The weather is changing, the daffodils are blooming, and there is a feeling of spring in the air.

Many in the South despise the bitter cold winters and loathe the excruciatingly hot summers. Spring is definitely where we flourish. And as the soft breeze begins to blow and colorful flowers start to bloom, hospitality comes to mind.

Most who are raised in the South know the meaning of true hospitality. Long rooted in most family traditions and passed down from generation to generation, Southern hospitality offers warmth and kindness. It is a way to show genuine care and generosity to others. There are many ways of showing this, but one is opening your home to welcome in friends and family to gather around your table and enjoy a wonderful meal.

For our family, hospitality came after sitting through a Sunday church service, waiting for what felt like forever just to get to Nanny’s house to sit around that big table filled with every food you could possibly imagine. Fresh peas, fried okra, butter beans, creamed corn, homemade cornbread, sliced tomatoes, and a roast that you could smell for miles graced that table. And let’s not leave out the pepper sauce. (Well, I could definitely live without that, but some could not!)

The food shared at their hospitable table wasn’t just any food though. My grandparents had planted and toiled in their garden and harvested to prepare all that we shared in that meal. 

But hospitality isn’t just about a meal that you share; it is about the time spent together and the human connection that is made. I am afraid many of us have gotten so busy with life that we have forgotten the importance and beauty of setting the table to share a meal and our lives with one another.

Hospitality doesn’t just have to take place at the Sunday dinner table, however. Maybe for your family hospitality happens around a Saturday picnic with sandwiches and sweet tea, or an evening dinner filled with loads of laughter and a meal of your choice.

If such hospitality wasn’t taught in your home or experienced in your life as much as you would have liked, it’s time to change that! Start a new tradition, share love and laughter with good food, and remind the younger generations how wonderful it is to share true hospitality with friends and family and even strangers in need.

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. She is the author of "Unexplainable: Inspirational Stories of God's Love in the Most Unique Ways." Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

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