It’s So Much More Than A Magazine

Contrary to what you might think – and though my regional enthusiasm might indicate otherwise – I really don’t walk around with a head-in-the-clouds, idealized notion of the South. I totally get that this part of the country, like any other part of the country, has its issues.

But still. It’s tough for me to be objective about this place. Mainly because I love it so much.

I love the people. I love the towns. I love the hospitality. I love the sense of family. Lord knows I love the food. And I love the way Southerners treasure the pieces and parts of our lives that make us different, that set us apart.

For the last forty years Southern Living has captured all the best parts of Southern life. The unique places, the colorful people, the inviting homes, the phenomenal food – you could find examples of all those things inside every single issue. And no matter where I’ve lived as an adult – Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama – Southern Living has followed me from mailbox to mailbox, from living room to living room, from coffee table to coffee table. In so many ways, that over-sized, stapled, heavy-on-serifs magazine has been like an old friend.

A few days ago I had a great email conversation with a wonderful lady who works for Southern Living. She could not have been more understanding about last week’s post and the comments that followed. Her emails really helped me to understand that the recent changes at Southern Living are intended to be a leap forward, and she said that they feel like they have exciting things ahead. She was so nice, in fact, that I thought about renewing my subscription just to support her. I know she and her colleagues work oh-so-hard at what they do, and I’ve felt a little guilty that what I wrote may have been discouraging to them. I apologize if it was.

And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that at the heart of my original post is a concern about something way bigger than a magazine.

Talk to any life-long Southerner, and he or she can tell you a hundred different ways that the South is increasingly homogenized. Beloved mom and pop establishments have been replaced by chain restaurants, chain bookstores, chain gas stations and chain department stores. People stare blankly when they hear the names Eudora Welty, Willie Morris or Tennessee Williams. Teenagers in Southern suburbs sound like they could have grown up anywhere. Atlanta has an IKEA, for crying out loud.

But like The Biltmore in Asheville, Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, and so many other regional touchstones, Southern Living has, for countless Southerners, been a sweet reminder of the traditions that make our South so unique. And while you may think it’s overly sentimental for me to bemoan Southern Living‘s recent changes in binding, size, and style, it’s really not so much sentimentality as it is sort of a weary resignation to the fact that the South is also changing in ways I don’t necessarily love.

Quite frankly, I’ve just been sort of bummed that Southern Living wasn’t an exception to the rule.

For me, Southern Living used to be an invitation to slow down and take in the wonder of the South. The look was completely different from every other magazine, and somehow that was Just Right – because this place, this South, is unlike any other place. At least for now.

So you can tell me that the new binding is modern. You can tell me that the new size is appealing. You can tell me that the new layout is functional. All those things may very well be true.

But here’s the bottom line with me: I don’t want “new and improved” from a Southern benchmark like Southern Living any more than I want to have a long, in-depth conversation with Emma Kate via text message, any more than I want to make a pound cake from a mix, or any more than I want to haul out some paper plates and plastic cups for Christmas dinner.

I mean, if I wanted to, I could probably figure out a way to fry chicken in a microwave for the sake of convenience.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I should.

I’m sure that if you give me enough time, I’ll get used to the new look and feel of Southern Living. I’ll probably grow to love it, even. After all, I’ve gotten used to the fact that some brides now register at Target instead of their local china shop, and I’ve gotten used to the fact that wearing white year-round has become acceptable. I’ve gotten used to the fact that it’s perfectly fine to don linen straight through fall.

So yes, times change. Traditions fade.

But the old Southern Living? It was perfection, y’all.

I’ll vow and declare it for the rest of my earthly days.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Comments

  1. well now, what could any of us add to that?

    you represent us well, boomama.

    from one southern lady to another. :0)

  2. I’m doing a hurkey in the air for BooMama’s unapologetic stand. Time may change many, many trends and things, but what’s born deep in the heart only grows in the fondness of simple, southern traditional delight.

  3. Wow.

    One of your best posts.

