img_3870I’m gonna talk southern to you a minute before I get carried away here… Southerners will do or say almost anything rather than say ‘goodbye’. Do I hear a sigh of relief? Not so fast there, I’m not going anywhere, I’m just trying to tell you something you might not know. A lot of us, okay, most of us, have a superstitious streak and saying goodbye is just one of those unlucky things we try to avoid. For instance, I always end these missives with ‘Love y’all’ because it seems nicer than saying – ‘That’s all she wrote.‘ Though we do say that when it’s appropriate. Many of us say at the end of conversations- ‘Take care of yourself.’ Isn’t that a nice way to say goodbye? And that’s not all, southerners say- ‘Y’all come back now’ even if we hope you won’t- at least not very soon or for very long; it’s just the nicest thing we can think of, when you’re leaving. We also prolong the actual farewell… We do it by walking you to the door, on out to the car, truck or tractor, then we stand outside waving until you’re out of sight. (Even if you live less than a mile away.)

Southerners tend to drag out the process of letting you go… Uncle Grady, who wasn’t a big talker said, whenever anyone was leaving- (the long lost relative or his next door neighbor) Uncle Grady had this charming sing song- ‘Oh don’t go, we’ll miss you so!’ You knew it was coming…and the truth is- things just didn’t feel right when Uncle Grady wasn’t around anymore to say it. Unforgettable.

Now, don’t get me started on funerals. Let’s just say, we have an aversion to saying… ‘he died.’ No, instead we say – ‘she passed away.‘ or ‘we lost him.’‘now that Grandmama’s gone.’ Or… ‘Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Daddy left us?.’ It’s confusing, though please don’t ask ‘where did you lose him? or why did he leave? Because- these phrases, might provoke a sinking spell or worse. The phrases are just the most delicate ways of avoiding saying the actual word- ‘Death‘. There are many, maybe hundreds of ways southerners avoid saying ‘Goodbye.’ Whether going home or to the grave… It’s just so final, you know. Okay! Since that’s settled, we’ve got this Crisis going on and we don’t want you ‘falling out on us.’

So, it occurred to me while I was compiling this missive- that one of the kindest and sweetest ways we end conversations is to say… ‘Take care of yourself.‘  which is always important and never more important than now.

  • Take care of yourself.
  • It’s not selfish, it’s smart.
  • Keep your spirits up.
  • Find humor in everyday life, while taking precautions seriously.
  • Physical distancing doesn’t mean- you can’t be social in safe ways- technology, phone calls and more!
  • Our grandmothers and mothers believed in food as medicine. They said things like- ‘An Apple a Day, keeps the doctor away.’
  • It’s important to do whatever you can to build your Immunity.
  • These foods aren’t a cure, it’s an effort to strengthen your body against disease any time. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Beef– Alabama is a beef producing state. Beef is high in zinc and protein! I haven’t been able to find zinc supplements in over a month! Besides, sometimes I just want a good hamburger! Ok, maybe hold the fries!


I’m thoroughly enjoying Tuna, canned is fine just get the best variety you can… with this nice spring weather we’ve loved a tuna salad! Also high in zinc, protein and those all important- Omega 3’s!img_3830

Almonds are a wonderful source of Iron, protein, a bit of A and Zinc!

img_3829I’d have to feel like something was wrong with you if you didn’t like Sweet Potatoes! a lifelong favorite- these are high in C,E and Beta Carotene! img_3831

Yogurt is a power source, high in protein, a bit of A and Zinc! Add berries and you’ve got your Vitamin C and more!img_3828

Broccoli is a favorite here…Kale is also good. Both are immunity building foods! And let’s face it- green vegetables are just good for you! Broccoli is high in Iron and A- lightly steamed with lemon butter- I think it’s delicious! A bonus with any ‘good for you’ food!img_3832

Oysters are an acquired taste! In the sea soaked coastal cities and states, most of us love our oysters any way we can get them! We love them so much- why, even driveways are paved with them! Now, that’s a lot of  Oysters! High in protein, iron and my oh my! That wrinkle fighting collagen! (which is for another day and time!)img_3838

Red Bell Peppers and Avocadoes are wonderful sources of immunity fighters too! And of course, there’s more…img_3870

Rather than regale you with a long and boring list, which you might not even be able to find in the grocery stores… I thought I’d first talk a little southern to you… Just remember –  these aren’t Cures! Merely, foods that will help build Immunity and it can’t hurt to add them to your diet.

I would add one more way we talk southern to you- ‘Keep your spirits up.’ A good state of mind, has been proven for better outcomes during any crisis, especially a health crisis. And, that’s exactly why we’ve written in a lighthearted way. Do whatever it takes to keep your spirits up. Practice this new thing we’re calling Social Distancing, Wash your hands every chance you get, Stay at Home, Save Lives, Stop the Spread and of course ‘Take Care of Yourself, darlin’.’

Love y’all, Camellia

8 thoughts on “Take Care of Yourself…

  1. Bless your heart, darlin’. You cooked a whole mess of good advice. Reading your column makes me feel blessed to have a Tarheel mother so I can claim to be at least half southern (may more so since I was born in VA myself.)

    Liked by 1 person

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