A friend of mine lovingly asked me to rethink a recent post and the possible read that it might provide someone. She challenged me to analyze my own actions, behaviors, mindsets, and preconceived notions about the south. She kindly pointed out some cultural differences that I may not be appreciating, and those that I may perhaps be overstating. The end of our discussion left me with a genuine appreciation of my friend, and the knowledge, that I have not gone far enough to extol the kindnesses that have been levied upon my by the wonderful people of the south. This post hopes to amend that oversight, and give thanks and praise to the many wonderful people that I have met.

Wendy-Sue is the dog of Ken the plumber. She has a heart as big as he does. Ken went out of his way to not only spend the morning allowing me to draw his dog and drink coffee with him, he also gave me a ride and other kindnesses for my trip.

I love that in this photo, Wendy-Sue is giving him a big ‘ole kiss, and Ken is just fine with it.

There was also Derek the pastor/waiter who allowed me to spend the afternoon painting out of the heat, and was kind enough to take a painting of his workplace.

There was Potia who thought the flowers I was painting were pretty, so I gave them to her.

Cecilia is amazing. She does about 6 peoples jobs, and gets paid about a 1/6th of what she is worth, but she doesn’t care, she has her dream job. She coordinates for low income families, provides them housing, food, and has nearly single handedly developed two charter schools for inner city kids to grow from a population of 6 to over 700.

Michael works for Cecilia, caring for and maintaing the buildings occupied by the families who need them. He says that he tries to renovate, fix, and refurbish every apartment as fast as he can when tenants move out. The thought of a kid sleeping another night on the street isn’t bearable for him.

LaShawn, with her sons Even and Jonathan, were attending the conference with with LaShawn’s husband who also works for Cecilia in the maintenance department.

Milton and Trudy are the pastors of a small church in Jeffersonville. Their church maybe small, but their generosity and hearts are huge. When I asked if I could use the hose to “freshen up” a bit, Milton said use all the water you want. Then he caught himself and they took me inside, and insisted that I use the shower in the church. In addition, they waited around for me to finish, as they were already leaving when I arrived. Very kind people.

Sherif Ron did his best to help me locate some wifi in town.

Kimberley works as a liaison for the University of Georgia in one of its extension offices. There she not only help kids coordinate with the university, but also helps kids foster ideas about what they can study from an early age. She partners with 4-H (which I didn’t know meant heart, hands, head, and health) and exposes kids to science, agriculture, environmental science, and conservation. For this next weekend she is organizing a trip to the landfill for a group of children to study the effects of our global waste problem. Kimberley was kind enough to allow me to charge my phone in her office, and draw some princesses and mermaids for her daughters.

Mindy was kind enough to cut my hair for free. She loves being a beautician. She started when she was three always helping her grandmother do other people’s hair. While other children were out playing Barbies, she was always doing her girlfriends’ hair. She was very kind to me and thought about my every need. She didn’t want me to run and get all sweaty with cut hair creeping down my neck, so she gave me a hair wash too. (Or maybe I just stank šŸ˜‰

Without a doubt people in the south are very very kind. They have bent over backwards to help me in many instances. And, they have allowed me to love on them back.