    Evah.

    Makes me want to stand and cheer and wave my grandmother’s handkerchiefs. Yes, M’am.

  4. Lovely thoughts. And so true!! Every time another Southern benchmark goes away (the most painful lately was the sellout of Parisian to a store that’s name sounds like a belch – which is not AT ALL Southern), It hurts me terribly. I am with you!

  5. Well said.

    Very well said.

  6. I hear ya! Just yesterday I paused as I dressed my 2 yr old for church. I had reached for her white shoes. Wait! I thought. We’re beyond Labor Day. Should I? In the end I did, but only because I haven’t bought her a “church dress” yet to go with the black shoes she has. Some traditions are hard to let go!

  7. This could ring true in many parts of the country. Festivals that I grew up loving in my hometown in Michigan don’t have the same panache’ as they do for the younger generations. This is truly a commentary on where society is going.
    I try and shop (what I can afford) as many locally owned businesses that I can.
    Thanks for your eloquent post :)

  8. This post makes me want to cry. You know, when I read it, I think I could hear the faint refrains of Dixie somewhere in the background.

    I love the South!

  9. I swear on my great-grandmother’s Chantilly silver, that was one of your finest.

    As a fellow preservationist of the south, I’m right there with you.

  10. Well, and besides which, it is just plain ugly and hard to read!

    As I told them in my letter, if I wanted to read a magazine in which the advertisements for toilet bowl cleansers take my eye more than the articles, I’d have renewed my subscription to Country Living.

  11. Best post ever. Bravo, BooMama. Well said.

  12. Well said. Yes, I like for some things, like SL, to stay the same for goodness sake! As I said before, I couldn’t place my finger on why I have not read the past 5 magazines I have gotten and you nailed it down. Some appeal was lost, I agree in their moving forward to stay “current.”

  13. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a SL, but I remember the general flair. I’ll have to track a copy down–not sure they even sell such a thing in the Pacific Northwest–where magazines are covered with reusable flannel and contain pages made with biodegradable corn.

    (Oh, we love our regions.)

  14. This post has perfection written all over it. Thank you so much.

    For years, my dear Granny gave me Southern Living every year for Christmas. The first Christmas after she passed away when I received the renewal notice in the mail, it was a tough day. I’ll still continue to read it though, because I miss my Granny and because the Air Force sometimes makes us live in places other than the South. Can you even believe that??!!

  15. This Southern girl could stand up and applaud you right now!! What a fine piece of writing that was :). And white shoes after Labor Day? No matter how hot it may be here in NC, my little girl and I just will not do it! Generations of Southern women in my family would come haunt me if we did :).

  16. Bless your heart…

  17. Very well spoken and I couldn’t agree more. I just feel some things shouldn’t change. I guess that is all I am going to say.
    Well, except to say, I hope you are feeling better!!

  18. Amen, Amen, Amen. You said it perfectly. There are some things that are wonderful they way they are and should not change. And I agree with, Kristi, no white shoes after Labor Day!

  19. I have not seen/owned a SL in several years, so when I saw one in the grocery store yesterday, I took the time to feel the paper and look at it up close. Your two posts are so right on concerning the changes, not just in SL, but the South in general.

    I remember having a discussion with a group of people a year or two ago that were convinced in their heads that NC was no longer a Southern State because it didn’t feel southern to them anymore. I was taken aback and appalled.

  20. I’m with you. Not all changes are good, nor are they even necessary. Change for the sake of change is a baulk against some mighty good traditions that are full of memories and warmth.

    I know what you mean about living life in the South. I still miss it and would move back in a heartbeat, especially if I could have access to such wonderful hearts that live here.

  21. Amen sister!

  22. Amen…amen. It’s sad that we’re losing the old South little by little. Like you I don’t have nothing against new things in general, but I hate that the new things are replacing the old South.

    I mean, what would happen if we went to New York City and started replacing the Deli’s with Cracker Barrels. All heck would break loose! People would die.

