Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Raising a Florida Native

That last post got me thinking of some of the other do's and don'ts when it comes to raising a Florida Native. So I made a list. Feel free to share additional list items. Gotta make sure I cover everthing. 


  • When they can begin eating solid food, be sure to introduce the following Southern staples: grits, boiled peanuts, chicken and dumplings, pecan pie and key lime pie, tomatoes (fried or otherwise), hush puppies, greens (turnip or collard), homemade biscuits and cornbread, fried okra, watermelon, fresh picked wild blackberries, clam chowder, fried shrimp and fish.
  • Help them learn to identify good snakes from bad snakes. We’ve got both.
  • Once they move beyond mother’s milk, put Sweet Tea in the sippy cups.
  • Teach them to fish with worms, bait fish (caught with a cast net) and to catch crabs using a chicken neck tied with a string. You know the old saying, “If you give a man a fish . . .”
  • Introduce to their vocabulary our Southern sayings such as fixin’, over yonder, ya’ll, and might could.
  • Teach them to swim as soon as they can crawl. Florida’s full of swimming holes, backyard pools, retention ponds, beaches, rivers, lakes, streams and ponds.
  • Teach them to expect there to be alligators and/or snakes in every body of water bigger than a rain puddle.



  • Let them out without sunscreen. Our generation of Florida natives survived without sunscreen for a while . . . now we’re paying.
  • Expect them to wear shoes. Might as well get used to the hot summer sidewalks now.
  • Let Pappaw teach them his own favorite Southern vernacular as it will probably offend.
  • Let them grow up without an appreciation for the wildlife, flora and fauna
  • Neglect to explore all that real Florida has to offer, rivers, forests, beaches, swamps, farms, historic sites, trails, springs
  • Ride with the car windows up all the time. Florida was made for riding along the highway with the wind whipping through the car.


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