So I'm finally breaking down. I'm going to blog. Why now? Mostly because I was talking with friends this past weekend and stumbled over a name that inspired me. Or maybe more accurately, a by-line. My friends (and not a few strangers) have heard my "barbecue-is-a-noun-not-a-verb" rant many a time in the past few years. But "keeping Southern"...now that just exploded the idea to something a lot broader than food (not that I have a thing against food - I have no doubt food will be a prominent feature on this blog). And while it's something that really resonates with me, it's also a lot bigger than me. "Keeping Southern" is a way of living, a way of embracing life. I won't come anywhere near covering its geography here, but I can delve in.
But just to be clear - keeping Southern is not about griping about Chicago. I love Chicago. It's not perfect (no Chick-fil-a, the Cubs), but neither is the South (no crazy-multi-ethnic grocery stores, the Braves). Living here has made me sift through what it really means to be Southern. That holy Southern trinity of food, faith, and family are a big part of it, but they look a bit different here. The barbecue's not Speedy's, my church doesn't have Sunday night services, and while I've still got my Southern family, I have a family here that's a lot more diverse. I think it's going to be fun for this Southern girl to explore up North and who I am becoming here.
It's one thing to be from the South. It's another thing to keep Southern.