Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Georgia on My Mind

I'm an Indiana Hoosier. My parents were both born in Indianapolis, IN, and Brother Dear and I continued the family tradition. I consider myself a Yankee, and my favorite place in th U.S. is Southern Indiana. . . during the late summer when there are ripened corn fields as far as the eye can see. *happy sigh*

So, the irony of my strong attachment to Indiana and the North is that I've only lived there for four months of my life :-D. In August of 1984 my family moved to Georgia, where we've been ever since. I spent most of my childhood and early adulthood wishing to be back in Indiana. . . or at least somewhere in the North. . . and certainly somewhere far away from Atlanta. But in the past year or two, I've really finally decided that I'm happy here. Georgia is home for me. Atlanta (ghastly city that it is) is home for me. I've even come to appreciate a lot about Southern culture, and although it took me 15 years in the South before I gave in, I now allow "y'all" to slip off my tongue like a pro ;-).

Lydia posted a fun conglomeration of Kansas facts over at Renewed Day by Day, and she asked me to do the same with Georgia facts. It's probably best she asked me to post for Georgia, not Indiana, because even though I've pined for Indiana all those years, I know far more about Georgia :-). So here we go:

10 Facts About Georgia

1. Georgia is known as the Peach State, due to the great quantity of peaches grown and sold in Georgia every harvest season. This symbol is used throughout the state, and during elections, our "I Voted" stickers feature our state symbol. Ironically, though, I found out a few years ago that Georgia doesn't win the award for most peaches sold per year; I think South Carolina has that distinction, though I can't currently confirm that. Since Hannah was born in Georgia, she is a "Georgia peach" - the only one in our family!

2. One U.S. President was a Georgian: Jimmy Carter. He was the 39th president, and was in office from 1977 - 1981.

3. Georgia proudly lays claim to Vidalia onions. Vidalia onions are named after the Georgia town of Vidalia. By the way, Vidalia is NOT pronounced "vuh-dale-yuh"; if you pronounce it like that, you'll instantly be identified as a carpetbagger. The authentic pronunciation is "vah-day-yuh" - the "l" is silent. Vidalia onions are sweet onions, making them preferable for eating. A very interesting fact about Vidalia onions is that legally, Vidalia onions can only be marketed under that label if they are grown in a limited number of Georgia counties. If the same onions are grown elsewhere, they are sold as "sweet onions." This is to protect the Vidalia trademark.

4. The Appalachian Trail begins in Northern Georgia. The famous 2174 mile mountain trail begins at Springer Mountain and ends in Maine.

5. Atlanta is home to Coca-Cola. Down here, "coke" is a generic term for any soda pop. It's not at all considered weird to ask someone what type of coke they would like to drink. . . And it's perfectly acceptable to reply "root beer" or "Mountain Dew." While not everyone considers Coca-Cola to be the sacred Georgian drink, you may want to be careful about uttering the "P" word (Pepsi) in certain places, for fear of being labeled a traitor :-D.

6. Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and one of the confederate states during the Civil War.

7. Georgia boasts the world's busiest airport - Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. If all roads lead to Rome, all flights go through Atlanta's airport, or pretty much. While I try to avoid the airport at all costs, just because of its sheer enormity, it does come in handy at times, and it is nice that Atlanta offers so many direct flights, without layovers. Hartsfield-Jackson offers more nonstop flights than any other airport in the world.

9. Georgia is, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong!), the only U.S. state that shares a name with an independent nation.

9. Metro Atlanta is home to the "Mount Rushmore of the South," as Stone Mountain is affectionately called. Stone Mountain is the largest exposed piece of granite rock in the world, and on the mountain's face are carved three confederate heroes: Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee. Every year, Stone Mountain hosts laser shows that are displayed on the carving after dark during the summertime. Songs are played over large speakers set up on the lawn below the carving (Georgia on My Mind, Proud to Be an American, Devil Went Down to Georgia, Dixie, etc.) while light pictures are depicted on the carving.

