The Heart of Dixie

Southern Alabama: Dothan, Enterprise, Fort Rucker, and Eufaula.

When my husband told me we were moving to southern Alabama, the first thing I did was pull up a map to see exactly where this small town was located and how far away the nearest Hobby Lobby and Homegoods would be. I had to zoom in a couple times to find this tiny town which made me wonder how this Sooner fan and Texas native would fit in.

The minute we crossed the Alabama state line we were welcomed by a giant water tower that looked like a peach, a proudly flying Confederate Flag (it’s part of the history here and people don’t want it to be forgotten), and little white churches with storybook steeples sprinkled throughout each and every small town.

church in Alabama

The movie, ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ starring Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas, is a fairly accurate portrayal of the Alabama I have come to know. In fact, Melanie’s hometown in the movie was filmed in Eufaula, AL. From the gorgeous historic homes, thick accents, and small-town feel, Hollywood got this one right.

Just north of Eufaula, AL is the famous Chattahoochee river, Alan Jackson sang about. I remember riding around in my dad’s truck as a little girl singing about those muddy waters, so naturally we had to pay the Chattahoochee a visit. This river is quite literally the line in the sand between Georgia and Alabama.

What southern Alabama lacks in high-end boutiques or fine dining, it makes up for in flea markets and antique malls. Could you believe I have yet to visit them all!? If you are in to local, mom-and-pop restaurants, southern Alabama is your place. Just about every restaurant is locally owned, minus BOJANGLES, Alabama’s staple fast food.

I was apprehensive about moving to Alabama, especially about living on a military post, but every day I am reminded of what a gift it is! For starters, I couldn’t feel safer living in the armed, gated community that is a military base. And it’s refreshing to know everyone here has been temporarily uprooted for a common cause. No one has everything figured out, nor do we wives understand all the acronyms and terminology, but everyone is genuinely willing to welcome you into their lives. Friends feel like family in a matter of weeks! Ask someone what they think of living in southern Alabama and you will likely hear…

“It grows on ya, but the people here are AMAZING!”

I love how the community on Post is arranged in small clusters of neighborhoods, all connected by winding sidewalks. It’s effortless to meet your neighbors and common to bump into friends on a morning walk or grocery shopping at the Commissary! It’s also not a rarity to see kids playing together outside. Bike rides, trampolines, slip ‘n slides, and jungle gyms are an afterschool must. I imagine this is the childhood my parents remember. Thus far, my experience living in a military community is a picturesque example of how the Bible describes the early Church in Acts.

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…”

ACTS 2:44-46

Buddy has made some good friends here, too. He has most certainly gotten spoiled on his morning walks through the wooded trails and plunging into lakes aplenty.

My favorite part, thus far, is the drive onto Post. No matter what small errand I run, I am always welcomed home by the guard at the gate, “Above the best,” and a winding scenic road reminds me of why we moved here. Pine trees on the right, Blackhawks on the left. The bristly branches dance to the rhythm of the whirling rotor blades. Delicate needles and mighty machines, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road.

military boots
As dirty as they might be, I am always happy to see these boots by the door because it means everyone is home : )

There is much Southern pride here in the ‘Land of Cotton,’ and I am starting to see why. I have yet to explore the Northern big cities and Southern coastal towns, but as for the few months we have been here, this is quickly becoming our home.

*If you have a ‘bama recommendation, drop it in the comments below : )



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