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I was born and raised in Georgia.  I’m the proud product of the many varied colorful influences that one can only benefit from if they were immersed in our unique and at times ludicrous way of life here in the South.  As most will say of the place they call home, I will admit that I have always felt very fortunate to have had my personality formed with a mixture of family, friends, God and country..with a dash of bizarre thrown in for good measure.  One thing that Southerners are never accused of, is being boring.  We tend to have an unique way of looking at life.  I will also readily admit that you also have to have a healthy sense of humor and not take yourself too seriously to grow up in the South in order to be able to fully appreciate all it has to offer..from the subtle nuances and tempo of the culture to the in your face eccentricities. 

I’m a true Southern Belle raised with cotillions and crazy relatives that in many cases, had colorful pasts..bless their hearts.  We had dinner on the grounds once a month after Church on Sunday with some of the best cooking on God’s green earth.  We eat supper during the week at night instead of having dinner..BUT the meal in the middle of the day on Sunday was always called dinner.  I know the difference in pitching a fit or having a conniption.  We worship at the altar of our SEC football teams and life stops on Saturday as we follow what is happening to our beloved Alma maters (in my case, UGA..GO DAWGS!).  We eat grits and drink sweet tea. We mind our manners and still say “Yes Ma’am” and “No Sir”.  We cannot drive in snow or ice…or are smart enough to pretend not to know how to do it, so that we can have snow days or weeks off now and then.  We can literally talk the ears off a June bug.

This week a National Survey was released and conducted by Gallup in partnership with Healthways and America’s Health Insurance Plans that ranked the top areas of the country in terms of residents overall well-being.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the rest of the country will see what I have always known, the county I grew up in and still live in, is ranked second in the nation in the survey.

The survey questioned residents across the country about physical health, life evaluation, emotional health and basic access.  Here in Cobb, we scored first in the physical health category, second in life evaluation, fourth in emotional health, and 10th in basic access. 

Move over Disney World, there’s a new sheriff in town.  Who knew we were already living day to day in the new “Happiest Place on Earth”??  All this time we’ve been spending our vacation money (mortgaging our firstborn in some cases) and risking our sanity to go visit the Big Mouse so that we could immerse ourselves in happiness on the E-ticket rides.  If we had ONLY realized we could have stayed home and avoided the crowds!!

So, the message for today is…don’t worry, be HAPPY!! 

It appears I’m in better shape than I thought given the changes in the world and economic climate and all the accompanying challenges.

Who knew?  (besides us, of course)

There’s no place like home.

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