Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sweet Home Alabama

I'm sorry, Alabama people, but I hate this song. Because of the overplay aspect of its nature. I realize that once upon a time, this was a good song. Catchy, good tempo, notes, whatever. And Alabamians, you have every right to get pumped up when you hear this at a bar or wedding or what have you.

But I hate it almost as much as I hate Brown-eyed Girl. Because I have neither totally brown eyes (hazel so I really can't claim the song) nor am from Alabama, I have a near-seizure if I am forced to listen to either songs, due to bands and radio stations screw-driving both tunes into this culture's psyche.

That's called being overly intolerant to other people's fun. 

So you can guess that driving from Nashville to Fairhope, Alabama on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I almost had a heart attack when I realized I was listening to that song on I-65 in bumper-to-bumper Memorial Day weekend traffic. Everybody and their mama was headed to the beach. 

Check out the opposite interstate. I was in that 5 times. Road-rage kicking in. 
Then when I got to the special little town of Fairhope, and my GPS took me on some glorious, hilly back-road, I began to relax. And lo and behold, I got a peaceful, easy feeling. I was headed to my friend Caroline's house for her engagement party weekend. Will was meeting me at her family's house on Friday night, which was just a little close-friends-and-family crawfish boil, but was nice and fun for us. SO happy when I got there for several reasons. 

The happy couple. Caroline and Will.
The main reason was that I love Caroline, and was happy I got to be there for her. She was all lit up like a star, having a ball. So pretty. All aglow. I loved seeing it. The second reason is that I was happy to see Will, who I hadn't seen a week because I had been in Nashville taking care of business for a little while. The third is that I love the Reehls, Caroline and her family. They are so kind, generous and thoughtful, and it's beautiful whenever I see a loving family unit like that. 

Me, MOH Allie, and Caroline at her house Friday night.
Reunited and it feels so good.
Okay there they are. So cute. Lookin' good, Billy Ray.
And I was feeling good, Lewis. (See movie Trading Places if you don't get that joke. For shame, if you haven't seen it). 

And then later that night someone put a huge veil from the 80s on her head. Huge. The biggest headpiece I've seen since Celine Dion's diva wedding. 
The next day, we went to her family's river house, and had a great time. It's on Magnolia River, which leads out to the Mobile Bay, and the Gulf. We rode up the river and jumped in the cold spring water, where the river starts. 

Magnolia River. These people just happened to ride up when I was taking this picture. I don't know them, but they have a nice boat, so be it. The sky looks cool.
So anyways, Will skiied or slalom skiied and will probably feel sore for the next 3 weeks. Didn't get pictures of that, which would have been nice but I was on vacation, so cool it.

I thought this was neat of the water.
Not sure if it was accidental or on purpose.
These things happen, and sometimes they make sense. 
All the friends of the bride and groom that came from out-of-town stayed on Sonny Hill Farms, which is a horse farm/polo field and probably so much more. It was really big and gorgeous. We all stayed in a duplex right down the lane from the engagement party on Saturday night. 

View from the front porch of the place where we stayed.
 That's a little pond, and the structure to the left was where the band played.
A very awesome band, very fun dancing. Very very.

So the party? Wow. Beautiful, good food, lovely flower arrangements, lots of people, dancing, bull-riding (kid you not). Basically, I had a grand time. Caroline is having a destination wedding so they put on a positively gorgeous, lively, weddingish engagement party in her hometown. 

Mississippians having a good time in Alabama.
No I didn't take a bunch of pictures. Because for one, who wants to go around taking a bunch of pictures "for my blog" and not enjoy everything happening all around. 

I'm not a photographer, I'm a writer. 

 Come Sunday, it was hard to leave the wonderful town, family, farm, good friends, and people we met. But it was, after all, Memorial Day weekend. Got to keep pushing on.

Yes, I rode the mechanical bull. No, we didn't get a picture. Thank goodness. (Turns out I have talent for riding bulls? Crazy--it's the yoga). 

It's good to know, however much you love your home, you can feel at home wherever you go. 
You've got to choose to feel the love of that place, love it back, and that's all it takes. 
It's also part of the graciousness of the people.

Even so, you will never find me singing along to Sweet Home Alabama, however much I may love places and people there. 

Liza Jane

PS: Tomorrow is Memorial Day continued, and part 2 of Lake Bruin love.

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