In the South, we’ve had “peeps” for centuries---our People---those who came before, those who are kin, those who define us and care about us and love us and put up with us through thick and thin---they are the rocks and the concrete we’ve built our history on.
On first meetings, we don’t ask about your family---the boldest ask who your PEOPLE are---who they’re descended from, where they settled, and are your Jamisons kin to the Jamisons in Lauderdale County?
At a gathering, a stranger may be eyed for a bit, with a hushed word amongst the older ladies---Not so much “She’s FROM Georgia,” but in the vein of “I think her people are mostly in Georgia.”
Or, “I can vouch that she comes from lovely people,” alongside, “His people are known to be on the trashy side.” Or “Her people won’t have a THING to do with her since . . .”
Of course, a dowager will raise herself to her full height and pronounce, “MY FAMILY is from xxxx,” living for the name and the provenance, but still she’ll wonder about other folks’ people.
We have quite a few of our own People, the generations before mostly delineated in all the Family Forest posts last year. And they're not all of our lineage; our bloodline people are firmly THERE on the tree, but the Heart-People, the acquired people, the people of marriages and friendships and little children born not of our blood, but of our hearts. Five of the GRANDS that I talk about are technically "steps" to me, and three to Chris,---but that's not a part of our thinking or of our vocabulary.
We're just Family, all together, and that's the way it's always been---these seven little pieces of our hearts out there walking around---and I cannot think of them except as OURS.
And friends---several deep friendships make those folks our People, as well, lived tried and true through childhoods, through milestones and through good solid times together. Today, we're going to meet two of those friends---we'll spend the weekend talking and walking the Fair, having a picnic, going out to dinner, watching one of their own compete in the hardest athletic competition there is. And we're all proud of him.
We DO need People. We're born to some; others are born to us. The ones who choose us---well, that's just the best Lagniappe in Life that there is.