Two things I learned about after I moved to Arkansas: chocolate gravy and moving the plants inside.
I came to the Natural State in 2000 after living several years in each of the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. In none of these places did I ever even hear of chocolate gravy, never mind experience the great popularity it enjoys in Arkansas. I quickly learned that it is an important part of any big country breakfast . . . or just as wonderful when served for brunch or “breakfast for dinner.”
A couple of weeks ago a co-worker brought us biscuits and chocolate gravy that was the best I’ve tasted so far. I thought, “Boy, this would sure taste good on ice cream.” It’s amazing to me that as popular as this food item is, I have never seen it on any restaurant menu.
I hadn’t been in Arkansas long when I noticed the energy around the moving of the plants indoors. This also was something new to me. That’s probably because any house plant put outside in Texas has to be hardy enough to withstand 117 degree heat in the summer. In Oklahoma, any porch plant must be in a 50 pound planter or the wind will blow it off into the neighbor’s yard. Tennessee has similar weather patterns to Arkansas and I’m sure there are people who allow their plants to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. But, in Tennessee, bringing the plants back inside is not such a major event — or topic of conversation and concern. Along with freeze warnings, Little Rock weathermen remind us that it’s time to bring in the plants.
One of my first Arkansas friends had many plants that stayed outdoors during the warm months but needed protection indoors when winter approached. In fact she had so many that she didn’t have room for all of them in her house. Some of them were of generous size. They would appear for a season in her office at work, in a bare corner of the church, or fostered out to friends. Bless her heart, she’s in heaven now, where the weather is perfect all year round.
As much as I am at home in Arkansas, I haven’t yet learned to make chocolate gravy. And, I’m so grateful when a plant survives my care that I have never subjected one to the trauma of relocating.
But just because it’s not for me doesn’t mean I don’t wish for you a sumptuous breakfast and just the right spot for your outdoor/indoor tree.