The first person who ever read and commented on any of my blogs that I didn't actually know in person, was Indigo Bunting. No, not her real name. She read my 32/365 blog, in which I wrote 32 words a day, for a year, about a person in my life. I was 32 at the time. This year I will turn 42. So it's been a long time to know someone I don't really know. She is, with Mali (another early reader I don't know in real life), my most consistent commenters still to this day.
I have been remiss in my duties as blog reader, across the board. Some blame Facebook. I do too. And my job. I have a job that sucks a lot of my free brain space away. But I went over to Route 153 the other day and found Indigo Bunting hard at work, cataloging all the states she has visited.
Oh my goodness that is my sort of project. Geography, writing, memories, lists. Boom.
She worked in alphabetical order. Seems sensible, and it won't leave me wondering which state I forgot when I get to 49 and I'm stumped. So I'm totally stealing her project. Which is what bloggers do. Right now.
Alabama is crossing through into Phenix City from Georgia in a station wagon with my mother, all my siblings and our cat, following my dad in the U-haul dragging the Triumph Spitfire behind, heading to Texas. Heading to freedom.
Alabama is a space and rocket museum and Bixby correcting the tour guide. Correcting the tour guide. Listen people: he corrected the tour guide in front of other people. And he was right and would not it go and she was embarrassed. And it was mortifying. And then I did it to him later in a cave tour in Colorado and realized that when you know something is false, and is being spread as truth by someone with an official looking outfit on and a nametag, you just can't smile and nod. That's not who we are.
Alabama is visiting friends of Bix's after the museum, eating jalapeno jelly for the first time and asking for that recipe.
Alabama is being told that polite people do not ask for recipes.
Alabama is getting ready to leave the hotel and waiting in the 15 passenger van listening to my friend, the Other Mary, talk about how she now has seen all of our underwear, wondering if the same was true for me, and then watching as Thad walks out of the hotel carrying a stolen towel, stuffing it in his bag. Because, umm, there's no reason I can come up with that makes sense.
Alabama is giving everyone southern names on the way home. Matt became Cooper. I think I might have been Daisy Sue. Maybe it was Daisy Mae.
Have I been to Alabama? I most certainly have.