Country Fever.

Today, I traveled 45 minutes for just an hour and a half spent with an old friend, Joe (Muggs), and fashion magazines. I’ve officially hit small town fever.

Last weekend I made the much longer than expected trek home to Charleston, where I alternately wallowed and went out. I think this was the start of my fever, realizing all of the things that I’m going without. Of course there’s the obvious comforts of my own home, my family, and my cat to forgo. There’s the landscape, like palmetto trees and sandy seas, things I knew I’d be missing. But then there are the subtler things, the things that hint, not scream, you wish you could take me.

Like a gourmet grocery store. Even if I can’t afford the majority of the goods to be found there, it’s a guilty pleasure to run wide-eyed between the aisles, ogling ingredients and wishing I could. Or like the ability to go out with the loves of your life (aka your high school best friends), eat at a locally owned restaurant (where entrees aren’t fried and are priced above single digits), wander the salt-soaked streets, teeming with tourists and true-bloods, and wind up on a market-side terrace, gleaming with twinkle lights, to sit down to a table smelling of hookah—your conversation and smoke simultaneously filling the air. And that’s it—the thing that will haunt me the most: the ability to sit down and talk about nothing, which, when you think about it, is really talking about everything, and that sense of understanding, the only kind that can lead to quick-witted response, finishing of sentences, and boatloads of laughter.

That night I also met up with my most stylish of men-friends, who refused calling me anything but Gaga all evening, and sported a homemade set of cut-off chords—the first I’ve ever seen. Nic, you’ve got all my respect for your pioneering the boundaries of etiquette in shorts.

Of course, when Saturday night turned all-too-quickly to Sunday morning, father’s day was fabulous. After a sweet service at Redeemer, it was great to prepare and eat food with the family—there’s something restorative in the ritual. The man of the hour got a mind-blowing meal of sweet onion pie & steak (coincidentally, a favorite of my own. Yesss.) with fruit cake for dessert (from me, from Koinonia farms [I KNOW I still need to post my findings from that place], but this time not a shared favorite). Then we romped in his garden & he introduced me to some newfound friends, a couple of chickens my parents just added to their collection. Dear me.

But all goes well in sweet Georgia, cheri. I think I’m going to make it. It’s all in the little things, like finding out that ab-crunching laughter with new friends over a board game in an unfamiliar apartment can be just about as satisfying as the eye-watering type you share at cafes with your old friends. And cooking your own gourmet food is just about as good as breaking the bank to have it done for you. And when your dad isn’t around to make fun of the length of your dress or count the number of likes you use in a sentence, there’s always your heavenly father to spend time getting know.