Come On In And Sit A Spell

Has Covid got you cooped up for so long you’ve forgotten how to act around people? Here’s a refresher. Southern hospitality isn’t just a catchphrase, it’s a way of life here in our small Southern town of Shady Pines.

I’m Edna Sanders. 

A happy family hugging their pets

I’ve come to realize that hospitality isn’t a choice. It’s more of an institution.

That’s why in the Sanders’ household, my husband Harold and our four-legged kids Boomer and Halley, abide by Southern rituals and customs.

You should know this goes beyond swinging on the front porch, sipping on sweet tea, and gathering

together on Sunday for a sit-down potluck supper.

While most people define Southern hospitality as being neighborly and welcoming family, friends, and, yes, even strangers into our homes.

But I just read a survey that narrowed it down to six actual qualities. Politeness and down-home cooking top the list.

You know I liked that since Edna’s Kitchen is an important destination around here! Well, these are the top six characteristics of Southern hospitality that are as consistent as our famously hot summers.

1. Politeness

Despite what society says, there’s still a place for manners in the South and elsewhere. Before most children are taught how to spell or how to count, they learn these few magic words: “yes, ma’am,” “no, sir,” “please,” and “thank you.” The idea is that if we’re taught at a young age how to be polite, it’ll carry us through the rest of our lives as adults.

And because we love company and, admittedly, talking, conversations with loved ones and guests are never rushed.

The motto of the South is “what’s the hurry?” and that is certainly reflected in the way (and pace) in which we speak and engage other people.

2. Good Home Cooking

Entertaining and delicious food go hand in hand in the South. Every Southern woman knows how to whip up a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies of a peach cobbler. We make no apologies for loving our tub of lard and embracing tradition in the kitchen, often preparing time-tested recipes passed down through generations.

Our thinking in the South is that one dish is never enough, because you never know when you’ll have unexpected guests or relatives for dinner.

And you can rest assured, a slow cooker or cast-iron skillet is almost always involved in cooking comforting and soul-satisfying food emblematic of the South.


3. Kindness

As you well know kindness and caring are vrey important to all of us here in Shady Pines Story Town. We treat our guests like they’re family and ine anither with respect. As the saying goes here in the South, “There are no strangers, just friends we haven’t met yet.”

And we extend this kindness to everyone, forming lifelong connections and opening our homes and hearts. The most powerful gesture of kindness in the South is often a simple handshake, where a good, firm grip still goes a long way here.

 4. Helpfulness

You can forget about fixing your own plate or helping with the dishes as a guest in a Southern home. We take pride in preparing a home-cooked meal, serving company, and cleaning up once we hang up our hosting hats.

We’re gracious enough to lend a hand to our neighbors, and we’re always willing to offer directions if you’re lost on some old back road. That is, if you don’t mind hearing a few stories or settling for navigation guided by town landmarks.

5. Charm

What some deem as charming is just the natural Southern way of being kind, witty, and considerate to everyone we encounter, whether it be at the post office, grocery store, or at church. Having grace under pressure and making others feel welcome and comfortable is also part of the Southern charm.

Yes, we take our pleasantries very seriously in the South, and we hate saying goodbye to guests who come over. But eventually, we’re willing to wave them off like a polite host should, with the age old promise of, “Y’all come back now, you hear?”


6. Charity

The golden rule in the South is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, without expecting anything in return. Southerners don’t give or dole out favors as an obligation, but we do it out of courtesy, respect, and mere habit, in hopes that you’ll return again and again.

See ya next time! – Edna