Even though I was mostly raised in the "north", at the time of my birth, my mom was living and working in Richmond, Virginia. After the war ended and Dad was discharged, we moved north where the family farm was. I always wished that our farm had been located there in Virginia or south of there because I'm not a fan of snow or cold.
I have always loved things "south". I love how they talk (I lost my southern accent after a few years living in the north), I love their recipes and I love their hospitality. In particular, there is nothing on the face of the earth more charming than a "southern boy". If I was going on a blind date and I found out he was from the south.....I liked him already. I dated three southern boys before marrying one of them.
It was in the early 60's and after our marriage, we went 'south' to meet his family. They could not come up north for our wedding....it was too costly for them plus his parents weren't in the best of health. He has a sister who is 5 years younger, which made her 15 at the time. She couldn't wait to meet her new sister-in-law (me). I will never forget when I met the family. They were very nice to me and used that grand southern hospitality to make me feel very welcome. Then his sister had a couple of her girlfriends come over to meet me....they were also 15. It really threw me when the one little wench threw up her hands and declared....."I just can't believe that JR married a YANKEE". (they are big on using initials for names down there). She said it like it left a bad taste in her mouth....but then chattered on about how much she loved my hair. It was an awkward moment and I experienced discrimination for the first time in my life. Oh I could have been mean and come back with a nasty remark.....but why and besides, I wasn't that kind of person. Here it had been 100 years since the Civil War and it made me wonder if all that hatred is still being secretly nourished and encouraged to grow. She was probably listening to bitterness from her grandparents. We have enough problems in this nation....so I hope those feuds have been put to rest. I love the south and her people.
And thinking about it, years later, it dawned on me.....I wasn't a Yankee.....I was born in what used to be a Confederate State. Besides..........being a Yankee.....is that such a bad thing now. Especially for those of us who weren't even alive during the 'war'.