Welcome Home, Up Front

  • Friday, March 21, 2014

Days after walking across the stage in cap and gown, still clutching that MIBS degree in his hand, my husband and I headed west filled with promise, opportunity and a few butterflies. But to anyone on that plane, the car rental office, or the line to the ladies room who caught my eye, they heard the story. “We’re going to California. To work for Intel. I just can’t wait. Have y’all ever been to California? I’m so excited!” Even our poor flight attendant knew to just hand over the full can of Diet Coke instead of giving me any chance at starting a conversation while she topped off my drink. We hit the highway and wow, we were close enough to drive to LA! (Full disclosure, we never did.) And then, Lord the freeway was like 400 lanes across and everyone was going about 90 miles an hour past us. (Okay, it was 8 lanes across and they were probably going closer to 100). And then I got to work and noticed that no one wore pink, or linen, or pearls, or really even smiled so much. And all the tea was green and even though there were people from all over the world working there, no one really understood what I was saying y’all. I felt like a bambi-eyed fish out of water that first week, and must have looked it too because a coworker suggested we visit the beautiful historic district in Folsom. After so many years in Charleston, I thought, here we go, finally, somewhere away from the high tech headquarters lined streets where we can soak up some history and culture and maybe feel a bit more at home.

And then we saw the sign, and I was ready to pack my bags. “Welcome to the Future Historic District”. Future historic district? How can that be? Isn’t pretty much everything going to be historic in the future? Oh no, I was hit with the realization that these were not my people and this was not my home. Good thing I’m a little bit stubborn and I decided that we would bring a little southern to that land and would be willing to soak up a little California and life would indeed be good. And nine months later those people who did not smile held my hand in the delivery room when I went into emergency labor while my husband was out of town. And the ones who just ate weird food brought lovingly prepared delicious meals to our home because our family was on the other side of the country. And they understood me just fine when I said thank you after they helped us to dig into that hardpan rocky soil because I was determined to plant a darn magnolia tree in our front yard. Home is indeed where your heart is and for four years it was Sacramento.

And now our home is here and history is alive around us. I never pass up an opportunity to take part in tours of historic homes. They always support a good cause, never fail to inspire and if it’s a church group putting on the event, you can be sure there is going to be something delicious offered to you at some point. The Women of Prince George Parish have done it again. They invite you to immerse yourself in local history and visit the pre-revolutionary and antebellum churches, town homes and plantations in their collection in and around the Georgetown area. All the properties are privately owned and are generously donated for this special tour. If you don’t have tickets you can still go by and visit the Parrish Hall where they’ll have a local art show, home baked goodies (told you so), and all those secret recipes available in their award winning cookbook, Plantation Tours & Tastes. And even if you don’t cook it looks really pretty on your bookshelf!

Follow the sweet smells just off Front to Broad Street’s Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church March 28 & 29 from 9:30-5:00. I just know you’re sure to feel right at home. Make it your business to keep it local.

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