    Yet, us genteel Southerners sit back newcomers change everything about the South. Maybe we’re our own worst enemies(?)

    BTW…Charlotte is getting a IKEA soon.

  23. I was so happy to read that another southern woman was as upset as I was over the new Southern Living Magazine. My husband kept saying “what’s the big deal”…men they just don’t understand. I was totally devastated as I have every issue since getting married 17 years ago. I will keep my subscription but I sure don’t have like it.
    Love, Love, Love your blog!!
    Beth

  24. Amen. Simply amen!

  25. This Southern Girl thanks you from the bottom of my sweet tea soaked heart for putting into words what I’ve always felt about the south. I love it and I also hate seeing the things that make us unique disappearing right before my eyes. I agree about Southern Living, I still have my subscription, though. For now, that is :)

  26. People wear white year-round?!?

    Sigh. I suppose it was bound to happen, especially given that I recently received a wedding invitation that not only had registry information included (TACKY, as my mama would say), but indicated a registry for the couple’s honeymoon as well (my mama just had a heart attack and died). Maybe Southern Living will respond to reader feedback – if this many of your blog readers are annoyed, then the fury across the South and its diaspora must be out of control.

  27. My sister has received Southern Living magazine for the last twenty five years from her Mother-in-law for Christmas and this year she is going to tell her not to give it to her. It’s so sad. Thanks for addressing this.

  28. Jill_in_AL says:

    Amen and amen, Boo! Well put and excellent post.

    Please tell me that you will guard the sanctity of sweet tea along with me. There is nothing else like it….my vice and the best beverage on earth!

  29. So sweet.

    Just like good ol’ southern sweet tea.

    : )

  30. So well said. I, too, hate change. But, tomorrow Scarlett (Boo), is another day.

  31. Maybe I missed it somewhere….but exactly what was the reasoning behind changing SL? Was it financial/downsizing or just to update/change??

    My vote is to leave perfection alone! Why didn’t they do a survey first and ask all of us what we thought??

    You know us…we would have TOLD them!!
    Great post, Sophie!

  32. It is hard to say goodbye to something beautiful and beloved. I’m not even Southern and I lament the homogenization of the South. Good post.

  33. I found your blog through a link on Angie Smith’s blog and the first entry I read was the one on the changes to SL. You were able to put into words everything I was feeling when I saw the new format. For this Savannah girl (born and bred, married me a local boy and never left), I know what you mean about the South changing.

    I remember Paula Deen before she was anybody. It’s been tough getting over the commercialism of her restaurant (it was soooo much fun BEFORE), but I guess I can find it in my big ole heart to give her magazine a try. At least it isn’t hard to find around here – you cain’t (misspelling intended :D) her big ole grin!

  34. Sorry – that last sentence was SUPPOSED to be:

    At least it isn’t hard to find around here – you cain’t (misspelling intended :D) miss her big ole grin!

    **Where’s the edit button when you need one, and why did I forget to proofread? Sheesh.**

  35. A~Men…. From a Mid-Westerner who LOVES the south…

  36. Preach it SISTA!!!!!!
    You are right on. Our little corner of Arkansas has become very “metropolitan” because so many people have moved in to be near Wal-Mart from Northern cities and while I enjoy the growth – I don’t enjoy NOT hearing southern accents or the fact that I don’t always feel like I’m in the south anymore. Scott refers to our town as “yankville”. It does make me sad.

  37. Wow…soooo well put…I couldn’t agree more. I loved the old Southern Living so much that I have volumes of them stored in boxes…years of them, actually. My mother keeps hers too. However, I’ve tossed the “new” ones, and am seriously considering not renewing my subscription. It’s not the same. Period. Your post sums it up beautifully.

    Sarah, TN

  38. Hear, hear — very well said!

    However…

    I could never, ever cancel my subscription to Southern Living even though I agree with everything you’ve ever said about the new look! My grandmother would turn over in her grave and my mama would probably never speak to me again.

    Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been thinkin’ myself :)

    Julie, NOLA

  39. You had me at Tennessee Williams…love your blog! Southern women unite!

  40. Well said, Boo.
    And how about Kristi talking about doing a hurkey. Takes me right back to 8th grade cheerleading.

  41. Hear, hear!

  42. I am a midwesterner who has been a long-time subscriber to SL. Love the food, love the weather, love the nice people, love the family emphasis. So I, too, was upset with the changes.

    It’s not just the south that has become homogenized–people are moving around like crazy and never seem to settle anywhere. I think we all miss those times because they were simpler.

    So perhaps we have to look forward rather that focusing on the past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it would be nice if SL would revert back as a nice reminder.

  43. And the people said, “Amen.”

  44. Just makes me want to support those local businesses and establishments even more!

    Tomorrow, I think I’ll head over to Piggly Wiggly instead of Publix, and Dreamland BBQ instead of Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch!

    I’m with you….let’s try to preserve some of our Southern Landmarks (and authors and artists and musicians, and publications). I want my kids to know as much about Katherine Tucker Windham and Harper Lee as I do….

    Thanks for the reminder!

  45. Bravo! Bravo! All your southern readers are applauding your post…

  46. And the Southern women say “amen, honey child!” I salute you with a cold glass of sweet tea! Thanks for reminding me of things that ARE important that people DON’T get, like traditions that the younger generation, of which I am raising one, scoff at. My 21 year old daughter can NOT understand why I whine if she wears white shoes to church from now until Easter! I can’t explain it to her, I just know it ain’t fittin. If we’d all stuck to our guns like you are sticking to yours on this issue, we might not have a generation of girls who think jeans are meant to be worn below their hip bones, y’know?

  47. Amen, Sister.

    From Sandy, who’s missing Tennesse more than you can imagine.

  48. Great post! Loved every word!

  49. Missy @ It's Almost Naptime says:

    Amen.

    Except white & linen are still not ok come September 2.

  50. I agree.
    There is nothing like the South.
    I love it and get aggravated at it at the same time. Just like siblings feel- I can talk badly about it sometimes, but you (anyone not from the South) can’t!!
    I love all things Southern except sweet tea. My sister says I can’t call myself a GRIT because of it.
    AND I’m sorry, but I still can’t accept white any time of the year. It’s. just. wrong.

  51. I still won’t wear white shoes or pants before Easter or after Labor Day.

    I’m just sayin’.

  52. As a Yankee through and through, but proud American most of all, I am totally with you. Not so much about Southern Living, but what my husband and I call the “Gapification” of America. When The Gap went up in our “funky” part of our local city, that was the same call to arms for us. I was lucky enough to have a job where I traveled, so while I was the one calling my friends and saying “Y’ALL. We are SO LUCKY a Krispy Kreme just opened here and we must go there immediately” I also was a little sad that it wouldn’t be as special for me to swing by there on my annual trips to Tennessee.
    Am I thrilled with our local Target? Sure thing. Do I begrudge a Target to anyone else? Clearly not. But when it took over for a store that was based here in our city, and knew their customers–really knew us, because they lived here too…well, at least it was a Target but it’s still sad to see the local flavor go.
    Super post, and a nice tribute to the kind woman who called.

  53. I’m not a Southerner by any stretch, Sophie. (Although I did grow up drinking sweet tea. My Mom grew up in Kentucky.) But I totally “get” this post. You did a wonderful job explaining your ideology.

  54. Amen, amen and amen. I feel the same way about so many Southern traditions. I went to a bridal shower where the bride was in capri pants a few weeks ago, for crying out loud. Thank you for eloquently stating what is in my good ole Southern heart.

  55. No ma’am. Wearing white year-round has NOT become acceptable, and don’t even say it. *fingers in ears* ;)

  56. Holla.
    And props to the Toomer’s Lemonade shout out. Pure awesomeness.
    And when I got married, I registered at Bed Bath & Beyond as well as my local china shop. You know, the kind where they display your china pattern on a table with a hand calligraphied place card? Oh, yes ma’am.
    I love the south. I LOVE IT! And I agree with you about Southern Living.

