A Southern Siri


My husband, Kevin, is Mr. GPS. He effortlessly navigates roads across the country. This includes those he’s never been on before. I would say he never asks for directions, but he has access to an iPhone mistress, um, application called “Siri”. She informs him of the nearest everything, and directions how to get there, and tells no one he even asked. I could learn from her.

We were in upstate NY and VT and we used Siri for days. The only problem was the sporadic satellite coverage. We took a photo of the directions so when we couldn’t access Siri, and Mr. GPS asked me (perpetually lost aspiring travel writer) for the next direction, we could continue trekking.

In uncharted territory, in our car with the AL license plate, Kevin second guessed Siri many times and kept pressing her system for a shorter route to our various destinations.

With too many corn and sheep pastures to pass the time, I began to wonder how Siri would respond were she Southern…

Kevin: “Siri, can you give me directions to upstate NY?

Siri: “Let me find them for you swee. tee.”

Kevin: “Please reroute these directions.”

Siri: “No problem swee. tee.”

Kevin: “Siri, I need the nearest rocking chair and some sweet tea.”

Siri: “Your nearest rocking chair is .05 miles. Can I get the sweet tea for you swee. tee?”

I’m quite sure if I could be more like a Southern Siri, I would knock out any future marital therapy sessions before they start. She’s absolutely brilliant: just tell him what he wants to hear in the way he wants to hear it. Of course, the Siri on my iPhone sounds like a butler from England, so fair is fair.

Next post, we’re going to try Mr. GPS handling a  Yankee Siri. 🙂

Next Time I’ll Bribe

We traveled from NC to our rental car in CT.

This is a photo of our rental car.

It has neither CT nor NC plates on it.

“Have YOU driven a car from ALABAMA around here?” I asked the rental car        attendant.

“You’ll be fine. That’s not a problem at all.” I will stop short in saying he lied, but he favored optimism beyond reality.

I said, “Are you kidding? Would you drive it?”

He said, “Of course.” Hubby said “What’s the problem?” and second guessing myself I said nothing else, put my bags in the car, and ducked in the front seat.

We spent most of the next 7 days being tailed, honked, and yelled at. I think we were given the finger less than five times. Only once did a car of teens honk us off the road, stick their heads and hands out of the window and yelled “BAAAAAAMMMMA!!!”

This trip was about going home, blending in, being with “my people.” Ironically, in this car, I never left the shadow of the South: “Sweet Home Alabama.”




Southern Comfort Zone – NOT the Alcohol

The goal of our trip outside of the comfort of the South (license plate notwithstanding) is to traipse through upstate NY and VT to help Grandma find her “old stomping grounds.” There are sporadic outages for satellite coverage to show us where we are, so we take photos of directions so we can access exactly what tree we should turn “west at next intersection”. It’s overcast. Fields of corn and cows. And hubby keeping his iPhone wife Siri company, asking for re-routes of directions.

But I start to miss sweet tea. And country music stations. And hearing “y’all” instead of “you’s guys.”

And I begin to think  maybe I’m more Southern than Yankee.

It’s a fleeting thought. Very fleeting- but summed up in the song from Brad Paisley, “Southern Comfort Zone.”

“Southern Comfort Zone” By Brad Paisley

When your wheelhouse is the land of cotton,
The first time you leave it can be strange, it can be shocking

Not everybody drives a truck, not everybody drinks sweet tea
Not everybody owns a gun, wears a ball cap boots and jeans
Not everybody goes to church or watches every NASCAR race
Not everybody knows the words to “Ring Of Fire” or “Amazing

Oh, Dixie Land,
I hope you understand
When I miss my Tennessee Home
And I’ve been away way too long
I can’t see this world unless I go
Outside my Southern Comfort Zone

I have walked the streets of Rome, I have been to foreign lands
I know what it’s like to talk and have nobody understand
I have seen the Eiffel Tower lit up on a Paris night
I have kissed a West Coast girl underneath the Northern Lights
I know what it’s like to be the only one like me,
To take a good hard look around and be in the minority

And I Miss my Tennessee home
But I can see the ways that I’ve grown
I can’t see this world unless I go
Outside my Southern Comfort Zone

I miss your biscuits and your gravy
Fireflies dancing in the night
You have fed me you have saved me
Billy Graham and Martha White

I have since become a drifter
And I just can’t wait to pack
Cause I know the road I leave on
It will always bring me back


I wish I was in Dixie Again
I miss my Tennessee Home
And I’ve been away way too long
I can’t see this world unless I go
Outside My Southern Comfort Zone

Look away, look away

Garlic Cures Homesickness




Although I chose to live in the south, I get homesick.

Sometimes it’s too much sweet drawl that I cannot drink down any more.

Or, driving 30 minutes for a Dunkin’ Donut because there are too many Krispy Kremes within 5 miles.

Sometimes, when I can’t easily get a donut from “home”, I begin to miss family.

When I begin to miss family, I miss weekend pizza, which was Gram’s choice so she didn’t have to cook that night. Hot scamotes (it’s cheese), homemade sauce, sausage with rye in it, and vibrant garlic.
We smelled like pizza going to bed at night.

When I miss weekend pizza, I figure out I haven’t had Italian bread, Italian ice, Portuguese rolls for sandwiches, or Italian pastries since I last visited home. And I’m not even Italian.

Today, I am one week away from going home.

Last weekend, God sent me garlic that I take as a nod of “I know, I know.”

At Old Salem’s Cobblestone Farmer’s Market I found Plum Granny Farm and 5 types of garlic.


They actually have 20 kinds that they grow, but only bring five  like the Georgian Crystal pictured above.

Not only am I no longer homesick, I have found the equivalent garlic of my youth, have had a mission all weekend to try out each type of garlic with sautéed mushrooms, and am giving my foodie friends little sacks of labeled garlic for Christmas.

Yes, before you ask, I will let you know what my results were on the different flavors for a future blog post.

For now, let’s just say that I have found my honey hole for all things garlic and my defense against the vampires of homesickness.