I am asked often if I will ever move back to Georgia.
I talk about home, about being southern, about how we do it different were I come from to the point that someone told me at the wedding last weekend that he was really surprised that I didn’t move back to the east coast after graduation last year. The truth is, I do miss it a lot sometimes. And I often wonder why I have those feelings so strongly because I have found it to be just as true that after a week in the South, I am ready to board my plane and head back Seattle, the place I now call home.
I was driving home from a walk around Greenlake on Saturday and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wish I could have gone home for a week this summer. There is something about being in hot, humid heat in the summer and I miss it so much here in Washington. Seattle’s staunch summer standoff at a average of 60 degrees with little sunlight for two years in a row has really gotten to me. My first two years in graduate school I went down south for a week…or two…each summer and after my third year, I took a trip to Maui — which wasn’t home, but certainly gave me my dose of hot sun, gorgeous sand and endless water. The psychologist in me can’t help but analyze why I think and feel the way I do right now. And the conclusion I finally came to reminded me of what one of my favorite professors used to tell us in graduate school: that not matter how difficult our childhoods may have been, we will always long for home, the innocence of childhood and the moments in our life where we experienced peace or contentment.
For me, those times were during the summer where I remember the smells of Coppertone sunscreen, the feeling of sticky popsicles from the Schwann man melting faster than I could eat them and the sound of cicadas so loud that they drowned out the noise of any midnight creaks in the house. I miss the summers of my adolescence when my church youth group spent a hot Sunday afternoon at the lake and feeling like the ultimate cool kid while taking my friend Carrie down Ashley Street to the DQ drive-through for a tart, purple Mr. Misty slushy. Most especially I miss the summers of my 20s where we had the energy to drive the three hours to St. Simons Island and back all in one day for the 4th of July, the feeling of warm tanned skin after a day of laying on the beach in Destin with my boyfriend and long drives on country roads with the windows rolled down on a hot night — AC blasting — and music turned up loud. While I miss those things of the past, I know that I am where I am supposed to be right now and really do love the place I now call home. But sometimes, I just wish I could go home for a Sunday afternoon to sit by a pool and dip my toes in the cold, blue water.
So in honor of the summer I didn’t get to have, I thought I would round up links to my favorite country songs from the past few months and list my favorite lines from each. Turn up your speakers, or plug in your headphones, and enjoy a little background music as you sip your morning coffees and tackle your Outlook inboxes.