50 + 1 Reasons I Love Mississippi

  1. Church On Sunday;
  2. Good Gossip;
  3. “Yes sir and yes ma’am” are still spoken regularly by both kids and adults;
  4. Fishing with a cane pole;
  5. Fried Chicken;
  6. Sweet Tea – the perfect drink for any occasion;
  7. Fried Catfish – the perfect food for any meal;
  8. Grits, eggs, and bacon – the perfect breakfast;
  9. People still call the evening meal SUPPER;
  10. People still wave or nod when passing on foot or by car whether they know you or not;
  11. The best fast food can be found at gas stations;
  12. The Blues – the root of all American music;
  13. Mosquitoes! Mississippians are not fat they they’re just swollen from mosquito bites;
  14. Mississippians will give you the shirt off their backs if you are in need;
  15. Life moves slow. We talk slow and live slow, but we ain’t slow. We just act that way to keep everybody from wanting to move and live here;
  16. Redbugs, mosquitoes, horseflies, and ticks EQUALS picking blackberries, swimming in the creek, playing in the barn, and running barefoot through the woods;
  17. Everyone knows your business! You might as well accept it and move on;
  18. Going Barefoot – calluses were our first shoes;
  19. Small towns;
  20. The Natchez Trace;
  21. Mississippians do not talk different – it’s the rest of the world with the accent;
  22. Kermit the Frog;
  23. Miss Piggy;
  24. Only two seasons – winter and summer;
  25. Teddy Bears;
  26. Boiled Peanuts;
  27. No socks 11 months out of the year;
  28. Sweat – beats snow any day;
  29. Elvis!
  30. Eudora Welty;
  31. Football;
  32. Cornbread and turnip greens with hot sauce;
  33. Homemade chicken and dumplings;
  34. Red beans and rice with fried catfish;
  35. Homemade lye soap;
  36. Pickup trucks;
  37. Sweet smelling Southern ladies;
  38. Cousins named Booger and Cottontop;
  39. Mama’s cathead biscuits with redeye gravy;
  40. Real country music;
  41. Bluegrass Music;
  42. B. B. King;
  43. Bacon, scrambled egg and tomato sandwich;
  44. The arts and crafts;
  45. Drivers still pull to the side of the road to allow a funeral to pass;
  46. Hearing “How’s your mama and them;”
  47. Hearing “Bless his heart” or “Bless you and your mama’s heart;”
  48. Porch swings and a fly swatter;
  49. A watermelon cooling in the creek;
  50. God and family are the center of everything;
  51. She is part of me – the red clay on my knees, the dirt between my toes, the fire ant bite on my ankle, the mosquito whelp on the back of my neck, the copper tan on my shirtless back, blackberry seeds in my teeth, the grass blade whistle held tight between my thumbs, the chicken roosting in my ear, the grime of a new plowed field behind my ears, fighting Indians in the woods behind the house, playing baseball in the pasture, cow pattie wars, chasing outlaws with a Red-Ryder bb gun, fishing with grandmaw, sharing a plug of tobacco with grandpaw, eating creek cooled watermelon sprinkled with salt, skinny dipping at the gravel pit, riding to town in the back of daddy’s pickup, mama boiling peanuts, granny’s squirrel dumplings, cornbread crumbled in my milk, getting the hell scared out of me on Sunday morning, learning about God’s love Sunday evening, RA and GA classes Wednesday evening, prayer meeting Wednesday night, holding hands in the church back pew, mayonnaise sandwiches, eating maypop seeds, sipping and back-washing a Coke to make it last longer, visiting red-headed and black-headed granny, watching movies at the drive-in with mama and daddy in the front seat and the kids in the backseat; three pairs of shoes – no shoes, canvas tennis shoes, and Sunday go-to-meeting shoes, finding arrowheads, being poor but living life rich, and watching lightening bugs outside my window before I fell asleep at night.

I thank God every day I was born an American, a Southerner, and a Mississippian. Say what you like about our country, life doesn’t get much better than that!


©Jack Linton, August 16, 2015


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