Still in the South

Our goal for our driving vacation this year was to see the South. We saw some southern cities — Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte — and we saw a little bit of the country — Natural Bridge and San Mountain in Alabama. Now here we are in Van Buren, Arkansas, and tomorrow we drive in Oklahoma.

I feel that we’re still in the south here. The air is warm and damp, and the trees and plants are all very green. When you walk across some grass or under trees, you can smell the earth and the vegetation. Distant hills are blue. The people say “y’all,” and it’s easy to find a place that serves turnip greens or green beans cooked up with bacon, or some fried okra.

By tomorrow night, we’ll be in Amarillo, Texas. The air will be dry, there won’t be those rich smells at night, the trees won’t be nearly so green. People will still say “y’all,” but it won’t be quite the same. We’ll be headed back towards home, towards the far West.