10. Georgia's weather is weird. The summertime is ridiculously humid (think "sauna"), and if you step outside from late May - late August, you will feel like a dog is breathing on you. . . a "hot" dog. Bleh. The winter can become quite dry, though. Right now my 40 inches of hair cannot pass something without automatically sticking to it!!! Aah! And any fabric I handle crackles and sparks from static electricity. Ick. My favorite seasons in Georgia are spring and fall. March and April are absolutely gorgeous here, with azaleas, dogwoods, and Bradford pear trees in bloom. The North Georgia mountains are breathtaking in the fall, and there are few sights more beautiful. Back to a more negative note, Georgia is overrun with chiggers and mosquitoes in the summertime. One especially warm and humid summer evening, I obtained a record 240+ mosquito bites in 4 hours. That's more than one per minute. Yes, I counted my bites - over 100 per leg. And yes, my legs were puffy the next day.

I'm officially addicted to Wikipedia.



Esther said...

I'm glad you finally realized what an amazing state Georgia is and have embraced the southern culture.

I am proud to be a southern girl! :) And there is NO state as wonderful as Georgia!! It is simply the best. No questions asked.

I think it's a pity that we must claim Carter as one of our own. Oh well. Guess we can't be the best and greatest at everything.

Meg G said...

Hmmm. I have a remedy for that "my 40 inches of hair cannot pass something without automatically sticking to it!!!" ... *snip-snip* ... did I just hear a certain young man gasp? hehe. ;-)

Adrian C. Keister said...

You heard rightly.

In Christ.

Ashley said...

I enjoyed this. :-) I love my home state. And I never knew about the pronunciation of Vidalia. I have always said, "Vye-DAY-lyah".

So what is the correct Georgian pronunciation of "pecan"?

John Dekker said...

Vidalia onions are sweet onions, making them preferable for eating

What are sweet onions? Oh, and are green onions the same as spring onions?

I obviously don't know my onions. ;)

While I try to avoid the airport at all costs, just because of its sheer enormity

Wow! Really?

Deb said...

Susan, very interesting. I don't think I've ever pronounced Vidalia right then! LOL! (My Virginia facts are up.)

Susan said...

Just as a clarification, the pronunciation key to Vidalia onions was a gentle mockery :-). A really deep Southerner would pronounce it "vah-day-yuh", but I sure don't! I once watched a public documentary on Vidalia onions, and every single person they interviewed pronounced them "vah-day-yuh," because they were all from South Georgia. I pronounce it more like "vuh-dell-yuh," although that "e" sound is somewhere between a short e and a long a. In Metro Atlanta, pronunciations are all over the chart, because there are so many Yankees (guilty!).

*gasp* It is The Scissors We Do Not Speak Of. Did it bug anyone else that the name for the creatures (in The Village) ended with a preposition?!?!?! Sorry, side note. . .

Ashley, real southerners pronounce pecan is "PEA-can," but I can't abide that pronunciation; it makes me squirm :-). The correct pronunciation is "puh-CON" or "pea-CON."

John, non-sweet onions are really strong in taste, whereas sweet onions are milder and have a nice sweetish taste, especially when cooked. Green onions are sold here in stalks, sort of? You cut them up into little pieces that resemble thick blades of grass. Is that the same as a spring onion? And yep, really. See definition #3.

Tammy C said...

I am presently living in North Carolina.Here is afact about your rival to Coke:

Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern in 1898

40 inches of hair-WOW!!

Susan said...

Neat, Tammy. We both live near the birthplaces of very famous softdrinks! The funny thing is, I don't even really like softdrinks. Hehe.

Anna Naomi said...

It was interesting to learn more about Georgia, considering that I've been there quite a bit. We've driven through many times, gone to Six Flags, the huge airport, and the Coca-Cola factory. The weather sounds a lot like Alabama! =)

My older sister is a Georgia Peach as well! Mom gave us all names like that, depending on the places we were born. I'm the Arkansas Diamond. =)

Elaine said...


I stumbled across your blog today. I grew up in Georgia and the generic coke thing is definately Georgian. My husband who is a Michigander thinks that is the strangest thing to call all cola, coke. He of course, calls it soda or pop.

I haven't lived in Georgia for almost 11 years and I miss it. However the Lord has currently put me in LA and I am content to be in whatever state he puts me in :o)