Meet our new friend Christa! Christa is the winner of our "Share Your Story" campaign. Not only did we hear Christa's story, but we also had the opportunity to get to know her a little more through conversation! We hope you'll take the time to find a new friend in Christa!
A native Georgian, Christa shares what simple living, southern charm means to her. Through the good times and the bad, Christa found hope living in a small town. She believes that family, friends, traditions and manners are a must. We hope you enjoy a look into Christa's life as she shares her story with you.
I married at 18 and moved to Ivey, Georgia with my husband. At 19 I lost my father. My first son CJ was born at 20. At 22 I started Nursing School at Middle Georgia College and in 1995 I graduated. I lost my step-mother during college and started to flounder.
During my last semester of college I found myself divorced with a 3 year old son. I soon moved to Cochran, Georgia to be between both my mother and my father's family. I found a job and settled in. In 1998 my son had a stroke and once again I began to flounder. This time my family was there to catch me when I fell.
In March 2001 I met the man of my dreams. I was working a booth at the Cherry Blossom Street Dance to raise money for charity. Little did he know what he was in for.
My husband Michael was a military brat that traveled the world, but had never lived in the country! A year into dating he told me he wasn’t sure he was cut out for country living. A little later a friend invited him hog hunting. HE WAS HOOKED! That July he proposed. That year he got his first four wheel drive. In January 2003 we were married . By the end of that year our son Tanner was born.
My husband has become the poster boy for Country Living. He has taught our boys to become gentlemen. He taught them to hunt, fish and play in the mud.
Although my story may be a little about coming home, it is also about making a true Southern home and bring a loving husband home, only to convert him into a true Southern Gentleman.
Small town living is all about friends, family and neighbors taking care of neighbors. Shortly before marrying my husband I went to work for a Home Health Agency in my area. After my son was born he faced kidney surgery. Not only did friends and family become a support system, but I had the families of my patients that were just as eager to make sure our Tanner got better.
What about "Southern Living" appeals to you? To your husband?
To me true "Southern Living " is based on tradition. It is about family, friends and sharing memories form generation to generation. It is about keeping our heritage alive in the form of our beautiful old cities, our graceful old homes and some of our timeless recipes passed down from generation to generation.
My husband has come to think of it as open spaces, beautiful weather, hunting, fishing and tailgating. Cookouts and bonfires, time with family, friends, coworkers.
What do you think the definition of a "Southern Gentleman" is? And how has that been influential in raising your boys?
A true Southern Gentleman knows respect for their elders. They always use ma'am and sir. They are comfortable in the woods, at the ball field, at church or even dressed up for any occasion. They treat all ladies with respect.
My husband has been instrumental in raising our boys. He taught them the importance of work ethics. To always look out for your family and friends. That you should treat every young lady like they would want their Mama to be treated. He led by example. He works in the satellite industry and is constantly going on "off hours" to help elderly in the community with TV issues so they do not have to pay someone to fix it. He often takes one of the boys with him to encourage giving back.
How do you incorporate "Southern Style" in your own life?
I love all things Southern. I especially love things from or about Georgia. I love pink Wedgewood Historical Plates. I like local artists Marcia Manning and Butler Brown. They are both local as well as nationally recognized. I love my Magnolia tree. We love visiting the beach near St. Marys where my brother lives. We love tailgating, watching our kids play ball and dinners with family.
What keeps you coming back to The Southern Mercantile blogs?
Recipes, new ideas, new products and loads of design ideas...