  57. I just might renew my subscription….if SL hires you to write the essay on the back page of the magazine.

  58. Bailey's Leaf says:

    I hope that the Southern Living people read your blog, B-Mama.

    Bless your heart.

  59. I’m with you on every single syllable, BooMama.
    and on the commenter’s stance on wedding registries included in the invitations!
    Gracious, people. Is nothing sacred??

    and like the rest of you, I stand on the white after Labor Day issue. I had a heavy (tho dutiful) heart a few weeks ago when I boxed up all my pretty white sandals and heels and put them on the top shelf of the closet until Easter comes around again.
    Oh how I miss them already.

    sigh.

    (and you’ll be proud… my 7 yr old daughter will not put on her white sandals anymore either, even though I tried to tell her that her age, and the butterflies on them exempted them from the rule!)

    It was a no go.
    just like Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way she should go…”

  60. Well said! I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m a Southern girl from a little southern town near Ole Miss that used to be full of mom and pop establishements – until the Outlett Mall and Wal-Mart squeezed them out of business. (I do love the mall, but I miss the way things used to be.) It’s like the ways of the south are “Gone with the Wind!”

  61. PS: Would your “Emma Kate” by any chance be Emma Kate Payne?

  62. LOVE IT!
    I totally agree!

    I lived my toddler years in Louisiana and even though I have NO memories of it I learned to speak there and therefore I believe it is in my blood!

    You totally pulled a Paula Deen when you said “Perfection y’all” You summoned her spirit b/c I actually HEARD her voice! LOL!

  63. Agreed. No place has a sense of place like the South, and Southern Living only added to it. I’m still on the fence about whether to renew in January. :/

  64. Amen…Don’t hold back honey. Let it all hang out. I don’t want it to change either. I miss having “dinner on the ground” after church on Sundays. And I miss the stores that used to close on Sundays just because it was Sunday for goodness sakes. And I love the “meat and three” restaurants but they are fading fast. I totally get what you are saying (even though I have never subscribed to Southern Living…I know…I know…it’s a shame), but you make me wish I had.

  65. I’m a California girl–but *all* of my family on my mother’s side lives in the South (mostly Alabama) and we visit at least a few times a year.

    When I read your post about SL, I couldn’t have agreed more. I’ve had a subscription for the past 9 years and was sad to see all the changes too. And I had to smile when you wrote about never throwing back issues away–so true! One of my favorite things is to go to my Aunt Pat’s house and look through her back issues of SL for yummy recipes.

    And even though I’m from CA, I can relate to this post because everything you mention are the *very* things we love about the south. It’s been interesting to watch the changes happening over the past few years in my mother’s town (Athens). The beloved town square where my grandfather worked as a barber and my great-aunt owned a gift shop in the 70’s–is struggling to stay afloat. Even the jewelry store that had been there since 1949 moved to a more “central” location near the BIG superstore. It makes my heart sad just thinking about it.

    I’ll probably renew my subscription to SL because reading it (even with the changes) makes me feel closer to my Southern family. But you are right–it’s not the same. :sniff:

  66. And that Dear Writer, is exactly why my 20+ years of subscribing has NOT been renewed.

  67. Ditto! Could not have said it better. Lately we have lost a couple locally owned stores – bookstore, hardware house – all due to the mega stores moving in. All change is not for the better. Also, for the record, somehow I just CAN NOT wear white after Labor Day!

  68. As a Southern girl in Northern skin, I just have to say you hit the nail on the head with this one!! Thanks for expressing it so eloquently.

  69. As a fellow Southerner (Texans count as Southerners, right? Even if we don’t drink sweet tea?): GREAT POST.

  70. I think we need a collective “Amen” to this post! Thank you, BooMama!

  71. Waited all weekend for this… you did not disappoint. Beautifully written, Sophie.

  72. Lord have mercy, I have been convicted. I shall not darken the blue and yellow doorstep of abomination at Atlantic Station again! Thanks, BooMama! A truly great post!

