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The Old South

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Sweet, unsullied air fills lungs. Untrimmed grasses whip bare legs. Rodents scamper for their holes; trying to escape eager young children’s capture. A whoosh of a rickety old truck sends a rush of dust in a breeze from the tattered road. The pitter patters of heavy hooves trot along the land without restraint. Birds chirp their songs and crickets hum their mating calls. A nearby river serenely advances downstream. Little foil boats race with no direction as kids chase after them. Smoke escapes from a pit where the roasting of a succulent hog is being turned on its spit. A dew of sweat has formed on foreheads due to the sweltering sun’s setting and the pit’s fire. A triangle rings out the invitation for supper. Women hand out wet wash rags and pumps of sanitizer to the gross fingers and faces of the men and youth. A buffet of a feast is released to the hungry, famished vultures. A slop of caramelized baked beans oozes into the potato salad. ‘Ole Bacon Bits’ meat crumbles at the slight stab of a fork. Fresh brewed tea has the consistency of syrup and the revitalizing taste of home. Soft baked bread drips its melted butter and honey on untampered with napkins. Barbeque sauce dribbles its way down shirts and stains the back of hands. Bellies are stuffed and jean buttons pop open freely. Our eyes gaze at the sleepy sun turning in for the night. A light chatter picks up and children wander in awed amazement wherever the lightning bugs lead the way. A warm heat radiates from the crimson dirt and sends a tingly sensation from your feet that crawls up your spine and elates your heart. A new fire is prepared and ready for the searing of marshmallows. A rip and tear unseals the graham crackers and chocolate from their protective wrappings. Sticks shank the mallows and the fire sizzles at its delicate white layer. Gooey goodness takes you back to your sweetest memory and digs deeper. Smiles run across everyone’s faces and giggles break through the cracks of pearly teeth at a corny joke. Hushed guitar riffs slowly add harmony to the background noise; everybody croons along. The chalky moon signals the time to turn into bed. Mothers gently embrace their young children; sweeping them up and carrying them into the cozy house. The men stay in their chairs and rest their Stetson’s on the front of their faces. The older kids grab a rectangle of foam and a bag of fleece and find a toasty spot next to the simmering fire. A canteen of whiskey is passed around and only the brave dare a swig. Whispers exchange about the unforgettable day’s events. Lazy eyes strain themselves to stay open, but cave with sleep deprivation. Cracks in the fire die down to a suppressed sizzle. Cool air nips and seeps through the thin layer of the knapsacks; sending trimmers throughout our bodies. The old rooster echoes his vocals to incite the land that day is about to break. A scarlet line reaches the top of the horizon and a great ball of flaming yellow stretches up. The awakened sky weaves in shades of light purples and bright magentas. The sun is at its peak of arrival and a minor blur creates a flawless rise. Every eye is soggy from starring too long at the sun’s magnificent beauty. Coffee and biscuits are served in an assembly line for breakfast as everyone pulls on jackets and boots to go wake and feed the animals. A few kids escape the crowd and slip on spurs and chaps for an early morning ride. Nothing beats the old south.





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