Leaving the South


Southern Trees. St. Simon island outside of Brunswick

After all this time we’re leaving the South. Florida, where we are going, is not really the south. At least we don’t think it is. We’ve not heard a southern drawl there anywhere. Maybe if we go deep enough into rural Florida? Is there a rural Florida? I thought it was either cities, citrus orchards, everglades, beaches, Disneyworld, cruise ports, marinas…

We learned about the South in school, but like every other place, there’s no substitute for being here. Life has seemed slower, even in the major cities like Savannah and Charleston. Get away from them to Brunswick or some of the smaller towns we’ve seen and things really do slow down.


Back of Main St. Buildings, Washington; Fishing, Belhaven

The economy here seems slow also, which may contribute to our view of a laid back society. Our recent visits to our old homes in central Texas and north Idaho and our current stay in Florida show a much better economic recovery than we’ve seen here.

We’ve all studied the Civil War in school, but until we spent time in the South we had no idea of how its effect on life lives on here. Growing up in California and the Pacific Northwest it was winning WW II that defined the US as being on top of the world during my childhood. My grandfather told me about WW I. I had friends in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

When we came to the South we’d visit somewhere and learn that a battle was fought where more men died than in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts put together. We’d learn that the house we toured was one of the few houses spared when General Sherman burned the town, or how many women and children died in a town we stopped in because of the Union blockade. Mention “the war” here and everyone assumes which one you are talking about. Those other wars happened someplace else. The Civil War was right here.

People seem friendlier here, black or white. We’ve had no experience with impatient people (except for me a couple of times) and see a lot more waving and greeting. I think we have adapted and have been doing the same.

The only time I was yelled at was when we were here in Brunswick the first time, by a black guy in a passing car. He asked us to stop and showed us a front tire that was too low, and then helped us get some air into it.

Our ICW trip will be quicker next year in order to hit the Erie Canal near its opening, but the year after that we plan another trip up and back on the Atlantic ICW. We’ll have months in the Spring and Fall to spend in the South.


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