Southern Traditions: From Generation to Generation
Traditions: Passed from Generation to Generation
The South is a region on a map and it is a way of life. When I think of being from the South, I realize that it is not just where I was born, it is a state of mind and the very fiber that makes up my moral character, which was there at birth. A Southern lady is born, and indeed, not made.
A Southern girl learns most everything that is considered appropriate for a young lady from her mother, grandmother, aunt or any other influential woman in her life. The real traditions are passed down from generation to generation in a genteel (or sometimes not so-genteel) sort of way. I grew up knowing that certain things were expected of me and there was no room for argument. You did not, under ANY circumstances, disrespect your mother, or anyone else for that matter.
I was taught to behave in a certain manner at all times, to show respect for my elders, to say yes ma'am and no ma'am, yes sir and no sir, please and thank you. Manners, respect and honor are traits that never go out of style, nor does the sweet drawl with which one speaks. A Southern lady is judged not so much by what she does, but how she does it.
I was recently reading a forum in which someone posted a question "Why are monograms only popular in the South"?, to which there were a number of responses that made be both laugh and get slightly angry. There was every explanation in the world, from "they have to mark everything because they are afraid people are going to steal it, just more fancy than a Sharpie", to "they all feel entitled, uppity, better than everyone else, it is a status thing".
Let me just start by saying, my oh my! My grandmother was a young mother of two small children during the depression era. She certainly knew what it meant to do without and to have to scrimp and save every penny to fill their bellies. That being said, she monogrammed everything. Not because of some unrealistic fear of theft and certainly not because she was "uppity" or "entitled", in fact, she had nothing.
Rather, she monogrammed and embroidered things such as tea towels and handkerchiefs to take to church on Sunday morning. She did it because it made the ordinary and mundane just a little more special. She embraced an art form that her mother had taught her, and her mother had been taught before that and so on and so on. Although I don't do it as much anymore, I know how to embroider a monogram!!! That is what tradition is all about.
In the South, we value the small things we are taught, from how to make sweet iced-tea to the proper way to say thank you for a gift you have received, whether you liked it or not. Always, always, always (did I say always???) send a hand-written thank you note, which I still do to this very day.
No matter where I may travel in this life, I will always be a Southern lady. It is in my blood and in my heart and in my soul. I will always do for others before I do for myself and I can sure make an awesome casserole to deliver to a grieving family. It is, my friends, just the Southern way!
Do you have an interesting story about the South or about being Southern? If you aren't from the South, I'll always bless your heart and usually truly mean it! Please leave me a comment below and I look forward to hearing your stories!
Until next time...Godspeed!