Monday, January 11, 2010
A Country of Hotels, Warehouses and Southern Cooking
The openness of the interstate is a glorious sight early in the morning when barely any dare to travel down such a road. The skies are beautiful at such a time and the sun knows exactly where to hit the ground to make me smile--years of practice, I presume. As much as I love the familiar walls of my home, and the doors and windows that open up to familiar skies with a familiar air that fills my lungs a way I cannot begin to explain, once in awhile, a change of scenery is nice.
Much around me was frostbitten and brown, but I was not as cold as I had been. I found myself flinching under the sun's sometimes harsh rays, but it means well--it has a purpose. The best way to describe this place without sounding too terribly judgmental would be, "Deadwood." And I do not mean that to draw a parallel between my trip and a crass, contrite effort for entertainment. However, there is life, but it all depends on what one considers a proper definition for such a term.
There, the most I could find as I traveled down the large expanse of pavement were several hotels, warehouses and a randomly placed Cracker Barrel or other restaurant specializing in southern-style cooking. Not to mention, numerous billboards advertising such establishments. All were emitting smoke into the air as if this were the coldest day of winter. (With the exception of the billboards, of course. I do not want to see a billboard smoking--could be tragic.) We followed a lane that was clear for miles, riding along the yellow line as if I was Dorothy and we were on our way to see the Wizard.
If the numerous warehouses and large unidentifiable buildings called "Georgia's Finest" something were not enough evidence for someone to clearly see they were in the deepest parts of Georgia, the several peach structures and signs with the fruit painted on them should have been a dead giveaway. This is where the rebellious youth who love to hate where they live are less abundant. Thankfully, there are not enough inhabitants who still believe this is Avril Lavigne's world to stir up their fond hearts.
Though our capital may be Atlanta, where rap-artists show their pride and the biggest businesses may wish to reside, the true heart and soul of the state is there along the treks in the pavement made long before my father and I. There, in the deepest corners of this "nothing," in the south that is typically hidden from the limelight; there, where the accents are thick and trends are not always the forefront on the people's minds; where patriotism runs deep in their veins; that is where the people who love Georgia the most can be found. The people who have lived there their whole lives--like me.
It may be a change of scenery, but it is still familiar territory. And before I truly travel, being somewhere with just a hint of home serves as a fair transition.