Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake at The Grit in Athens Georgia (May every person who ever said you can't make wonderful vegan cakes eat at The Grit!)
The Grit Golden Bowl with Broccolli
Places get into our bones either by their geographical beauty and the non-human community or because of the humans we love and feel close to in an area. Or because there is great food there!
It is rare for people to have all three in the place they call home.
Athens, Georgia was our home for only a few years. The land, with its abused forests trying desperately to recuperate from being cotton fields at one point and the red clay turning to red mud during every rainfall is not endearing. The land and polluted rivers and creeks in that part of Georgia do not make me go “ahhhhh”. But in the past week of reuniting with friends there, I could feel how Athens got into my bones. It is the people....and the food. Pretty much everywhere I have lived it has been the people. ( In Maine, Massachusetts, Sweden and New Mexico I was lucky enough to have both the land and the people to love..but not always the food. )
In Athens, we were having dinner with friends, who, like me, love thinking about language and culture. It also just so happens that sitting at the same table were two friends who are guaranteed to make me laugh until my jaw hurts. One of them has been a doctor for years (I cannot say his name…doctor/friend confidentiality). He was telling stories about language in the south. When he first began practicing medicine in the south there were things that his colleagues needed to translate for him especially when patients over 80 came in.
One patient was telling his medical history and said he had “Smilin’ Mighty Jesus”. Our doctor buddy was, of course, confused by this…..until the nurse whispered in the doctor’s ear "That’s spinal meningitis).
Here is an abbreviated glossary of senior southerner medical terms, in case you need it in the future:
The “roaches of the liver” means cirrhosis of the liver.
“Fireballs of the Eucharist” means fibroids of the uterus.
“Technical shot” mean tetanus shot.
What the uterus looks like for those of you who have never seen it up close.
Being with these friends reminded me of how incredibly rich our life is. To be able to land in a town that you only lived in a few years and laugh for 5 hours with people who feel like family…it doesn’t get any better.
We worked our butts off sorting and holding a yard sale to try to lighten up what we have in storage in Athens. The bad news: It was a home football game weekend at UGA and almost no one came to our sale. The good news: we got a lot of exercise moving heavy boxes and furniture many times and we were able to donate a boatload of valuable goods to Project Safe Thrift Store (profits go to the domestic abuse shelter in Athens). I got a lesson in local ordinances when the ordinance enforcement patrol car pulled up to our sale and told us that we could not have our signs posted on any public property. I immediately told the officer, "How great that you noticed our signs!" (After all, they were hand painted and bright pink and orange and as big as 10 bread boxes).
Now we are back in High Springs, Florida. Greeted by 75 degree temps and a fantastic vegan meal created by our friend Chas. Time to get to work on my book and more Vegfund tasks.
Santa Fe River in High Springs...canoe and kayak heaven.....
We sure do have a lot of wonderful homes….wahoo…smilin’ mighty jesus!