Yes, still here. I love living in the Deep South, even with all of the stereotypes. At times it pains me when I see the stereotypes validated, whether it be a redneck with a Confederate battle flag in a goofy 4x4 pickup, the crushing poverty of rural poor, or what I consider to be a political mindset that comes straight out of the 19th century.
There are many more positives about living here. I like the natural beauty. Not that other places aren't lovely. I also am fond of the Pacific Northwest, the desert Southwest, the Great Plains, the big sky country of Montana, the back roads of Pennsylvania, and the rugged beauty of New England.
And while I wasn't born in the South, I have lived South of the Mason-Dixon for almost 40 years now. As far as the US goes, this is where I feel most at home. I like getting in the car with an atlas and finding some small town on a map of the interstates and main highways and then go visit. I like the grandeur of the homes in the Battery at Charleston. I like watching the sunset over Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. I enjoy sitting on the bank of the Mississippi and watching it roll on, timelessly. I enjoy the way the accent of a young child tickles my ears when they speak.
Though we are supposed to get a little snow on Monday night, and the city will again be closed for a day or two, and the local news stations will be delivering break weather updates, today it is sunny and in the 60s. Spring will soon be here. I will begin planting herbs, flowers and tomatoes in my window boxes. I will plan weekend trips down to the Gulf for visiting with friends, fishing, sunbathing and scuba diving.
If you have never been down South, plan a trip. Whether you want to see the big cities like Memphis, Atlanta or N'awlins, or smaller but charming cities like Charlotte, Richmond or Savannah, or even smaller towns like Natchez or Monroeville, I think you might find some of the magic that keeps me here.