  73. Very well said and so true, and change is not always good. With all these southern traditons going to the waste side-we are also losing our manners and values. Thank you for speaking up–friend from AR

  74. Very well put.

    I’m a Georgia girl living in Florida, and I don’t care what native Floridians say, Florida is not as “southern” as some other southern states. My blog has a playlist that includes Ray Charles’ version of Geogia On My Mind, and because I link to you from my blog list, my playlist was playing as I read your post. Reading your words and hearing Ray singing about my beloved Georgia literally broughy tears to my eyes.

  75. I love this post. I too have enjoyed SL of the past and was sad to see the changes. As a military spouse it is fun to live in various parts of the country and experience the flavor of regional charm. The South is one of my favorite places. It hasn’t always been easy being a Midwesterner in the South though. I haven’t always been accepted because of my speech patterns. Once when I had to explain to group of nice church ladies that “my people” were from Cleveland I might as well have said they were all in the state penitentiary. The Southern charm and hospitality didn’t extend to me in that group so we found another church that was very welcoming and didn’t hold my lack of Southern credentials against me or my preference for unsweetened tea! Can I confess that my Dad is a first generation Swedish American too and that I actually like IKEA.

  76. I hate it when something is GOOD, really GOOD and they have to go and change it. It is just WRONG! LOL.

    I feel for you! Don’t feel bad because you expressed how you felt! Feedback isn’t real if it is sugar coated!

    Traci Best

  77. Amen! I haven’t ever commented with Amen before but there you go… very appropriate.

  78. I couldn’t agree more. My neighbor actually works for Southern Living and I envy that immensely. I’ll have to direct her to this post and see what she has to say for herself. :)

  79. I’ll declare this post makes me want to put on a green and white ball gown and go to a barbecue.

    Well said, Sophie. Well said.

  80. Amen Sister!!! You should have the essay page in Southern Living. You have said exactly what I have been feeling living in the burbs in Northern Atlanta. Keep on writing for all of us southern girls.

  81. Ugh…call me sentimental and foolish, but there really is something to be said for old Southern traditions. I refuse to get used to wearing white pants/shoes after Labor Day and that linen can be worn at any time other than summer. Thank you notes are still necessary for thoughtful gestures – even from complete strangers. I will still cherish the idea of “front-porch-livin'” and open windows in the fall and spring. The best Southern traditions grew from a desire to love our neighbors, and last time I checked that’s still the second greatest commandment (Mark 12:31). I’m just sayin’…

  82. You hit the nail on the head sister. I think the thing I looked to Southern Living to fulfill, that seems to be missing, is how to add something special to my day to day life. How to make the mundane special. I don’t need advice, I need something simple that creates a sense of peace around my place on earth.

    Certain things are comforting to our soul like sweet tea and fried chicken and a really moist pound cake. Pansies in the fall, Paper whites at Christmas and caladiums in summer all give the illusion of world order. All of the small acts that make a house a haven.

    There are so many things that go wrong in our broken world. We have such little control over life. Life shakes you around and knocks you to the ground. Sometimes the simple act of buying pumpkins and decorating one’s front door is the one thing that keeps us sane.

  83. As a California girl who loves the South, thanks to all my Southern family, it makes me sad watching the rest of the country creep in down there. It seems then the South feels it must reciprocate–and as much as I love Krispy Kreme and Cracker Barrel, I’m can’t say I’m thrilled to see them popping up all the way out here. Eating grits at Cracker Barrel in Arizona, Utah and Colorado feels wrong. I prefer my “home place” right off I-95.

  84. Absolutely! Thanks for this. So true. And thanks for mentioning Commander’s you know! :)

  85. Well said, my dear. My grandmother ALWAYS had Southern Living on her coffee table and I thought it was an old lady magazine until I got married when I was 20. Been reading it ever since. Southern women have to stick together on the preservation of all that is good and timeless in the south. Like grits, we don’t come separately!

