I’m a huge fan of Real Simple magazine. I was turned on to this magazine by my friend, Acey – and I have become a Real Simple addict ever since. The gorgeous photography, the useful articles, the delicious recipes…what’s not to love? I was flipping through the issue I got in the mail yesterday and looking for inspiration for my blog. Down at the bottom of one of the pages was an essay question, “I never thought I’d…”
I thought about this for most of the morning. I started feeling kind of bad about my non adventure packed life. I wanted to sit down and write about how I never thought I’d backpack through Europe or climb volcanos or visit Africa, but alas…I never thought I’d do those things and I never have.
But there is one thing that came to mind – my own little life adventure is that “I never thought I’d…” love living in the South.
I’m a born and bred Northerner – right from the northern part of Vermont, which is mere inches away from Canada on a map. It is cold 6 months out of the year, produces some of the tastiest apples you’ll ever eat and has some of the the cleanest, purest air around. Vermonters are a different kind of “Yankee”. We are generally pretty nice, friendly and compassionate. We respect people, the earth and everybody’s right to exist in their own little happy place.
I moved down South about 6 years ago – mainly to be closer to family that had relocated here. None of my family was left in Vermont and I loathed the snow. I was ready for a new start and for warmer weather so I happily loaded up a UHaul and started the trek down South.
It was a HUGE shock to my system at first – the churches on every corner, the people praying over their meals in McDonalds, the Confederate flags, the sweet tea and pulled pork bbq. People noticed my Vermont license plate and scolded me about Howard Dean. They asked me in job interviews if I was a Democrat – and I thought that maybe I had entered the Twilight Zone.
But over the past 6 years, I have come to love and adore the South and the people who live here. It’s a different way of life, but there are things about being here in Charlotte that I could never imagine giving up. While I haven’t grown to love sweet tea or pulled pork bbq, I do love the absolutely stunning weather. I love the beautiful green trees and lush landscapes. I love that the seasons still come, but are so much milder than up north. I love that I can see foliage in the fall that rivals Vermont’s. I love that we are a short drive from both the beaches and the mountains.
I love that I have made friends here that are down to earth, inspiring and genuine people. I love that people here are open and unabashed about their faith in Jesus Christ. I love that people begin conversations by asking what church you attend. I love that it’s easy to get involved in communities here and to meet new people.
I love that when it “snows” here, the entire city shuts down and everyone gets to breathe deeply and sit still for a bit.
I love that my husband is a born and bred Southerner who takes great pleasure in introducing me to all the things that are important to him and a part of who he is.
And I love that some Northerners have made their way down here and opened up some delicious and authentic pizza and bagel places 😉
There are things (ok, mostly people) that I miss about Vermont. I love going back to visit and spending time on Church Street in Burlington, seeing dreadlocked families shop together at the local organic grocery stores. The weather in the summer and fall is absolute heaven.
But Charlotte has become my home – and I’m excited to feel like I have finally settled down. I can’t imagine any other place I’d rather be…
So how would you finish the sentence, “I Never Thought I’d…”