Four inches of snow covered as far as I could see. It was so bright and white that I could barely see when I woke up this morning. Chances are, this is the first and last snow of the season for Georgia. Even more so, the last snow for my life in Georgia. Soon, I'll only be able to call myself a Georgian in memory. Soon, everyone around me will be a culture shock, the places will be new and the food will be different (well, sometimes).
Southerners are always grossly misrepresented as full of fattening foods, grammatically handicapped and with a childlike repulsive "charm" akin to Honey Boo-Boo. But I have lived in Georgia my entire life, and we have just as much wit and intellect as anywhere else; it just depends on the person's priorities. Which is true for anywhere. I'm waiting for the day when a reality show about Southerners who aren't extreme representations of one side or the other comes out; but I'll probably never see such a thing in my lifetime.
Unless you grew up in a more rural area, most of my generation carries with them a very subtle Southern accent. One that isn't grossly overdone like Redneck culture, but something more quaint and understandable. (Though some thick accents can be charming if the person themselves are charming.) We do love our Southern food, but we aren't all fat slobs who would rather eat ten servings of grits and sweet tea than expand our palates. We have our own fashion styles, and they don't all consist of camouflage. In fact, most of my generation seems to dress as if they grew up in L.A. But we're still Georgians, just a different breed than what you might think.
There is folk and country music rampant, there are accents and rural areas galore, but that's what makes it home. You can drive 10 or 20 minutes from a busy town or city and find horses running through a field. And homophobia isn't a disease you can't cure here. Georgia is just as conservative as it is liberal, and with it you can find friends of like-mind wherever you are. There are an overabundance of Jesus bilboards, but even the Christians are annoyed by them--trust me, it's a regular joke.
You can find beaches, mountains, flatlands and hills whenever you want them; here, people will open doors for you without being asked and (usually) mind their manners; people will see you drop your groceries and will stop to help you pick them up; people will smile when they pass a stranger--maybe even say "hi." This is the South, after all, and Southern hospitality isn't completely dead. And I'm going to miss it, so very much. There's good and bad that come with every place, but I'm proud to say I'm a Georgian. I can't say I haven't been blessed.
It's odd what snow makes you think about.
(And here's a really