as soon as get those, I'll post some good ones. I can see why she wanted to get the hell out of that town after high school, but I also see why she loves to go back. There's something very special about it all. It's definitely another world, but it's home to her. As I was driving home from work, at about 5 miles per hour, surrounded by more cars than that town probably sees in a month's time, I couldn't help but think that maybe that life wouldn't be so bad... But then I passed one of my favorite malls and said, oh nevermind.


Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I love it! I so want pics as soon as Bride gets them up! It reminds me of Hawaii's home town in the North GA mtns. So happy you girlies had a blast. Miss y'all!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like my hometown in SC. I still call my Daddy "Daddy" and he still calls his Daddy.

Belle-ah said...

LOL I am giggling and I didn't even get to go! Please share the pics...though I know only us Southern Girls will completely appreciate them...sounds all "Sweet Home Alabamaish".

tulipmom said...

Thanks for the virtual trip into what appears to be "another world." Your descriptions are hilarious.

Happy Homemaker said...

So funny! Can't wait to see picts!