What Mississippi Does

She hugs you real tight and asks how your mama’s doin’.

She remembers the best about you, forgets the worst, and forgives even when you haven’t asked.

She shops with her mama, her sisters, her daughters and her nieces – and she’s always certain that they’ve never had more fun.

She listens.

She figures out what people you have in common even if she has to spend ten minutes asking questions about where your relatives live – and then five more minutes making a phone call to a cousin to see if the McWinns still live on 16th Avenue.

She tells you how darlin’ you are and asks where in the world you got your cute sweater.

She adores the names of her favorite small towns, places like Noxapater, D’Lo, Arcola, and Itta Bena.

She knows that grace and mercy are so much better when they’re shared.

She trusts that love is the better way.

She’s there when you get married, when you have a baby, when one of your people dies, when your kids get baptized, and when you least expect it but need it the most.

She remembers your name.

She’s well aware that the Lord gives and He takes away, and she’s at peace with that because, well, she figures that He knows best.

She rocks babies, wipes noses, ties shoelaces, and sings “This Little Light of Mine” soft and low.

She makes a killer hash brown casserole.

She studies the Bible, reads Miss Welty, watches Bravo, and connects themes from all three while you’re standing in the produce department at the Winn-Dixie.

She creates artful arrangements for her dining room table with hydrangeas, privet, and some sticks from her backyard.

She keeps her commitments.

She tells her little girl that she needs to stand up for herself as she fastens a bow the size of a dinner plate in her hair.

She celebrates the birth of her first grand baby and decides that she’d prefer to be called “Honey” or “Mimi” or “Sweetmama” from that day forward.

She keeps a secret stash of unsweetened tea in the back of the refrigerator just in case one of her guests is “off the sugar.”

She wants more for you than you could ever want for yourself.

She always welcomes you home with wide open arms.

And she asks when you’ll be back again – with a sweet smile on her face – every single time that you leave.

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  1. Well said. How I love the Deep South.

  2. Oh, Sophie, that’s beautiful and so true!

  3. These words could not BE more true! Love it.

  4. This makes me want to be a better person! Love it.

  5. And that is why you are funny, sweet, gracious, & someone whom I’d love to spend time
    with–because you are one of her lovely daughters!

  6. I am lucky to be married into a Mississippi family and these are so true!

  7. I love this!!!! I met you at mistletoe and was all star struck…probably not the only one…this is probably my favorite blog post you have ever written!

  8. I think there is a typo in the title. It should read,

    What My MawMaw Does

    Thanks for this precious reminder of the sweetest woman I ever knew!

  9. LOVE!

  10. Absolutely LOVE this.

  11. Love Love Love this!!!!! This is why I adore you Sophie and why I want to come to The Deep South!! xoxo

  12. This makes me long for a trip to our corner of Mississippi. So beautifully put, so very true. Love ya Soph!

  13. You are so gifted. Thank you for painting such beauty with your words.

  14. I’m a Louisiana girl through and through but this was precious and made me miss my sweet Mississippi aunts and cousins! Thanks for such an accurate and BEAUTIFUL description!

  15. I ADORE this!!!!!

  16. This has just replaced my previous favorite Boomama blog post as my new favorite.

    Although it’d be lengthy, I’d still love to see it in “the needlepoint” as my Nana would say. Afghan, anyone?

  17. Celeste Morris says:

    Beautiful. Made my morning! I was back to being a watchful kid in Alabama for a few minutes there.

  18. Yes, she does. And Lord please let us Southerners follow in this precious way.

  19. probably the most perfect description of our great state and her lovely women!! thank you for sharing!

  20. So “Mississippi” is code for “Ouida?” :)

  21. The same can be said for Georgia!! (although I have also lived in Mississippi and loved it too)

  22. I love this blog, I will read it often, you have a gift, thanks for sharing with us.
    May you and your family be blessed in a special way this Thanksgiving,

  23. Awww, you make me “good” cry and sometimes you just need to do that! Have a beautious day! ! !

  24. Melanie Yates says:

    Just love this! So great meeting you at Mistletoe!

  25. Love, love, love it! I lived in MS for five years and graduated high school there. I live in South Carolina now and all of these things apply here as well. What a fabulous list. Thank you!

  26. Thank you! This is beautiful and is true of my beloved Louisiana as well.

  27. Love this, Sophie! Sounds like parts of VA, too. :-)

  28. Bless our southern hearts! These are great snip-it’s of life in the South. I grew up in AR, my grandparents lived in a smaller town 20 miles away and I always introduced myself as “Margaret and Lester Cochran’s grand-daugther” and clarified with which of THEIR daughters I belonged to before finally telling them my name is Kelly.

  29. You are the BEST! Blessings to you and your sweet family!!

  30. As someone from way South Mississippi…yes she does. Beautifully written. Love this post! Thank you!

  31. Soooo beautiful!!!! Made me wish I was from the south instead of California. (I think I wish that a lot though) ; )

  32. dawn - houston tx says:

    Born and raised in North Mississippi. I moved to gigantic Houston Texas at the young age of 18. I wanted to live in a town with an elevator :) BUT this description of Mississippi makes me proud. And I saw glimpes of several people in your words. And my hope is that everyday I am passing down the lovely southern qualities to my 5 children. It’s just kindness and grace. And we all need that every day. Thank you for your words…you are so talented. GO DAWGS :)

  33. Love, love, LOVE this! Never stepped foot in Mississippi, but this is SO small town that I can relate. I GET this. I will read this to people. I will print it out and keep it. Thank you!

