learning to be southern 

I’ve lived my entire life in Richmond, Virginia and it’s only now, in my mid-thirties, I’ve fully accepted my southern roots. In all fairness, it’s been a lifelong process of learning to be southern.

You see, I come from a mixed background and that has caused some internal doubt of my southernness. I’m Japanese, Cherokee, Irish, and Norwegian…basically a one-woman mixing pot. My mom was an Army brat and lived all over the place, but has lived in Virginia longer than anywhere else. My dad is from Danville, Virginia which makes him the most southern of us all. Neither parent really taught me the hallmarks of southern charm or little figures of speech, it’s mostly been picked up over the years.

Through the help of patient friends and family, I’ve come to understand the importance of a pineapple in my home, when and why to bless someone’s heart, how I like my iced tea, and most importantly why y’all is the perfect southern word.

Y’all has long been a word to be avoided in my vocabulary, but finally in my mid-twenties I began to embrace it. But that was only because of my studies during seminary, particularly with Hebrew and Greek. I came to the realization of how perfect y’all is when communicating. If you have taken a foreign language you’ve experienced the distinction between you singular and you plural and its affects on conjugation and syntax. How else can you articulate the plural form of “you” without it being cumbersome?

Now in my thirties it’s in full-on use. Hate on the word if you want, but I think it’s perfect. If you walk into a room full of your girlfriends, wouldn’t “hey y’all” be better than “hey guys” since there are no guys in the room. If you walk into a room full of guys and girls, wouldn’t “hey y’all” be better than “hey guys” since guys are not more important that the ladies in the room too. AND wouldn’t it be better to be more inclusive in our language period?

So if you come in my home, you’ll most certainly be welcomed by the site of a pineapple or two; we hope you’ll stay awhile and enjoy a meal. I also hope I’ll have no cause to bless your heart. AND if we do have the good fortune to meet sometime, please don’t be surprised by the “hey y’all” coming from the chick without a southern drawl…it’s because she knows the perfect way to communicate with all y’all.



HebrewDawn: learning to be southern

Favorites This Week: May 6th



How has your week been? It’s been a very full week for me, and I cannot wait for this Mother’s Day weekend. I know that this weekend is not always an easy one for everyone, but I hope that we can shower the women in our lives with love. Shout out that you love the women who love and support you each and every day of the year. These women may be the one who gave birth to you, who chose to love, who raised you, or came into your life at the needed moment. These women may not have children of their own, and may be they do. May be you are the closest thing they will have to their own children. Whoever the women are in your life, I hope you’ll let them know you love them. I’m ever so grateful for all the women in my life that love me, and whom I have the privilege to love.

Speaking of love, it may have taken me until college to fully appreciate and LOVE living and growing up in Richmond, Virginia, but I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I was giddy to see, and also made hungry, leaving that one of my absolute favorite Richmond restaurants was included on the list of best “hole in the walls” to try in Virgina. If you’re ever looking for a great Italian meal in Richmond, hurry your way to Mama Zu’s (just make sure to bring cash or American Express)!

Are you a Mo Willems fan? I’ve been a longtime fan since he released Knuffle Bunny, and I’ve only grown to love his writing more through his Elephant and Piggie Series. Sadly his last book in the series is coming out, but I can only imagine it will be just as great as all the others.

 HebrewDawn: Soda Water's Not Bad for You
Do you like drinking sparkling water, seltzer, or mineral water? I do, and so does my family! BUT there’s been terrible press about it lately, specifically how it’s bad for your teeth. Thankfully, reports are coming out to debunk that lie and I’m so thankful! This article had some interesting information, and I love that when it was first invented by chemist Joseph Priestley, he titled his paper “Directions for Impregnating Water with Fixed Air.” I guess I’m a fan of drinking air impregnanted water

Have anything fun planned for the weekend? I’m looking forward to a picnic with my family, and some ladies that I’m lucky to love and have in my life.

Have a beautiful weekend!

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How was your week? Mine was pretty good, but I was shocked by the frigid temperatures here in Richmond, Virginia. It’s really rare for temperatures be below 25 during the winter, and it was EIGHTEEN degrees on Tuesday. For those of you that live in areas where this the norm, how do you do it??? So on top of the cold temperatures this week, we are supposed to be getting snow today. Forecasts say it could be up to TWENTY inches, but I’m not sure I’ll believe until I see it. They’ve said it would be a terrible storm before and absolutely nothing happened. The craziest thing with all of this weather, is that as of yesterday (Thursday) afternoon many local schools and businesses declared they were closed for today, even though NO snow was falling from the sky. Richmonders just don’t do well with snow…

*update* early closures turned out to be a good thing as the snow statues at ten this morning! Seeing is believing, and this storm may be a big one after all!

Snow Prep with Peifer

With the impending weather I was so sad to learn yesterday that I was out of milk and almost out of bread in my house. With snow in the forecast, I knew every grocery store would be a DISASTER and the shelves would be void of milk and bread. I’m not one to stock up on bread and milk before a storm, so I thought long and hard about whether or not we really needed milk. But here’s the thing, I live with a two year old that loves milk. So off to Costco I went after work with the two year old by my side.  And a miracle happened. We got through the store without losing my sanity and  we only had to wait behind three! #winning

So I always thought that the N E E D to buy bread and milk before a snowstorm was a weird Richmond thing, but it appears it’s not just us! CNN actually wrote an entire article about bread, milk, and snow! Who knew we get to blame the yankees for starting this?!

If you’re in the snowpocalypse zone, you are most likely going to be  locked up with your kids for the weekend and looking for something to do. May I suggest spending a weekend having fun with the fine art of cursive. Do you remember learning it in elementary school and still use it? I know that I do. I have even read studies that show that cursive is good for memorizing things when you write it down. Knowing this, I was shocked to learn that our local school system no longer teaches it to students! Turns out this isn’t the only school system to do away with it, and now folks are writing about the benefits of learning it. What are your thoughts on this?

Well I’m going to go get bundled up and prepare for snowmagedon 2016, but stay warm friends!