God Bless And Roll Tide!
Editor's Note: At the onset of Fall and football season, this blog post has become a tradition for me. I have shared it numerous times across various venues. The post was originally shared with 47,000 contestants during a Transformation Contest sponsored by the "Early To Rise" organization in 2013. To my amazement, people all over the world began to "speak" a southern dialect! Perhaps their accents varied just a bit from my slow "southern drawl," but the message was universal - "Roll Tide!" became our daily greeting and often our rally cry throughout the contest. My family had grown from loved ones down South to brothers and sisters all over the globe! Gotta love it y'all!!!
Yesterday was a perfect spring day here in the South. The sun cascaded through the dogwood tree in my front yard causing each bloom to glisten like snowflakes. The wind was gently blowing through my back porch and everything seemed to be coming to life again. But... when I woke up today, spring had disappeared! Such is life in the South. We can experience all four seasons in the span of twenty-four hours. Yesterday I was sporting my "Daisy Dukes" around the house and today bundled up in my winter casual like it was football season or something. Speaking of football, I truly wish college football was a year round sport. Those of you who have read my previous posts will remember what a football fan I am. I think I would be tarred and feathered if I wasn’t. Just because I am a sassy southern belle does not mean I can’t enjoy a good game of football. Every southern lady knows how to cheer for her team with femininity, style and class. You have watched “The Blind Side” haven’t you? I had a fella tell me recently that he thought there was something quite attractive about a woman in a ball cap. (Well actually he said “sexy” but my southern decorum won’t allow me to say that out loud.) He said it just did something for him. Go figure. All the time and money we spend on our long, big and beautiful hair to look fabulous only to find out that a ball cap was the way to attract a man! Well no matter… women down South dress fit to kill, style our hair, and manicure our nails for other women anyway, not the men! No southern woman would be caught dead in the beauty salon without freshly washed and styled hair with every strand perfectly in place. And God forbid that we get a manicure on unpolished nails! Goodness I digressed a bit didn’t I? About football… we do love cheering for our college teams. You see, I am from Alabama and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how much we Alabamians love college football!
No matter which team you pick in Alabama you really can’t go wrong. When you do choose however, be ready to draw that proverbial line in the sand because our two opposing teams feud with each other like the Hatfields and the McCoys. As for me, I come from a long line of Crimson Tide fans. There is no doubt that Bear Bryant and Nick Saban surely have a special place reserved in all eternity right along side Peter and John. One of my friends Billie reminds me of how sacred our football allegiance is. Should you call her and reach her answering machine this is what you will hear at the end of her message… “God bless and Roooll Tide!” Roll Tide – do you know what that means? Well for us southerners it is as universal as “amen” or such the like. As a matter of fact, “Roll Tide” is learned before “Mama or Daddy” ever crosses a baby’s lips. Yes, it is an all encompassing phrase. It can mean “hello,” “how are you?” “what’s up?” “good job,” “better luck next time,” “bye-bye,” “I’m sorry,” “you are mighty fine little lady,” “excuse me,” “thank you,” “have a great day,” and even “I love you!”
Last week I had a “Roll Tide” moment without a doubt. I drove my son's car to work as mine was a little low on oil and needed an oil change. I have to be at work at 6:00 a.m. so when I leave it is still very dark! I tend to have just a bit of Richard Petty in me in the mornings. About two thirds of my way there, I came to a stop light. My headlights were beaming, and what did I see? Steam twirling in the light beams! Steam coming from my engine! (Well my son's engine since it was his car I drove to save my engine until the oil was changed.) I looked at the temperature gauge and it was "redlining" with a capital H! I managed to get to work. Some of the guys were heading into the shop. "Hun what in the world is goin' on this morning?" These guys are tractor drivers, mechanics and southern "alpha males" and they are asking me what is wrong with my car? "You are the guys and I am a girl that knows nothing about cars so you tell me." So they proceeded to say the radiator was probably hot. It didn’t take a college degree to figure that one out with all the steam bellowing out the top! Later, my boss came out and checked the car and sure enough it was the radiator. He filled it up with water and showed me where there was a small leak as the steam bubbled out. I managed to make it home without the car running hot again. But, I had to get MY car to the shop to have the oil changed. Now mind you, it was 4:15 p.m. and I had to be at my parent's house for dinner at 6:30 p.m. There were five cars in front of me! I handed over the keys and called my son to have him pick me up in our other wounded car. I sat and waited in the front lobby. What I didn't tell you is that I was at the WalMart Superstore Tire and Oil Center. WalMart is quite the place in the South. You never know what you might see! This day the most interesting scene was probably me. I had committed the unpardonable sin of southern women. I went to the store in jeans, my Roll Tide t-shirt, jacket and a ball cap! Thank the good Lord I didn’t see a soul I knew. You see, I had slept just a bit late that morning and was in a bit of a tizzy getting out the door for work. It is shameful to admit, but I just didn't have time to get all "beautiful" before leaving for work. I really had broken the first cardinal rule of the southern women’s handbook. Well anyway, there I was, sitting on a bench in the front lobby of WalMart waiting for my son to pick me up. My car was stuck in the mechanic's bay, my son’s car was running on a "wing and a prayer" and we had to be at dinner in two hours! Needless to say, I was frazzled and my head was splitting. Have you ever had one of those days? The universe must’ve felt my pain because a man walked in and as he passed by the bench he spoke two soothing familiar words to me… “ROLL TIDE!” That moment, it meant, “cheer up little lady, it’s gonna be okay and by the way, you look FINE!” All was right with the world again. Later I picked up my car, headed to dinner and enjoyed much needed laughter with my family. Sometimes it only takes a moment - a smile, a few words, a hug or a handshake that can make or break a person’s day. So if you are having one of “those days” like I had last week, smile! It’s going to be okay… God bless and ROLL TIDE! Love y'all…