I receive promotional emails from “Wales Cottage Holidays,” with seasonal graphics and a greeting in Welsh. It made me nostalgic for the time Wayne & I spent there in the early 1970s, when he had a job with a large architectural firm with an office in a small seaside resort town on the south coast. Since then, we've been back several times to visit, to introduce our children to the landscape, the language, and the culture. It was a formative period of our young adulthood, and will always have a place in our hearts.
One day recently as I drove to Auburn for a Fellowship social event, it occurred to me that when I return home to California in June, our experience here will also hold a cherished place in our memory. Since I became an Alabama voter to participate in the special senate election in December, I feel even more at home. So dedicated and hardworking are the Alabama citizens I have come to know, that remembering them will help sustain my hopes for our country. As Birmingham colleague Jennifer Sanders posted on Facebook on election night, “...everywhere all over Alabama, little blue dots erupted with hope and joy.” I will now always think of the South as festooned with blue dots, blooming and growing.
The photo gallery below begins with our drive to New Orleans via Mobile last June. For Wayne's most recent visit in February, we planned a short road trip to Selma, to the Rural Studio, and to downtown Birmingham. We enjoyed Mexican food in Greensboro, barbecue in Marion, and urban gourmet cuisine at the Birmingham Museum of Art cafe. The airbnb ante-bellum mansion where we stayed featured a Victorian furniture collection which was not at all comfortable, but the bed was decent and the screened porch had wicker chairs more conducive to relaxing with the twilight birdsong.
I'm sure we won't have exhausted the opportunities for pilgrimage and exploration in this region before I move back to California, but we're doing our best!