What I’ve learned From Living in The South

Train StationThe following are my reflections on how living in the South differs from living in the North.

First, two disclaimers:
1- Two friends of mine (KC and Augustine) have adamantly asserted that Warrensburg is not THE SOUTH; however, I chose to title my entry so because Missouri is The South to me. A friend of mine from Charlevoix referred to Indiana as the South last week, so you get the picture.
2- I am aware that some of the things I will list below are not really native to the South (or Missouri), but may simply be things that I had never experienced in the North.

As such, please realize that a more apt title may have been “Things that have been new and interesting to me in Missouri”:

  • Popovers: a lovely dinner role that has a taller shape, and a more dense center than a typical dinner roll
  • An interesting attachment to the past: southerners still seem very much connected to the civil war, because they occasionally refer to me as “yankee” (especially if they’re from Texas). Now, it would never occur to me, decades- centuries- after the war’s conclusion, to refer to southerners as rebels…but whatever
  • Social Norms: it is not considered impolite to leave one’s shoes on when entering someone else’s home (and is often the practice to leave them on)
  • The Sabbath: a higher percentage of businesses are closed on Sundays
  • A race to the alter (okay, not really): but people get married much younger and being a 28-year-old single woman elicits looks of bewilderment or pity, condolences, and various offers to “hook you up” with a nice young man
  • Nicknames: Walmart is also known as ‘Wally-World”
  • The sun: Missouri’s much sunnier than Michigan. I was amazed when I first moved to Warrensburg that I could see a sunrise almost every morning
  • Lack of recycling: very few people recycle, in fact, many labeled me a hippy for the fact that I generally try to be green
  • Air conditioning: everyone has it (and abuses it if you ask me- why would you pay extra to keep it so cold?!)
  • Lack of snow: not many people own shovels since the snow typically melts within 24 hours, and large quantities of snow elicit panic and the creation and liberal usage of terms such as “Snowpocalypse” ahaha, this still makes me laugh:)
  • Hospitality and warmth: the people I came across in Missouri were some of the kindest, warmest, and open-hearted people I have ever met. I felt immediately accepted and supported and in no time at all felt I had a family away from my family.
So I won’t miss the hot weather or the way my glasses fogged up in the wretched humidity the second I walked out of my apartment. I won’t miss the wind that seems to razz my hair 360 days of the year or the constant roller-coaster of temperatures. I won’t miss living 20 miles from the nearest Starbucks or a coffee shop that stays open past 5pm. And I certainly won’t miss being the only 28-year-old single woman in a 200 mile radius.
But I’ll miss the warmth of the smiles on the faces of passersby. I’ll miss the slower rhythm to life and the emphasis on family. I’ll miss the laughter of playing with friends’ kids, and the chance to learn about marriage and family by observing friends who have families at my age. I’ll miss the warm summer nights and the bright morning sunrises. I’ll miss the down-to-earth people who always made me feel at home in their homes.
And I’ll miss a whole lot of wonderful people.

7 thoughts on “What I’ve learned From Living in The South

  1. Hahahaha…. when I went to school in TX I was called a Yankee, yet if you look at the Civil War Missouri was a Border State, but more southern unless you were from a big city. After having been south… Missouri is Midwest to me more. I do miss your smile and your warmth also. Know I am thinking of you and praying for you.

  2. You know you’re from Missouri if…

    1. You’ve never met any celebrities.

    2. Everyone you know has been on a float trip.

    3.”Vacation” means driving to Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, or Six Flags.

    4. You’ve seen all the biggest bands ten years AFTER they were popular.

    5. You measure distance in minutes rather than miles. For example, “Well, Webb City’s only 20 minutes away.”

    6. ‘Down south’ to you means Arkansas.

    7. The phrase “I’m going to the Lake this weekend” means only one thing.

    8. You know several people who have hit a deer.

    9. You think Missouri is spelled with an “ah” at the end.

    10. Your school classes were canceled because of cold.

    11. You know what “Party Cove” is.

    12. Your school classes were canceled because of heat.

    13. You instinctively ask someone you’ve just met, “What high school did you go to?”

    14.You’ve had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day.

    15. You think ethanol makes your truck “run a lot better.”

    16. You know what’s knee-high by the Fourth of July.

    17. You’ve seen people wear bib overalls to funerals.

    18. You see cars idling in a store parking lot with no one in them – no matter what time of the year.

    19. You know in your heart that Mizzou can beat Nebraska in football.

    20. You end your sentences with unnecessary prepositions: “Where’s my coat at?”

    21. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, or grain.

    22. You install security lights on your house and garage and then leave both unlocked.

    23. You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, beer, and Jello salad with marshmallows.

    24. You carry jumper cables in your car and know that everyone else should.

    25. You went to skating parties as a kid.

    26. You own only three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

    27. You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

    28. You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightie.

    29. The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page, but requires six pages for sports.

    30. You think I-44 is pronounced “farty-far.” (St. Louis only.)

    31. You’ll pay for your kids to go to college unless they want to go to KU.

    32. You think that “deer season” is a national holiday.

    33. You know that Concordia is halfway between Kansas City and Columbia; that Columbia is halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City; and that Warrenton Outlet Mall is halfway between Columbia and St. Louis.

    34. You can’t think of anything better than sitting on the porch during a summer thunderstorm. (That is a hard one to beat… JHC 🙂

    35. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.

    36. You’ve said, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

    37. You know all four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer (AKA Construction), Still Summer and Football.

    38. You know if other Missourians are from the Bootheel, Ozarks, Eastern, or Western Missouri as soon as they open their mouth.

    39. You know that Harry S Truman, Walt Disney and Mark Twain are all from Missouri. (Don’t forget Robert Heinlein.)

    40. You failed geography in school because you thought Cuba, Cairo, Milan, Versailles, California, Nevada, Paris, Houston, Cabool, Louisiana, Springfield, and Mexico were cities in Missouri. (And they are.)

    41. You think a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.

    42. You know what “HOME OF THE THROWED ROLL” means.

  3. II love reading your blog it makes me go hmmmm! I miss you and wish only good things for you. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. I feel (do you see the “I” message here) blessing to have you in my life if only for a moment. The Missouri comments are funny and unfortunately true. I feel like I have lived here too long and I am being assimilated, kind of like the Borg on Star Trek. Love you and wish only the best for you. Pat

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and the piece of mind that I got you to use “I statements.”:) It was great getting to know you!

  4. Krista,
    It is funny to think about Missouri being “the South” when I long to move back to “the South” to Arkansas. You were a breathe of fresh air in my life. I appreciated getting to know you as a friend, and fellow counselor. Your perspective on life frequently opened up new pathways in my heart for accepting change that was difficult. I will miss going to Java Junction with you, or having you meet me at UCM to visit.

    Your observation about marrying young is on target for the South however. In rural Arkansas where I grew up–if you were born a girl, your primary life goal was to find a man and marry him. I married at 18, but had class mates who married at 15. It is a tragedy in my humble opinion. I think women your age are better prepared for marriage by experiencing the single life before making a life-altering eternal decision like marriage.

    I pray that you will enjoy this brief moment back at home with Mom and Dad and the dog knowing that it is only an interlude before the incredible days to come. Perhaps this is the time to catch your breathe, play in the water, talk with friends, and saturate yourself with God’s word.

    Keep writing about your life–I love knowing you and reading your thoughts.

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