Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sweet Home Alabama

We live in the south, in Enterprise, Alabama. It's a small military town in lower Alabama (or LA as the northerners like to put it). We are right next to Ft. Rucker, the home of army aviation, so we get this wonderful mix of local culture and the transient aspects of a military town.

Being a helicopter pilot is the norm around here. Young guys and families will come here for their military Helicopter flight training. They start out in the TH-67 (military version of the Bell 206), which is what Ben flew/will fly with them. Then they move on to fly either Blackhawks or Chinooks (said like "shin-book" without the "b"). We actually live right under the Blackhawk training path so they fly over all the time. Occasionally we get to see the Chinooks overhead too which I think look so cool.

 After these pilots are gone for a few years, they often come back for re-currency training, which makes it fun to see the lives of so many friends interweave and reunite. A lot of them, when they leave the military, retire here with civilian jobs, so we get the transient as well as the planted roots feel. 
Enterprise is a unique little place. The town honors the boll weevil.... So gross! It's this tiny bug that eats cotton. Roads are named after it, songs are sung and there's even a statue of one in the middle of town. I was really confused until I learned the back story, and now I admire the humility of the town because of it. You can read all about it HERE but basically, the boll weevil came in, ruined the cotton crops and forced the farmers to switch to planting peanuts, which did VERY well and saved the economy. Kind of sweet, and creepy, all at the same time ;) 

Photo from Wikipedia

So, thanks to the Boll Weevil, this area became the Peanut Capitol of the World. Sessions peanut plant is downtown and on the warm spring nights, if you drive down main it smells deliciously of roasted peanuts. At the farmers market on a Saturday morning you can buy cups of freshly boiled peanuts... a flavor all it's own, which I kind of like ;)

Enterprise may be small, but you can't beat the close location to the Beach! Less than a  2 hour drive and you're in Panama City Beach or Destin, Florida. Clear blue water, white sand, and perfect for kids. We have loved our overnight or day trips down there where we can swim and see stingrays and collect shells. I'm still trying to figure out the tricks to leaving the sand at the beach where it belongs and NOT all through my car and house :)

The south has a culture all it's own... The accents are so sweet and the manners so friendly. At school the kids are required to respond to their teachers with "Yes Sir" and "Yes Ma'am" and I love it when my friends children refer to me as "Miss Angela".

And it wouldn't be a complete post about Alabama if I didn't mention football. Oh my goodness, I thought the BYU vs Utah rivalry was bad but this is crazy. Even before we moved here we were told we needed to pick sides: Alabama or Auburn. They each have their own slogans... Alabama is "Roll Tide" and Auburn is "War Eagle". One day at the store someone said "roll tide" and then I heard echos throughout the store... High voices, low voices, all repeating "roll tide". So hilarious! After last years game if we have to pick, we're rooting for Auburn... because as my brother said, it's better to be lucky than good ;)

Image from http://www.oddsshark.com

I hope you've enjoyed a slice of our part of the south and if you wanna check it out for yourselves, our doors are open. Bye y'all, and remember, Jesus loves you!

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