Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have To Go "Home"!

              (The Georgia State Welcome Sign)
         Hubby has been on vacation from work this week, so my typical 'Friday Date Night' is a bit different this week. Reason being?...Every night this week has been like a 'Date Night'! ^_^ We've been enjoying each other's company, eating, playing Scrabble, listening to music, getting chores done, keeping up with our parents, napping, and eating. Wait....I said that already! LOL Well, it bears saying again.....Eating!! ^_^
      So home was our 'Virtual' 'Date Night' destination this week...And since we've been talking about 'home' all week. I decided to tell you a little bit more about my 'Home'...Georgia, my birth State home, I mean. I can't even say the word home without thinking of 'Down Home'. :-)
      Have any of you ever been to the Southern U. S. State of Georgia?! If not, let me tell you the things that bring back memories of home for me...and a few facts that even I didn't know about my home State of Georgia! (You can click on the photos to take you to the links for them too)
        As you can see from the map, Georgia is located in the southeastern part of the U.S...If I were to drive to my hometown from where I live right now, in Massachusetts, it would take me at least 16 hours!! I know because we've driven it numerous times over the years....NUMEROUS!! 
        Georgia, with it's 9,687,653 residents, (making Georgia the ninth most populous state) is known as the Empire State of the South, and as the Peach State...
      Georgia, each year,  is estimated to produce over 130 million pounds of peaches! And even though I'm allergic to the skin of the peach,...or at least I used to be. I haven't tried to touch them for many years now...I still have eaten a few tons of them myself over the years! ^_^ YUM!!!
          Georgia is named after King George II of Great Britain. {Even I didn't know that!}...Atlanta is Georgia's capital, and it's most populous city...Georgia is the largest U.S. state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area....Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. 
       And if that was all there was to tell you about my wonderful state, it still would be great! :-) But Oh No!! That doesn't even scratch the surface of my poetic memories! Here's what I think of when I think of 'home'!...
      I think of going fishing...bass fishing...I was too little to actually do much fishing myself back then, but I remember going fishing, and having my mother come home and fry up some bass...and bass eggs. (Don't knock it till you tried it! LOL) 
      The most popular freshwater game fish in Georgia are trout, bass, and catfish...
         I remember my mother catching catfish every once in a while. I also remember her having some kind of gloves on, and using pliers, when she was skinning them...yeah, skinning them! ^_^ I also remember that their little whiskers could give you a nasty sting! Here's what I found out about these little 'babies'...
         All catfish, except electric catfish, have a strong, hollow, bonified leading spine-like ray on their dorsal and pectoral fins. As a defense, these spines may be locked into place so that they stick outwards, which can inflict severe wounds. In several species, catfish can use these fin rays to deliver a stinging protein if the fish is irritated. 
        The venom....{Venom?....Really?! O_0} produced by glandular cells in the epidermal tissue covering the spines. In some catfish, this protein is so strong it may hospitalize those unfortunate enough to receive a sting...In the Plotosus lineatus, the stings may result in death!...YIKES! Who knew I was that close to 'biting the big one'?!!! LOL
        Good thing I didn't have to see them swimming around that often! I much preferred seeing my catfish like this...
          And speaking of 'biting the big one', I also remember these 'babies' from my home state!...
       Both of these snakes are venomous, but the diamondback is the heaviest venomous snake in the Americas, and the largest rattlesnake. And while not known to be aggressive. He is BIG! (One got up to 7.8 feet long and 34 pounds!) I know! I've been up close and personal with one! O_0...
           A bite from him can kill in a matter of hours...In some cases, minutes!...The copperheads are usually non-aggressive  and their bites are almost never fatal.
      But considering that snakes of all kinds, (including cottonmouth snakes) black widow spiders,  salamanders, frogs, alligators and toads,.....about 79 species of reptile and 63 amphibians known to live in Georgia,...and all kinds of dangerous things, were what we were warned about all the time as kids,...{in fact I remember carrying a stick to tap the ground with whenever I went somewhere where there were bushes} can see why danger is a part of my Georgia memory!! O_O
      Something else that's a part of my Georgia memory is the weather. The majority of Georgia is primarily a humid subtropical climate...The highest temperature ever recorded is 112 °F (44.4 °C) in 1952. While the lowest is −17 °F (−27.2 °C) in 1940. It hardly ever snowed when I was a kid! In fact, it snowed so rarely that I remember people making a big deal out of it, making little snow-men in their yards and stuff! ^_^ Those little snow-men only lasted a 'hot second' though. The snow would be gone almost as soon as it hit the ground! LOL
    That has changed in recent years though. You might remember the recent snow storms in the Atlanta area. One blogger talked about it HERE.
     But something I didn't know about Georgia weather was that Georgia is one of the leading states in frequency of tornadoes!...though they're rarely stronger than F1, the info said...I 'do' have memories of little ground dust swirls coming up all the time. Us silly kids used to run and jump in the middle of them so our hair would fly up!...*Shaking my head*
     And with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia is also vulnerable to hurricanes! (although direct hurricane strikes were rare during the 20th century) Georgia often is affected by hurricanes that strike the Florida panhandle, weaken over land, and bring strong tropical storm winds and heavy rain to the interior!...WOW! I didn't know that! Maybe that would account for my over-excitement every time there's a hurricane citing!
    But wait! What about Georgia food...besides catfish I mean? ^_^ I have such good memories of homemade biscuits every day, grits and cheese, fatback, fried corn from the cob, collard greens, pinto beans, ham hocks, fried chicken and gravy, peach and blackberry cobbler, okra, pork chops, watermelon, plums fresh-picked from the bushes (and apples too), black-eyed peas and rice (hopping John), sausage, potatoes cooked in every form and fashion...
           ...and...and.....stinky cooking chitlins!...
        Stinky cooking chitlins that I have cooked MYSELF! LOL I don't trust just anybody to clean and cook my chitlins! ^_^ Yes, I do know that they are the intestines of a pig! LOL But you haven't enjoyed a pig unless you have enjoyed a pig like a person from Georgia!! ^_^ I've had the most delicious meals of pig! Pig tail stew, boiled pig ears, pig's feet....YUM!!! :-) {But I like my chitlins boiled, then fried with some onions...just saying.}
     There's lots of things, besides food, that you can love about Georgia too.  And some of them you probably 'have'...and didn't know it! Like, for instance, the fact that hundreds of feature films have been located in Georgia..Driving Miss Daisy...Forrest Gump (the bench Tom Hanks sat on in the main scene was in Savannah)...Fried Green Tomatoes...and Sweet Home Alabama.
      Georgia is also home to Ted Turner, who founded TBS, TNT, TCM, Cartoon Network, CNN and Headline News, among others. The CNN Center, which houses the news channel's world headquarters, is located in downtown Atlanta; The Weather Channel's headquarters are located in the Smyrna area of metropolitan Atlanta in Cobb County. 
        And besides good southern food, good southern movies...and good southern movies made from good southern books ('Gone With The Wind' y'all!!)...
               ....let's talk about good southern music!!...Music in Georgia ranges from folk music to Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll, Country music, and Hip hop...among many other kinds! And have you never heard of Augusta Georgia native James Brown...
         ...The Opera singer Jessye Norman, who is also a native to Augusta. (You can hear her voice HERE).
           What about Atlanta Georgia native, Gladys Knight...of Gladys Knight and the Pips?!...

