I feel a bit guilty, it has been nearly two weeks since I left my dear state of IL, and I haven’t written a single blog post about it yet. So perhaps today that will change.
The highlights of my trip so far? Last Friday we went to Savannah, the first time I had visited my namesake town. I don’t know if that means I was named after the city, or the city was named after me, but neither are correct. I’m disappointed in my parents for one thing: It is hard to come down here to the South with a name like Savannah and have to answer, when people ask if I was named after Savannah GA, “no, actually, my parents just happened to like that name.” It seems difficult for people to understand that there is no real significance behind my name. I’m tempted to just think up a great story about it (my parents met one day under the moss of a live oak, in the heart of Savannah, or my grandparents were stalwart citizens of Savannah and I was named in honor of their heritage, or…) but I’ll try to content myself with the dull truth. Anyways, we went to Savannah last Friday. First off we had lunch at the Pirates’ House which was very interesting. I had my second crab cake there, very delicious. While I have trouble with oysters and shrimp, there is no problem adjusting to crab cakes. After lunch we visited River Street, and I have two things to say about it: 1) River Street was hot and 2) River Street was HOT. If I was going to be poetic, I’d say that while we traversed the ancient lanes of River Street, the faint breeze of cool air escaping from the quaint shops was like a breeze from heaven. But it was very fun, and I bought a Savannah t-shirt, to make sure I fit in with the tourists.
After we were thoroughly exhausted from River Street we went to the place that had been the motivation for this trip, Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home. Why Flannery O’Connor? Well, most of the people I like to read are 1) over 200 years old and 2) residents of Europe. So it is a little rare for me to be familiar with and enjoy (enjoy is not quite the right word for reading O’Connor’s books, but the closest I can think of right now) an American author who isn’t all that old. I mean, she is dead, sadly, but she could have been alive. She died at the age of 39 in 1964, so if you want to do the math (I’d rather not) you would find that it is possible that she could be alive now, unlike Charles Dickens or Jane Austen. So her life feels much closer and is something I can relate to better. About her writings…I’m not sure how much her strong Catholic background influenced her stories. I think the religious theme of the books are more general, something that all Christians can identify with, when someone encounters their own ugly and deep sinfulness, when a person must face the reality of God, etc…So while she was Catholic, I think her writings can be appreciated, in a religious sense, by all Christians. From the literary standpoint, she was a very talented writer. She was a master of the short story. Her characters are ones that you will not soon forget. The images and events of her stories can almost haunt your life, so if you are faint of heart, I don’t suggest reading O’Connor. But her realism and sharp style of writing is interesting juxtaposed with the more traditional theme of Christianity.
When we finished touring the house we were ready to hit the beach. I have never been to a beach (unless it was before I knew it) and so this was a new experience. I liked the waves and the scope of the ocean. I liked the constant motion, the sun, and the sand. But I did not like saltwater in my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. I did like seeing fish jump out of the water. I didn’t like feeling seaweed around my legs because I hoped it was seaweed–I didn’t really know what it was. If I had known for certain that it was seaweed tangled around my feet, that would be one thing, but feeling it and hoping that it is seaweed but never knowing for sure is another thing. I also did not like going home wet, cold, and sticky. Memo to the Tybee Island People/Government/Persons-in-Charge: A little water nozzle about 2 feet off the ground set in the middle of the sand is not a shower. It basically cleans your feet off, but then you have to walk through the sand with wet feet and they get dirty again. I would suggest you take a hint from the Jekyll Island beach and their multiple shower that were actually high enough to stand under and set in the concrete, not sand.
Anyways, we had a great day in Savannah, and I look forward to going back! 🙂