Alabama The Beautiful

Rock Pile - TVA Reservation - The Shoals

When Mike commented, “When I think of Alabama, I think of dust, heat, and sweat...even in the winter!  I realized there are, apparently, some misconceptions about Alabama the Beautiful. 

Cane Creek Canyon - The Shoals

We do have heat.   But any Southerner knows it’s not really the heat, it’s the humidity!   At times, we are thought to be less intelligent because of our slower speech and southern accent.   It’s true that some folks in Alabama do talk funny…but that’s because they once lived in the North.   For the most part, we don’t hold it against them, though we do think some of the things they do peculiar.   For instance, they don’t wave at every car they pass on old country roads.  We southerners know it’s not only polite, but expected, that you throw up a hand or at least an index finger as you pass a car or a folks sitting out on their porches when you are in the country.

I have noticed, though, that sometimes the only finger that gets thrown up in town is….the one that “speaks,” though thankfully, that's an infrequent sight.

UNA Flowers - The Shoals

In the Beautiful Shoals, where I am blessed to live, we have lakes and rivers, streams and creeks, where we gather for picnics, bass tournaments and family outings.  In these same waters, we ski, sail, ride the waves on jet skis and wave runners, and bait the waters for trout or catfish, which we fry and eat!   We have farms and old barns, and green leafy fields dotted with white cotton or yellow corn silk.   We have tall, green trees, bright flowers and colorful birds.   Our beautiful skies are dotted with clouds that look like puffy, white bits of cotton stretching across a blue expanse making a comforting and pleasing contrast.    We have pink, purple and orange sunsets that are so brilliant, at times one feels the need to just stop and breathe in the wonder of God’s artistic masterpiece.  

Sea Gull
The Birds of Deibert Park - The Shoals
Green Heron
We have rain, and lots of it at times!   Our Augusts characterize the dog days of summer, but afterwards, we are rewarded with a brilliant array of reds and golds, and dazzled with the bright yellows of Fall!   Snow sometimes comes, usually only for a day or two, but it blankets us in stark white, glistening beauty when it makes its rare appearance. 

UNA Snow - The Shoals

Frozen Falls - Rock Pile - The Shoals

Natchez Trace - The Shoals

On southward, we have Tuscaloosa, from whence “Roll Tide” echos across the nation.    We also have Auburn (try not to hold that against us!) where “War Eagle” resounds, often as loudly as the Tide.    Further on, we have our beaches, full of sand and waves and salty breezes.

The Shoals does have crime and crooks, but our crime rate is low.   We definitely have our small town politics, and we have Shoalanda to keep us informed of all things political…and other local events, happenings, and points of interest.

Natchez Trace - The Shoals

Wilson Dam - The Shoals

Our celebrations include the Arts Alive Festival in the spring, the Spirit of Freedom fireworks that light up our skies in July; WC Handy and Helen Keller Festivals (both Handy and Keller were born in the Shoals), the Renaissance Faire and Oktoberfest in October.   We have Founder’s Day parades and picnics, car shows and inviting parks!   Florence is the home of the beautiful campus of the University of North Alabama and Lions football.   We are the Bible Belt, our avenues are lined with churches of every denomination, all of which are friendly and helpful.    We are the places, the celebrations, the people!  We are Alabama the Beautiful, and we are blessed beyond words.

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