       How many hours did we pretend to be 'Pips' when I was young?! LOL And what about singers like Otis Redding...Usher...Ray Charles...
         ...Country music superstars such as Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, and Travis Tritt? They all are either natives of Georgia, or have a big Georgia connection.
        And let's not forget Miranda Lambert and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland...
         ....some of the best country voices around (in my opinion!)...     

            (The house that built me)

      So that's my 'home'. :-) Not a bad place to be from, or have memories from, huh?! :-) Who needs a 'Friday Date Night' when you have memories like this in your head all the time?! ^_^ ....I DO!! See you next week!! ^_^

Down Home

When I say the words "Down Home"
my deep emotions come alive.
My memories of riding in the car,
heading south on I-95.

I pass right on through New Haven,
and the Washington Bridge flies by;
The "New Jersey Turnpike's" traffic
makes me almost want to cry.

But its when North Carolina's
scenes of country life begin
that "Down Home" becomes a feeling
in which I'm comfortable again.

When I'm close to route I-20,
"South Of The Border" is what I see,
and soon I'm "Down Home", feeling Georgia's
southern hospitality.

There are things about the north
that make me happy that I live there,
but the dirt roads of the south
I seem to need like I need air.

People fishing for their supper,
cooking bass and fried catfish;
On sunday, rocking on the porch
(What's in the north as good as this?!)

From "Down Home" there's 'salmon patties',
'Beanie Weenies', pone and grits,
country music, rock and soul-
everybody's greatest hits.

But I know that what I'm missing
is more than "Down Home" southern pine;
Its the feelings and emotions
of the Georgia in my mind. 


  1. Nice trip to Georgia! You forgot to mention the aquarium in Atlanta! It's awesome! We were there a few years ago and had a wonderful experience.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. CinLynn, Thanks Bead! Yeah, the Aquarium, the Omni, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Falcons football teams, the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, the Atlanta Braves Baseball team, the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, etc....I could've gone on all day with Georgia!! ^_^ Thanks for the reminder though. Have a good day my friend! :-)

  3. Love Georgia. Wish I lived there!
    Thanks for hopping by.
    Happily returning the follow!

  4. Nancy, ^_^ I wish I still lived there too, I think. Although it couldn't possibly live up to my poetry anymore...right?! :-)) Nice to have you in the backyard!

  5. Waves to you from Georgia. It's true, how that song goes...."Georgia On My Mind"..

    I too love catfish, and bass eggs too! My grandfather would take me to a place called the doghouse and they would have huge pots of chitlins boiling and then they were fried with onions and peppers. I always liked mine with a lil hot sauce too!

    Great post!!!

  6. The Country Cook, :-) Hello, fellow Georgian!! And you're the first person online that knew what I was talking about with the bass eggs! ^_^ And they had their chitlins with fried onions too?! Well, alright!!...I didn't mention the hot sauce because for a Georgia you sauce is a 'given'!!! ^_^ Thank you so much for stopping by and making me feel at home!

  7. Wow.. thanks for the info.. MMM PEACHES! YUM!
    Enter ME!!!

  8. Alittlesprite, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you can get a peach or two soon too! :-) You're entered.

  9. Stone Fruit season over here is around Christmas time..

  10. Stone fruit?! Is that what you call peaches?! :-) hmmm...I love learning new things.


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