Gut Rumbles

September 02, 2003


I met a couple from Minnesota when I was on Jekyll Island. They asked me a lot of questions about the local scenery. I told them where to find Mars in the evening and recommended that they get a cup of coffee and walk down the the jetty to watch the sun come up in the morning.

I saw them one night and I showed them Mars, but I never saw them in the morning before the sun came up. If you ever go there, you should watch at least one sunrise.

They asked me about fall-colored leaves. I laughed. "Around here?" I asked. "Fuggetaboudit." I showed them pines, live oaks, water oaks, white oaks, magnolias and cedars, which are pretty much all the trees that inhabit that island. "They are almost all evergreens," I explained. "Go to North Georgia if you want to see leaves change."

I don't know whether they believed me or not, but I wasn't lying.

I don't know why cedar trees love sandy, salty ground, but they must because they grow all over the place down there. The wind blows constantly off the ocean, so the trees form into bizarre shapes from leaning with the wind all their lives. They almost resemble desperate, long-haired people pointing me to go "THAT WAY!!!" with both arms outstretched.

I have a secret fetish that I'll confess right now. I LOVE to break off a small cedar branch and just smell that aroma. It reminds me of Mama's attic and the time she took me up there to go through her cedar chest, where she had every baby tooth I ever lost, all of my report cards, every letter I wrote her when I was in college and stuff made from crayons and construction paper that I had long forgotten.

Cedar is evergreen because it is forever. Or at least for as long as you live. It smells that way to me.


Mom was a class act, bar none. When she played in the orchestra in that long black gown she was a beauty, but when she pulled out my "art work" from the eighth grade...she was an angel. Some of us were very lucky, I know I was, and I think you are too.

Posted by: bob in the hills on September 2, 2003 08:45 PM

I'm from Minnesota now, but I learned to walk and talk in a small town. We have beautiful seasons up here. But there is nothing more wonderful than a summer evening in Georgia.

Posted by: drc on September 2, 2003 09:17 PM

This was just wonderful to read. It's nice when you let that major in English Lit shine.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh on September 3, 2003 08:12 AM

I live in "Super Natural" British Columbia ...I know what yer sayin bout trees . Even after a hearty meal is unloaded in the bathroom you can still smell cedar from outside . Were just friggin rife with the Evergreens and I love it .

Posted by: Action Mike on September 3, 2003 11:37 AM

I know those cedars well and those sunrises too. I grew up on St. Simons (neighboring island for those not familiar.) Funny story: One summer (mid-seventies), I waited tables at the Holiday Inn on Jekyll. I had the breakfast shift. Two old gals visiting from some where’s up north were pondering the menu. Their first time in the South. One of the gals looks up and in an accent that would put a Kennedy to shame says “Young man, why I’ve never had grits before. I don’t suppose I could order one grit please?”. They probably still tell that story in the kitchen.


A Fellow Cracker at Large

Posted by: Hal on September 3, 2003 04:24 PM
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