There is just something about Summer that makes you want to visit-whether it’s walking to the neighbors house or taking a road trip to see family or friends who live in another town. Maybe it’s the warm weather-the longer days-or maybe it’s cause our parents were taught the tradition of visiting in the summer by their parents.
Recently, a dear sweet lady, told me how as a child her family would walk over the mountains from Swain County to visit their family who lived in the Cades Cove area. Why she guessed it must have been at least 20 miles. Someone said-well how long did you stay when you went? She said they stayed at least a week after walking that far.
I was telling Paul about her family walking all that way to visit with their family-me and him got to talking about all the ways folks say goodbye. Two ‘goodbyes’ that we’ve heard all our lives- “Come go home with me” (said by the folks who are leaving) and “You ought to just spend the night” (said by the folks who you’ve been visiting with).
As is often the case-me and Paul got pretty silly thinking about all the times we heard folks say those things when we were kids out visiting with Pap and Granny or folks were visiting us. We began to ponder on what would have happened if Pap and Granny had said “sure we’ll spend the night find us all a bed” or “well it is midnight but yes we’ll all go home with you-kids put your shoes on!”
A little mischievous of me-but I’d like to go back to one of those late night pickin and grinnin sessions where the men wanted to talk a little longer-the kids wanted to run wild outside in the dark a little longer-but all the women wanted to go home and the woman of the house most definitely wanted all the rowdy kids to GO HOME. When the parting goodbye of ‘”yall ought to just spend the night” was said, usually by the husband, I’d say YES WE’LL ALL SPEND THE NIGHT-then I’d work on convincing them ALL to stay. Just once I’d like to have pulled it off.
Although I know we never did stay when it was offered-in some cases folks did take the hosts up on their offer. One local family, that’s quite large, said it was common for their families to spend the night with each other-even though they didn’t live very far from one another. When I asked where everyone slept-they said they laid cross ways on the bed-so more people would fit that way.
“We’ll see ya” is without a doubt the most common form of goodbye used in my part of Appalachia. At some point during my teenage years ‘we’ll see ya’ got on my last nerve. I got to where-when I heard it-I wanted to say ‘no you will not see me!!!’ All these years later-hearing someone say ‘we’ll see ya’ doesn’t bother me one bit-must have been my superior teenage brain that it bothered.
So how do you say goodbye?