  86. OH — SHUDDER!!!

    Paper plates and plastic cups for Christmas dinner? Or even Thanksgiving dinner? OR ANY DINNER?

    Now, THAT’S just wrong!

  87. Please don’t forget that Southern Living is also a local business, and many of us depend on faithful readers for our livelihood. So instead of canceling subscriptions, may I suggest that you please send your comments directly to the Editor.

  88. Southern Living has always been a part of our home and the Southern Living Cookbooks. It represents all I love about being a ‘Southern Gal’

  89. Southern Living has always been a part of our home and the Southern Living Cookbooks. It represents all I love about being a ‘Southern Gal’
    Edwina at The Picket Fence Come and Peak Through

  90. I think our anonymous commenter makes an excellent point. Well said.

  91. Beautifully said. I loved every part of this post, from the lovely writing (you are a great writer, you know?!) to the sentiments you expressed. Makes me want to get out my cast iron skillet tonight and whip up some corn bread (from scratch, that is).

  92. Please, everyone, remember: Southern Living is not to blame for the demise of mom-and-pop establishments or for the influx of big chain stores. SL doesn’t cover chains; the content is still the same. You may choose to cancel your subscriptions, but what you’re doing is effectively taking away business from an old magazine (with an admittedly new look) that is giving coverage to the very things you say are disappearing from our landscape.

  93. Your post made me laugh sooo hard. Sunday my husband (who can’t possibly pick out clothes for himself) said, “Can I wear this shirt?” I said emphatically, “It’s linen….you can’t wear linen after Labor Day.” And he didn’t. I still don’t wear linen after Labor Day or WHITE! I know it’s silly, but I just can’t do it. And every year at this time of year, even in the 90 degree temperature of South Louisiana, I want to put away shorts and flip flops. I have had enough. Today we had morning temps of 64 degrees. I told my husband today is my favorite day of the year. He asked what I was talking about. I said the first day of cool weather in the air. It’s simply fabulous. And I proceeded to put on my blue jeans, three quarter length sleeve top, and my closed toe, SUEDE red shoes. It was a breath of fresh air!!! (even if the temperature did reach the lower 80’s!) :) Amy K.

  94. How very universal are these truths! I am a Seattlite (2nd generation in a city full of transplants) and I completely understood the heart within your words. I know little about the South, though I learn more and love more as I read your blog! My experience has been watching the uniqueness of my region become completely homogenized by outsiders. It hurts to watch something you love change ‘for the better’. Though in our case the rain eventually drives away those who are’t cut for the NorthWest. We’ve still lost a lot of our heritage :(

    Reminds me of the movie “You’ve Got Mail”. And the rest of the nation thinks that Starbucks represents a Seattle coffee shop! I better stop before I start disliking Californians again.

    Great post!

  95. Shelley H. says:

    Although I’ve never read even one issue of Southern Living and I’ve never been in the South for more than a night or two, I can completely understand your feelings expressed in this beautifully written blog…nice job Sophie :)

  96. As my dearly departed grandmother, Mere, would have said, “Amen Brother Ben shot a goose but killed a hen.”

    Because in the South, why say it in one word when you can use ten?

  97. Amen, sister :)

  98. Well said, Sister! It breaks my heart that we are losing our wonderful south. Being born and raised in Atlanta I hate it that we have been invaded by them yankees! And the very nerve of changing SL! They should have sent out a survey before making ANY changes and we would have given them our personal opinions!!!

  99. I loved this post.

    And it’s so true – I am NOT disagreeing with you at all, but…

    ain’t it nice that we don’t HAVE to wear hose and hat and gloves to church anymore? I’m just saying it’s 90 degrees and all… :)

  100. AMEN, AMEN,AMEN
    I’m southern born and southern breed, but somehow found myself in Ok, I am so afriad I am becoming a prairie girl, but I AM SOUTHERN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!