  34. Absolutely beautiful.

    I think the Visitors Bureau of Mississippi might need to contact you for printing permission! ;)

  35. Beautiful!
    This is the one that made me melt…
    “She studies the Bible, reads Miss Welty, watches Bravo, and connects themes from all three while you’re standing in the produce department at the Winn-Dixie.”

  36. Favorite post Ever!!!!

  37. Wow….this is written beautifully. We need more “She tells her little girl that she needs to stand up for herself as she fastens a bow the size of a dinner plate in her hair.” in the world. This makes me so proud to be a Mississippian.

  38. Love this post, Sophie!! Beautifully said!! I am a transplant to Mississippi many, many years ago and I love this state. The people are wonderful!!

  39. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Made me think of this one:

  40. Beautiful! makes me wish I was from the South!

  41. Oh this is beautiful, Sophie. Love love love.

  42. I’ll add one more: “They pen blog posts that are so insightful, sweet and true.”

    From one fellow Mississippi girl to another, thank you for reminding me of these truths.

  43. I LOVE being a Mississippi girl!

  44. Sophie, thanks for the beautiful post. I grew up in Simpson County so I know about D’Lo.
    Live in Vicksburg now. Love your book and blog.

  45. Beautiful! I’ve lived in South, Central, and North Mississippi and come to the conclusion that the customs, traditions, and dialects are a little different, but the heart is the same: Mississippi is home.

  46. Truer words have never been spoken! There’s no other place in the world like the South and I’m so glad that I’m a part of it. Love me some South and I love being a Southern Belle! Great post!

  47. Susan berry says:

    Thank you for describing our Mississippi so wonderfully!!

  48. Thanks for writing this! :)

  49. Absolutely precious!

  50. Both my husband and I are from MS and this is will be the first Thanksgiving in years that we are not going home. Thanks for writing this to help me carry a little bit of it in my heart even though we won’t be there.

  51. Love! Nailed it for Mississippi gals!

  52. Such sweet beautiful poetry!

  53. This is my absolute favorite post you have ever written. Made me miss my Mississippi Delta home. Thank you for sharing!

  54. Sounds like my tiny town in Western Arkansas. I love it. I hope to continue the in the Southern way. Thanks for writing this.

  55. We are building a house in Noxapater! Come see me :)

  56. Love this so much – this really is what Mississippi does. Perfect post!

  57. Um BooMama, there is an ad in your sidebar for some show that says “Cook your ass off” not sure if you were aware. just a little heads up for the family-friendly website :) Love your post, it’s so true!

  58. This Louisiana girl loves this list! (And hey, we’re all Mississippi Delta people, so there’s that!)

  59. So, you’ve met my family?
    Thanks for your post. It made my sweet, Mississippi mama shed a few tears

  60. This is THE VERY BEST post you’ve ever written.

    I am making plans now to visit this magical place you speak of, this place known simply as MISSISSIPPI

  61. love this!

  62. The BEST post! Perfectly describes a true Southern lady too :)

  63. This is fantastic. I absolutely love it. Smiled the whole time reading it. You rock!

  64. Oh, Sophie, this put tears in my eyes, even though I’m from Georgia ( she’d choose Miss Flannery over Miss Eudora) and have retired to Arkansas ( she’s a little rougher around the edges and is more likely to be watching the Razorback game than Bravo, and is more famous for her biscuits and gravy than hashbrown casserole.)

    I thank God every day I was born a Southerner, and you have hit on many of the reasons why!

  65. Reminds of my sweet Grandmur and her wonderful sisters, Aunt Boozy, Aunt Minky, and Auntsy, and real, good ole fashioned country, Texas. A sweet, beautiful post.

  66. Aw, Sophie, I love this! So beautifully written, and very, very true! Thanks so much!

  67. And all the Mississippi girls said Amen.

  68. This post was so good I read it a half dozen times. Shouldn’t someone send this to the Mississippi Tourism Bureau?!

  69. Deborah Jurgensen says:

    Love this post so much because I love the South!

  70. Jackie Bland Geter says:

    Makes me miss my Moma and I’m wishing I could have raised my daughters to be just like her but my daughters are from a different era.

  71. Perfection. That is all.

  72. Oh, how I miss Mississippi! Born in Union County, educated at Mississippi State University in Starkville, I have lived in Myrtle, Macedonia, Etta, Booneville, Starkville, Blue Springs, Magee, and Brandon. I’m now a displaced Kansan. : (

  73. Thanks, Sophie! This perfectly represents our sweet southern heritage. I love your way with words. This Arkansas resident relates! You make me smile.


  1. […] be in the mood to hear more about all things southern, don’t miss my friend BooMama’s What Mississsippi Does.  That’s the kind of lady I want to […]