Missing our people

February 16, 2023


“Girlfriend!” she yelled across the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. “Where ‘ya been?” 

“Well, Lord Almighty! It can’t be you,” her friend hollered back. The trunks of their cars stood wide open with groceries still in the buggies while they embraced and talked at the same time.

I didn’t know them, but was warmed by their love for one another. 

Springtime reunions are happening all over town. 

When the camellias fade and the daffodils bloom, we burst out of our cuddly blanket-wrapped, chili-eating hibernation where we had retreated when the temperatures dipped below 60 degrees.

Illnesses aside, people are traveling, moving, and sometimes crisscrossing each other, until suddenly . . . there they are again. I ran into Shae and told her, “I’ve been missing you!” “Maybe it’s because I moved away for five years and am just now back again.” “Five years? How can that be?” Obviously, we weren’t that close, or I would have known she was in Charlotte this entire time, but we liked each other enough that I truly did think of her from time to time and wonder where she was. If we attend different churches and our children are enrolled in different schools, we sometimes lose people we love, even in a small town. 

Southerners like to keep tabs on “their people,” but it’s hard to keep up with each other when we’re zooming all over the country — and even the world. 

One couple took four months and sailed around the tip of Florida while working from their boat and another spent the holidays with family in Atlanta before flying to Greece. Two friends lost their husbands and needed to sit home and process everything for a while. We miss them all. 

I looked up, and there was another friend who has been occupied for months preparing for her daddy’s estate sale. “He bought the house in Point Clear so long ago, it still had a privy when we moved in.” I was warmed that friends in Alabama still use ladylike language without explanation.

And then, at the bank, someone called my name, and said, “There you are! I’ve been missing you!” Although I’ve been right here the entire time, it was good to be missed by my people. 

  • Privy and chickens in the house, too! Doesn’t get much more Southern than that. Just wait until you hear the ghost story. Ah.. The Piggly Wiggly, “sometimes you have to go where everybody knows your name!” Thank you for the fun read.

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      So glad you made your way over to the blog! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Dee Klees says:

    Just finished reading Exploding Hushpuppies – a gift from my niece in Theodore. Enjoyed each story. As a retired editor for another Advance publication I just want you to know they are universal – and the phrases “only a Southern lady” or “only in the South” spoil the effect. Thank you!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      So glad you got to read it and comment as only a Southern lady. Thanks.

  • Karen Roloson says:

    One thing I love about FB is the ability to connect with distant friends and family! We have all scattered all over the country and with our busy lives, it is so easy to lose touch. I miss our aunts who kept us all up-to-date on the news (and gossip) with their pretty flowered stationary and illegible handwriting. They were the glue who kept us together.

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Oh, those letters from the Aunts. How I loved those. One would write, then send it to another who would add her letter and mail both to the next one. You’re right about FB. Keeping up with everyone who is scattered is a good thing. thanks Karen.

  • Arlene A. Cocke says:

    I can be found almost every day in my booth at SA&A, it was a pleasure visiting with you when you stopped in Come by any time, so that’s where I have been, and painting items, and at my storage and donating, and taking things to auction, and——–still taking time for Happy Hour at my favorite place here in Fairhope. So grateful still able to be keepin up!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      And how I loved running in to you! A long chat with a good friend and the ability to shop while we talked. What better way to find a friend? I hope we run into one again soon. Thanks Arlene.

  • I have been back in town for a week and I haven’t run into you yet! I’ve missed you!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      We have to do something about that. You sneak in town sometimes, but I never know when!

  • Pam Richardson says:

    I love your posts and we fellow Southerners understand the missing you. Like Roxanne said, you brighten my day!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks Pam. Stay close!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thank you Roxanne – great hearing from you!

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