By Nancy McMeekin
Whether you live here in Coastal Alabama or just come for a visit, you know plenty of reasons to love the area. There are no better beaches anywhere; the waterways are pristine; and the food and music are hot. But most of all I love the down-home, good as gold, how-can-I-help-you folks who live here. Folks who just never say “no” when they could say “yes.”
You’ve met them. They’re all around us. Last week, I was blessed to have five great encounters that reminded me why I love it here:
5. People love meeting new people: New to our neighborhood, my hubby and I happened to see a couple from our street at Wolf Bay Lodge. Before you could say “Nice to meet you,” these folks had invited us to join them and two other couples for one of the most fun, spontaneous gatherings ever.
4. People want to have fun with you: My hubby, The Irishman, and I play in an Irish band, and, well, St. Patrick’s week is crazy for us, like 20-hours-and-six-gigs kinda crazy. The new neighbors we had just met at Wolf Bay Lodge came to a Flora-Bama gig to hear us! And another neighbor, Fran, from our old Foley ‘hood, brought her two crazy sisters from New Orleans (hey, check the photo – you’ll see I’m not exaggerating), and a bunch of new friends to several gigs. That Fran! She’s special: she came to– count ‘em–not one, not two, but THREE of our gigs.
3. People want to feed you: I’m not done yet telling you about Fran. Although she recently recovered from knee replacement surgery, and she had to be tired from all that Irish music, she baked us a cake. Not just any cake, mind you; she created a Guinness Beer Cake, rich with chocolate and topped with white cream-cheese frosting (think of a Guinness beer with a lovely priestly collar of foam; the cake looked just like one!) Why’d she do that? Just because she thought we’d like something sweet to eat after each gig. What a friend!
2. People you don’t even know will help you: After the last of our gigs, we made the steering-wheel-gripping, Nascar-like drive down I-65 from Birmingham, pulled in our driveway and our tire went flat. After a quick prayer of thanks for good timing, we worried how to get it fixed. Next morning, while deciding what to do, The Irishman greeted a workman who had come to do something on the house, and this guy promptly grabbed his high-powered pump and inflated the tire so hubby could make it to the shop.
1. Our businesses care about customers: When hubby rolled into the auto repair shop, where Spring-breakers and snowbirds filled the waiting room, he settled in for a long wait while the tire was repaired. Within minutes, however, the hole was plugged, and the serviceman said, “Have a nice day.” The bill? Zero. Nothing. No long wait, no bill. Just “Have a nice day.”
I love where I live.