by Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)

A Brief History of My First Year as a Southerner
(Or, An Interesting Thing Happened on the Way to Being Me)

Dear Yumi,

It’s been a while since we talked, and I’ve no one to blame but myself. I know, you keep telling me it’s okay to share the little stories, but I didn’t really believe it. I thought you’d want only the grand, out-of-the-box stories.

Insert self-doubt here, amiright?

I mean, do you really want to know about the hideous date who blew a straw wrapper at me over dinner? Or how I’ve become addicted to sweet tea? Had to buy a storage ottoman (or two) to hold my many Happy Planners and accessories? Or what lingo I’ve learned in my new home territory?

You do? Well, okay, then. I’ll do my best to keep you updated.

Oh, right. That reminds me: You’ll be seeing some changes in the next few months. I’ve hinted at a few things. Starting with this: my new tagline.

COME ALIVE. STAY WILD.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : A Brief History of My First Year as a Southerner
Frankly, My Dear . . . : A Brief History of My First Year as a Southerner

Now, I know we humans have short attention spans that are getting shorter by the second (see what I did there?), so I’ll try to be brief. [I know, I’m laughing, too.]

My brother and I started a new tradition on the drive out here last year. We listened to Pet Sematary on Audible. I started it again this week. With the fog rolling in, the impended darkness, the changing leaves . . . It all lends itself to a Stephen King-esque feel that I adore.

I haven’t yet learned how to bake a pecan pie, but I have experienced the beauty of Biltmore, Ashville, and the overall culture and history here.

Let’s start with some of my favorite photo moments, shall we?

Who can forget the main reason I moved was to be closer to my writing community. It obviously helped:

NOLA by Molly Jo Realy now available. Click on the image to order.
NOLA by Molly Jo Realy now available. Click on the image to order.

But first, there was the moment I came home:

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Welcome Home.
Frankly, My Dear . . . : Welcome Home.

I have a plethora of photos showing foggy backwoods, white, puffy clouds, and even last winter’s snow dusting. Then there’s the video of the moment April’s tornado formed just as it passed over my apartments while I was outside trying to capture the sound of the wind. Thankfully, the tornado didn’t touch down at my place, but I’ll never forget the increasing roar as it started. And the number of phone calls from my West Coasters who were watching the live radar and wanted to know I knew how to stay safe. [Note to self: Staying indoors is a start.]

Well, bless your heart.

That’s not always a blessing. I learned quickly the South has a polite way of cursing. I had to curb my California tongue on more than one occasion. While it can be taken as a praise or excitement, even a term of endearment, down here, “bless your heart” mostly means, “Well, aren’t you stupid and I’mma gonna pray for you.” Trust me. I’ve been blessed more times than I can count this first year.

After I caught on, a well-meaning stranger told me, “Oh, bless your heart.” To which I said, “Hey, I may be new to the area, but I know what that means!”

Earlier this month, I attended another Writing Academy. This one was near Seattle so I got to visit my daughter and her husband. They were both so very proud that I finally purchased my first-ever Vans shoes. I can finally admit, I now know what all the hullabaloo is about. #socomfortable

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Stay Wild: new Vans and a Winnie the Pooh Backpack
Frankly, My Dear . . . : Stay Wild: new Vans and a Winnie the Pooh Backpack

The South really does love fried chicken. I hoped thought perhaps it was a Hollywood-induced stereotype. It’s not. At. All. On almost every corner, on almost every street, you’ll find a Zaxby’s, Chik-fil-A, or Bojangles. And, while I love choices, there’s really only so many ways you fry the bird, right? You would think so. Doesn’t matter. You can find me at the Bo at least once a week, driving through to pick up my meal combo, and some extras for the fur fam.

Speaking of, yesterday was National Cat Day. The kids say hello.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Happy National Cat Day
Frankly, My Dear . . . : Happy National Cat Day

Sweet Tea is more than just adding sugar packets to your glass. It’s a for-realz recipe. And I’m so glad it is.

Living in the Eastern Time Zone means I’m home before any major sporting events air on TV . . . but I’m also going to bed much later due to watching them til the very end.

The first sip of the annual Pumpkin Spice Latte is still always the best, no matter what state I’m in. Especially when accompanied by a slice of Pumpkin Loaf:

Frankly, My Dear . . . :  The year's first PSL from Starbucks
Frankly, My Dear . . . : The year’s first PSL from Starbucks

Of course, I’m feeding my Happy Planner addiction. Hey, This Girl has a business to run. And another novel to write. More recipes to create and curate. And a life to track. And, you know. A plan to come alive, stay wild, and be happy while doing so!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : My newest Happy Planners
Frankly, My Dear . . . : My newest Happy Planners

There are tons of little stories I’ll be sharing, and I hope you’re excited to hear them.

Remember when you read, to add my new drawl to your inner voice. I mean, I am a Southerner now.

I was told a while back, since myself, my parents, grandparents, and great-grands were not born here, I can never be considered a true Southerner. To which I responded, “Well, bless your heart.”

Well, that’s all I have for tonight. The World Series Game Six is still going, and I can only hope by the time you read this, there will be a Game Seven. #GoNationals.

Remember, come alive and stay wild!

With a happy heart
and plans for a sugar-filled life,
Happy everything.
Savor the journey,
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . : That’s all she wrote!

A Brief History of My First Year as a Southerner (Or, An Interesting Thing Happened on the Way to Being Me) by @MollyJoRealy. https://ctt.ec/1vTb3+ #southernliving #NOLA #abriefhistory Click To Tweet
Frankly, My Dear . . . : Bohemian Hurricane
Frankly, My Dear . . . : Bohemian Hurricane

Molly Jo is better known as the Bohemian Hurricane. She is the author/curator of The Unemployment Cookbook and several eBooks available on Amazon. Her debut novel, NOLA, is a romantic mystery novel set in New Orleans, and the first in her City Series.

Come Alive and Stay Wild!
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