Welcome to “Living Southern”, a blog dedicated to celebrating the history and progress of the south! Although I have only been a “Carolina Girl” for twelve years, I was born and raised in Southern West Virginia. Many people from my home state have traveled the “Hillbilly Highway” to southern cities searching for jobs and opportunities for a better life. I followed my sisters to Charlotte, NC in 2008, and I never looked back.
It took me a while to realize there are many differences between the culture I grew up with in the mountains of West Virginia. In fact, southern culture varies from city to city. For example, the way of life in Charleston, SC is very different from the way of life in Atlanta. The beautiful city of Savannah has a distinct charm, and if you have the pleasure to speak to a person with a true Georgian accent, they are most likely from Savannah. When I think about Savannah, I immediately picture Kevin Spacey in the movie “In The Garden of Good & Evil”. Another great example of southern dialect is portrayed in “Steele Magnolias“. Any woman who claims to be a Southern Belle has watched Julia Robert’s character, Shelby, get married at least five times and if you don’t cry at the end of the movie, you must be a Yankee.
It took me quite some time to appreciate the strong, cultural heritage of the Carolina’s. In fact, it wasn’t until I attended my first “high tea” at The Historic Sharpe House that I realized the depth and love for our town’s history and culture. Yuletide tea at The Sharpe House is the best tea of the year. The house is decorated with countless garlands, big red bows, poinsettia’s and a tree in every room. The best china is used and the yummy treats are served by butlers and footmen. I know it sounds like a scene from Downton Abbey and it’s not far off. For a girl who loves to dress up and wear hats, it was quite easy to impress me.
I hope you will join me in an adventure of discovery of a people and way of life sweeter than a glass of iced tea at a backyard barbecue. The journey begins.
What people are saying…“Living Southern is a snow globe view of life in the south. Francie’s use of history and humor make her a great storyteller!” Simon Perry
“Living Southern” is an anthropological glance of how quaint meets tradition in small southern towns.” Mike Kirtley
“As Francie begins her journey into the Deep South, sit a spell and breathe in the fragrant magnolia blossoms as she casts a spell of southern charm. She’ll leave you with a smile.” Beth Webb
“Francie’s way with words make me feel like I saw and did those things. I hope I make her “short list” for a Yuletide Tea table mate this year. Heck! I’ll take any tea. They are all first class.” Donna McMillion
The Historic Sharpe House in Statesville, North Carolina
“Would you like to have an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” Peter Pan