May 21, 2009

Things I like about Alabama

(I suppose including all of Alabama in this isn't really fair, since I've only seen a little tiny bit of it, but oh well. It's really probably all this pretty. )

1. Live Oaks.

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I know, I know. Everybody who lives near me is saying "live oak? What are our plain old oaks then? Dead Oaks?", but it turns out that they are called Live Oaks because they don't lose their leaves in the winter. (Or what passes for a winter here.) They are the most graceful and beautiful thing. I love them.

2. The Alabama coast.

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I know, I know. Everybody who lives near me is saying "Alabama has a coast?" and it sure does. You just really have to squint at the map to see it. There's one little bit there on the left that runs down to the water and Mobile Bay, and that's where I was. It's lovely. Very lovely.

3. There are rocking chairs and swinging chairs all over the place, exactly like everyone expects you to sit down.

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4. It is warm. I understand that this is a regular occurrence.

5. It is very bright and pretty and green and there are lots of flowers. (I have had it explained to me that this is the case - unbelievably, for much of the year. Even February. For all us Canadians who are just about to come up to their safe planting date, know that in Mobile, Alabama it is FEBRUARY 27TH. I can't even think of it.)

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5. Pelicans. (I have no picture, but they are cool. I think one of them has been following me.)

6. Spanish moss. (It isn't dead. That's the colour of it.) It drips from trees everywhere here.

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7. The concept and largely successful execution of "Dress shorts".

8. Knitters, and Page and Palette bookstore.

(click to embiggen)

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This was a really nice gathering. It moved along at a bit of a breakneck speed because the shop closed at 8:00, but we made absolutely the most of it. This is Dianne R - who brought me a fantastic Mississippi washcloth, and who has fallen victim to my camera viewfinder issue and appears here really far left.

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Meet Susan and her first sock, and Amanda and the Mardi Gras yarn that she dyed for me, because she convinced me that Mobile Alabama is the oldest Mardi Gras celebration.

Click to embiggen

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This is Martha, who put a lovely review of my book on Amazon a long time ago (I have read it many times and have always felt that Martha is on my side.)

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Finally - this is Ann Marie, and when it was her turn to have me sign her book, she held out a personalized pencil so I could see how to spell it.

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This alone would have been the cutest thing ever, except that Ann Marie went on to explain that when she was in the third grade, her mother (clearly overexcited for a moment) ordered five hundred (yup. 500) personalized pencils. Ann Marie (and her family, friends, colleagues, associates, acquaintances) have all been using the little Ann Marie pencils for years... with no end in sight. She's in Nursing school now, and still entirely beset by Ann Marie pencils. I love that. I don't know why, but I love it. It speaks to a maternal affection that I can't quite describe, but adore. 500 pencils with your name on it. That's love.

There's much more to love about Alabama, I'm sure, but I wasn't there long enough to get a handle on it. I'm writing this from a plane- winging my way back home to Toronto, looking forward to getting there. I missed Victoria Day while I was gone, and I missed everyone a lot this go 'round. I can't wait to get there.

I'll miss my pelican though.

(PS. I think I am taking some pretty awesome pictures, broken screen considered.)

(PPS. Landed last night, after a delay in Mobile and a really quick plane change in Atlanta, and discovered that I have no baggage. Thanks Mercury.)

Posted by Stephanie at May 21, 2009 8:34 AM