A few pleasant memories from an unpleasant time in the South:
* Sitting on the back porch listening to the sounds of a hot summer night while drinking cold beers and listening to music with friends. I never could afford a place with a back porch or even a front porch outside of the South.
* Buying fresh tomatos and peaches from an old black man from John's Island at the gas station on Main Street.
* Watching a man cut his son's hair on his front porch. For some reason, cutting your hair outside on the front porch sitting on a hard back chair strikes me as so very deeply southern that it makes me nostalgic. My sister cut my hair for me once when I lived on Kiawah Avenue and worked at the Rosewood Market.
* Intense lightning and thunderstorms that turn the night sky purple and toss the crepe myrtles around resulting in carpets of small pink blossoms all over the driveway. Torrents of tropical rain that leave the air clear and crisp the next morning.
* The park completely choked by kudzu at the turn onto Sunset Drive. While kudzu is the scourge of the South, its so beautifully densely green and lush. Combine that with the smell of gardenias and honeysuckle and its like Proust's madeleine.
* Tomato sandwiches on white bread with hellman's mayonaise, a little salt, and fat slices of aforementioned John's Island tomatos. Must be eaten over the sink.