A TRUE SOUTHERN

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Springfield, Missouri, United States
Being Southern is more than where I am from, it is who I am. I love the South with its great beauty and wonderful deep-south traditions. I am Bev Allen, a true Southern Belle'. I am married to the love of my life Rick Allen, we are Assemblies of God US Missionaries. We lived and raised our two children, Chris Allen and Teresa Mosley (married to Randy) in the Great Southern states. Family is important and my grandkids Lexi and Lane are our most precious treasures. We love God and people and devoted our lives in His service. This blog is to share a little of what I enjoy and experienced, a little Southern Joy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Storytelling-Grandma's Rocker



Many of Southern porches for years have echoed the sounds of exciting stories of families, adventures, romance, wars, etc. The art of storytelling.

Some of my fondest memories are of my grandmother and me sitting on the porch in rocking chairs or under a pecan tree shelling peas/breaking green beans and being captivated by her stories. Hours would go by and it would seem like just minutes, as she would tell of adventures. There would be stories of her brothers searching the banks of the Buffalo River for the lost Spanish gold treasure. How my grandfather and her would travel the Ozark trails from the copper mines to the wood mills in covered wagons with three small kids. She would tell with great joy of how my grandfather started his preaching ministry and how they travel from the Ozark’s mountains to the Mississippi River valley to start new lives and plant churches.  Oh  how I love those stories.  I have on occasion took my own children up along the Buffalo and relayed my own rounding versions of the tales.  It seems I can’t drive down Arkansas Hwy 65, without sharing one story to my captive audience (whoever is riding with me at the moment).
A good storyteller will take you with them in the story through vocal and body gestures. In a way, is a form of acting…you in your mind’s eye by the author’s view, actually can visually picture the actual event. Although storytelling is a world art, it is best in the Smokey & Ozark’s mountains, with it’s own touch of southern mountain flavor. In the parks, Dollywood and Silver Dollar City, there is a lady in the homestead areas that will entertain you with a rousing tale. 
You know.......I think I feel a story coming on......Anybody for a story?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gone With The Wind

For so many people, the first real glimpse of the beautiful South was the 1938 epic film, “Gone With the Wind.”  The film opens on large cotton plantation that we will find out is called, “Tara”. 
We find ourselves drawn in to the life and drama of Ms Scarlett O’Hara and her beau, Rhett Butler.  There is a picture of working plantation as the cotton crops are grown and harvested.  The film takes its viewers on a journey through the perils of slavery and the Civil War.  On to witness how diseases like, typhoid fever take lives young and old. Through it all, Southern people find courage to hold their heads up high and rebuild.  Although this is just a film, so much of the film script tells the history of so many Southern families. How families, local towns and cities, farms and plantations, people of all races live their lives.  The strong constitution of a life of a Southern can be said, “After all, tomorrow is another day” (Scarlet in Gone with the Wind).


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Magnolia Beauty

All over the South you can see and smell the blooming of those beautiful and great Magnolia trees, and what a site is to behold!  These splendid beauties are a fixture in the southern states, from coastal Virginia, south to central Florida and as far west as eastern Texas and Arkansas.  What a picture it makes with its large dark leaves and large white fragrant flower.  Standing tall, these stately Magnolia trees can be as high as 90 feet with huge strong limbs that are just right for climbing or a rope and tire swing.

I have seen communities with Magnolia tree-lined streets or several trees draping a drive way up to one of those Southern plantation home.  Louisiana has made the Magnolia blossom their state flower. These big beautiful white blooms in the summer cover the tree which gives off a  sweet fragrance.  In our home in south Arkansas we had several of the beautiful trees in our yard, They were large and the limbs hovered over the yard to create a comfort shade from the summer heat.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinner on Ground-----------(Southern Picnic)


A true Southern tradition that came from country churches in the South. This expression defines a well bountiful common meal usually done outdoors "dinner on the ground". They are most of time, right after Sunday's morning service and can last for several hours. It is a time of social conversation, fellowship and always interesting food dishes. Dishes like chicken & dumplings, black-eyed peas and hog jowl, fried okra, corn on the cob, apple cobbler, banana pudding, …..am I making you hungry? There will be rows of  tables lined with casseroles dishes served on paper plates with plastic silverware. Many church ladies specialized in a certain dish. This sometimes leads to church-founded cookbooks as fundraisers. 

"Dinner on the ground" is normally accompanied with an all-day singing. Ringing out with precious hymns or traditional favorite Southern Gospel Songs. When everyone’s is full, the singing will begin. The singing will continue and could go on to three or four in the afternoon. Since they have been at church all day, evening services will be dismissed. A "dinner on the ground" breaks up gradually, one family packs up and goes home, and then another. Before long, the church-yard is empty and folks are full and satisfied, both physically and spiritually.  All is well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mind Your Manners!

Manners matter and are an important part of life in the South, it goes hand-hand with respect. Children are taught early to say, “yes Ma’am” and “no Sir.” They are taught not to interrupt a conversation, to act like little adults. Above all, say “please” and “thank you.” Being friendly, neighborly and sociable with everyone you encounter is a normal way of life in the South. It is not unusual for people to wave to total strangers. A common phrase from a “porch sitter” to a nearby neighbor, “come on in…sit awhile”, which would lead to long spells of conversations and slices of apple pie. These are all expressions of putting others first and not getting in a hurry, but spending time with another. There is just nothing like Southern hospitality.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Riverboat

A Southern river icon is the riverboat. With its majestic giant paddles the riverboat commands the river moving with elegance and grace. Just about every major river in the South has a riverboat that offers many visitors to the South a little experience of the South's historical beauty. The mighty Mississippi has the Mississippi Belle, Arkansas River has the Arkansas Queen, Cumberland River has the General Jackson, etc. When I was a kid I loved reading Mark Twain as he wrote the magical words that would transport any kid on the many adventures of the mighty river. The riverboat not only provided transportation down the various rivers, but also offered entertainment along the way. Ringing out with Southern music, like heartfelt ballads, jamborees, jazz, or deep soulful spirituals, giving passengers on these beautiful boats a memorable Southern experience.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Southern Belle'

A true Southern Lady has charm, gentleness, a bit flirty with a little sassiness, being full of spirit. Southerners men were well known to be true gentlemen and still to this day are referred to as gentlemen. Southern women were placed on pedestals and treated with elaborate valor, chivalry and restraint. They would walk with great elegance; waving their fans and gently giving a simple curtsey. I don't think I would enjoy wearing those big dresses but the respectful expression of kindness, with a warm greeting I hope is a part of my Southern personality. Although I do love those floppy hat!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ICE TEA


The only drink for a true Southern Lady is Ice Tea. I make it by the gallons. My children started drinking tea in their bottles. It is cool like a nice breeze, refreshing like a summer rain. I pray Lipton never goes out of business. Some like lemon, lime or some kind of berry. Not me! Best served in a pint jar with lots of ice. I am and will be forever faithful to the Southern art of sipping ICE TEA!