"Sweet tea is a form of iced tea in which sugar or some other form of sweetener is added to the hot water before brewing, while brewing the tea, or post-brewing, but before the beverage is chilled and served. This especially sweet variation of tea enjoys most of its popularity in the Southern United States, though bottled iced teas labeled "Southern Style" or "Extra-sweet Southern Style" appear in refrigerated cases throughout the country." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_tea
(May include up to a cup of sugar)
Last night around 9pm, we drove over the Mississippi river, leaving Memphis TN and into Arkansas, with Johnny Cash and Hank Williams playing in the background. I do not know how to describe the last week. I will not speak of the south in the same way that I used to. We drove into Knoxville TN the day after the shooting at the UU church. We got the message from a friend literally minutes before we arrived. Within the last four days we have probably spent 10 hours at various Civil Rights institutes and meeting centers. We have shared meals with people who's homes were bombed by the KKK, who marched along side MLK Jr., who were given awards for their dedication to the cause of justice. I have read over more names and dates in the last few days than I can remember. I do not know how to describe the statues, the pictures, the words. I do now know if our country will do it again. I question my role. For a moment, I thought that I might move to Birmingham AL.
At 8 this morning we attended the Southern Baptist church of Jonesboro, AR with Nichole's great, great aunt in-law. Being that we went to her Sunday school with a group of eleven other 80 year old widows, I refrained from responding to statements such as "it's important for you young ladies to find husbands who have been saved." When she asked us what we thought of the service, we said we disagreed with some things but kept our answers brief. While previous events from the week put me in a fairly radical mindset, these people did not seem to need their foundations pulled out from under them.
The day progressed in what we have discovered to truly be a slow southern way. She took us out for Sunday brunch at the world famous Cracker Barrel. The eggs had cheese. The hash browns had cheese. The grits were gritty and people were asking for more sweetener for their tea. Needless to say I downed a few cups of water. And then I slept . . .for almost four hours.
There are numerous other things that happened in and around what I have written about. Nashville, Beale st. in Memphis, the way it feels to drive in the south at night, Mississippi!
To end this entry, I would like to quote a children's book Nichole just came across. "I'd really like to pet them all and cuddle them and more."-Safari Fun: a Pop-up Story Book