Los posted something this afternoon on his blog that reminded me of why I love my home.
I live in Louisiana. Big deal, right? Well, yeah, to me it is a big deal.
I grew up here in CenLa (Central Louisiana) and spent years dreaming of how much better my life would be if I could just get out of here. And then I moved…first moved to Texas and then Oklahoma. I was gone for more years than I care to remember. Both places were ok, but they weren’t home. I always felt like I didn’t belong, like I just didn’t fit there. Not that I didn’t “fit in.” I just didn’t fit.
I said if I ever got back home, I was going to nail my feet to the ground.
So now I’m back home, have been for a few years, and it still feels good. I’m back in my element, among my people, where I belong. But for your amusement, here are ten things I noticed while I was gone:
1. Moss doesn’t grow on trees everywhere else. Seriously. I never knew that.
2. “Fixing to” means nothing elsewhere. Here it means “getting ready to.” Duh.
3. “Coke” is not a generic term for all soft drinks. Yeah, that one surprised me. Here’s how the conversation goes: ME: You wanna coke? THEM: Sure. ME: What kind? THEM: *blank stare* ME: What kind of coke do you want? I have Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, Sprite, etc. THEM: But you asked if I wanted a Coke. ….. you get the idea.
4. People think we have to sweep the gators off our front porch before we can jump in our air boat to go to work. You think I’m kidding? Sadly, I’m not.
5. “Oil” is pronounced with more than one syllable everywhere except Louisiana, apparently.
6. People constantly ask you to talk. Here’s how that one goes: THEM: Say something. ME: Huh? THEM: Just say something. ME: What do you want me to say? THEM: Anything. I just want to hear you talk. ….. huh?
7. People don’t want you to tell where you’re from….they want to guess. My favorite guesses were Australia and Jamaica.
8. My hair isn’t naturally frizzy. As it turns out, it’s just really humid here. 🙂
9. It’s easier to breathe in the summertime when you’re above sea level. That was one of my favorite things about OKC.
10. People don’t look you in the eye. In fact, it seems like they’ll do almost anything to avoid looking you in the eye. Here, you’re mamma would slap the fool out of you if you didn’t acknowlege someone passing you on the street…whether you knew them or not.
Poor Rodney went into complete culture shock when we first moved here. He was amazed that the pine trees were so big you couldn’t wrap your arms around them. He said he’d never seen them so tall either. He’d never heard an authentic Cajun accent before. He’d never been to Mardi Gras. He’d never seen an alligator outside of a zoo and he’d certainly never seen them so big. And he’d never seen so many people be so nice all the time.
That’s one thing about the deep South, people sure can be respectful. I remember having to politely ask people in other states not to tell my children “Don’t call me ma’am.” It’s just good manners for them to do that. Even as little babies, we’re taught to say “ma’am and sir.” And gentility (is that even a word?) counts for a lot down here. I was often asked, when we lived away, how I got my children to be so polite. The answer was simple….I expected it of them. And there really was no avoiding it since every kid in the South is expected to behave that way. It’s easy to be polite when everybody else is too.
I know I’m rambling. Actually, I could go on all day about this subject. But I should probably stop. Thanks for listening to my random thoughts.