Saturday, January 29, 2011
The dust has settled a little around here. Most of the rooms are functionally organized. (Read: you can find it if you need it.) There is a ton of cardboard on the front porch. The old Suburban is loaded really nice things to donate-wink, wink.
Now I have time to write about a few things I have noticed in my short time here. This is old hat to my Southern Born and Bred Husband, but its brand new to me.
People are nice. Helpful, courteous, smiling, friendly, nice. Oh and they are not waiting for some sort of mystery shopper report. It's just the way it is. I find this both refreshing and alarming.
I was born in California and lived there through adulthood. I did a short stint in Michigan (Love You MICHIGAN!!!), and another one in Florida when my husband and I were first married. (Shout out to the Central Coast!) Apart from where we grew up, Washington was the state we lived in the longest. Seven years.
Having lived in those states I have learned that geography matters. California is not friendly. Sorry, but it's not. Washington and Florida are about the same. That is not to say that there are no friendly people in those states. There are. I am talking about the general attitude. The public face of the population can be guarded, suspicious, and kinda mean. Don't get caught looking into the car next to you on the freeway in my homestate. At the least you will get a harsh look, at the most a gun flashed at you.
Michigan was the first state where I experienced a neighborly welcome to our home. I woke up one morning to find a basket of baked goods and a friendly note. If WTF had existed then, it would have appeared in a bubble above my head. My friend Jenny and I debated whether or not we should eat it or give any of it to the kids. (You know the whole razor blades in the candy apples fear. Hey! Who knows?)
It was fine. But, it opened my eyes to a world I didn't know existed. One where fences were non existent or short enough for you to chat with your next door neighbor. And they wanted to chat with you.
Southern people take it to a whole other level. Case in point: I was in the grocery store and was grabbing up some fridge packs of pop. A nice lady told me that the store price matched and the sodas were on sale at another store. She not only told me which were on sale, but she gave me HER copy of the ad to take to the register.
The first time I was in WalMart, I thought they had 10 greeters. Turns out it was just a bunch of people saying hello as I walked in. Who me? Well...okay....hi.
When I drive down Brown's Chapel road, the drivers passing by wave at me! I haven't seen anyone do that since my early days when I stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's Ranch. Grandpa waved, but my dad didn't wave to anyone on our street. No one else did, really. I waved to my friends. Why don't people wave anymore?
Another Southern trait:
Faith is the word.
Gimme that ole time religion is no joke. I can throw a rock and hit a church. (You know I would never do that God. ) There is no shame about it either. Its like brownies and ice cream. All good. I like that.
If you are pro-choice you won't be after a visit to the local veterinarian. They put it out there for all to see. Pictures, pamphlets, little models of babies in the womb.
Abortion debate aside, its about the true integration of knowing the faith and living the faith. The awkwardness that I have felt in mentioning a bible study, or a spectacular sermon just does not exist here. Could that be the key to the friendliness of the people? I think it is a big-no huge- part of it.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of little children telling you about God.
After trying to practice my faith in the most secular of states, I feel hopeful and alive. It's nice.
My last topic for today:
Praise the Lord....it is good!!!!!