Going to Alabama means visiting the place where roots run deep, hugs are more common than handshakes, and everyone is eager to hear if our Southern accents have taken a Northern brogue.
It means flowers in bloom and lamplight and lace curtains.
It's boiled peanuts and fried everything and Dad's homemade biscuits in a cast iron skillet older than me.
It's pear salad and deviled eggs and fresh cream corn.
It's wide open spaces and driving cars and sunsets that make me pause.
It's humidity that fogs my lens and Mama hemming my pants.
It's reunions at my collegiate stomping grounds and feeling like an official grown-up.
It's little girls watching with wide-eyed wonder the college girls they will all too quickly become.
It's playing iPad games with a favorite 3-year-old and melting when he tells the lady at the ice cream counter,
This is JUSTIN! as if J were Santa Claus himself.
It's late night decorating projects and laughing 'til I hurt.
It's early morning coffee dates and well-worn pajamas.
It's meeting the dearest of friends for margaritas and wishing the night would never end.
It's welcoming brand new life and hugging tightly the old.
It's grace and love and some of the most restful sleep.
The place where roots run deep.