I moved to Atlanta kicking and screaming (almost literally), insistent that as soon as I got my graduate degree, I’d pack everything up in my Toyota and drive back up North where the people were sufficiently grumpy, the air was brisk and not heavy and damp, where you could visit a church for a month before someone tried to hug you, and where all the conservatives and all the liberals are to the Left about three feet.
The last thing I ever expected was to find myself tearing up every single damn time I drive down 85 South and see the skyline of Atlanta. (No joke. Totally happened last night. Again.)
For better or for worse, Atlanta is my city, and Georgia is my state, and I got to vote for and march with John Freakin Lewis, and as weird as the church culture is down here, it’s where I’m called to Do Church and so I guess I’ve morphed from a Granite Woman to a Georgia Peach and I guess that I’m also so, so OK with that.
But this week when the Patriots played the Falcons, I got to remember that this Georgia Peach grows out of New Hampshire Granite, and that the tree is stronger because of where her roots go down. This week, I’m grateful for my Granite.
I’m grateful for Ben and Jerry’s. The first summer that I moved to Atlanta, I went looking for my New England Ben and Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day, and found out that the only Ben and Jerry’s in Georgia is in Athens. I’m pretty sure I cried. This week, after five years in Georgia, I finally went to Athens, and finally got my Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cone. GUYS. It was DELICIOUS.
I’m grateful for cold nights in a hot State. I went running last night in the dark for the first time. It was frigid, and so silent, like the cold air was muffling all the city noises and all that was left was the noise of my feet on pavement and my breath. The moon was huge and because Atlanta is still a tiny little city, I could see the stars.
I’m grateful for Stephen King. New Stephen King book this week! I spent January reading the “Best Books of 2016,” and they’re very good books but also oh my holy goodness gracious are they depressing as what (Slavery! Genocide! Anorexia!). So I’m treating myself to some self-care and my favorite New England author (God I love it when he casually mentions the Fox Run Mall), and yes my self-care is a horror book and yes I’m fine with that.
I’m grateful for the New England Patriots. Don’t hate me. Guys, it’s in my blood. #DoYourJob
I’m grateful for my mom’s home-knitted wool socks. Our house is really, really cold, y’all. It is colder in this house than it is outside, most Georgian winter days. I’m so grateful for the thick, fuzzy, grey wool socks that my New England mom made for me last year.
I’m grateful for dreams about the ocean. My grandfather was a painter, and he painted the ocean. He painted waves like they sound when they hit the rocks on freezing New Hampshire beaches. One of his paintings is hanging in my living room, and last night it snuck into my dream, damp salty hair and ice cold wind and the noise of the water rushing out back to the ocean from in between the rocks.
I’m grateful for Dunkin Donuts. I paid off my first graduate student loan on Monday (IT’S HAPPENING!!!) and celebrated with an extrah lahge cahfee from the place that helped me pay off my undergraduate loans, one 5am weekend shift at a time. I’m so grateful for all those red eyed, achy limbed shifts at the drive-through window, every weekend of college, not just because it paid my way through my degree – but because no one can doubt that there’s Granite in my blood, because nothing is as New England as Dunks.
Thanks for making me exactly who I am, New England
Every Friday, Leanna Coye-Carr and the blogging wisewomen celebrate 7 Gratitudes together. Check out her blog and the other fantastic writers in our #LinkUp today!