Sweet Summertime

By EMILY JACKSON,

It’s not officially Summer yet by the calendar terms, but with temperatures crawling into the high nineties and school letting out, sweet summertime has been declared in the South.  It’s officially time for front porch sittin’, creek swimmin’, cookouts, watermelon, and all of the other wonderful things we southerners enjoy this time of year.

With the heat scorching, I will be out and about to enjoy one of my favorite times of the year. There is no where I would rather spend my summertime than in the South. So many people fail to really understand us southern states, especially Mississippi. My freshman year of high school a family moved in from California. Of course, this new home was a culture shock to them. He admitted after being here for a few weeks that Mississippi was nothing like what he imagined or had gathered from television.

Life down here is just easy, and believe it or not we all get along just fine, unless you cross a line. Then you might be in for a whoopin’. We are labeled too religious, uneducated, old-fashioned, or behind on the times. Although we have been labeled the Hospitality State, Mississippi is seldom displayed as that in movies or the media.

Now that summertime is here take a look around. There will be gardens full of vegetables, that after being put up for the winter, are bagged and given to neighbors. There are porches that will be full of family that pulls up just to visit a while, or even those friends we have been knowing so long blood could not make them closer to us. Kids will fill the pools and you will find creek banks covered in people ready to jump on in.

Church camps will be in full swing. Yes, we are labeled too religious, but I can tell you in my 26 years of living nobody has ever hit me over the head with a Bible. I am sure MawMaw wanted to a time or two. I was however sent to church camp at least one week out of the summer. It was expected I learned something while I was there.

There will be kitchens full of women putting up preserves, and kids with old wash pans shellin’ peas. Old-fashioned is not that bad when winter comes and we have plenty to eat.

Behind the times might be accurate the more I think about it.  Things here just move at a slower pace and that is okay. My dirt road living makes for being able to tell the youngins’ to go play in the yard. We will spend more time outside than in front of a screen. We will make the rounds and visit a little. The grill will be fired up and a fresh Smith County Watermelon cut after being in the fridge a day or two. There will be water balloon fights and bonfires at night to help keep the skeeters away. Switches will be broken off and stripped of its leaves to keep those kids in line when summer gets a little too exciting. Four-wheelers will find a mudhole and there is really nothing better than getting caught in a pop-up mid July thunderstorm.

Different is not always wrong and if you ask me, we are getting it just right. Living life a little slower opens your eyes to live a little better. You get to take the time to enjoy each other and the things available to us right here in our own backyard.

The weather is getting pretty . So what are you waiting on? Pull up and visit a while, light up the grill, hit your local swimming hole, and get those fingers ready for shellin’ peas. Summertime in the South is in full effect.