Living in the North has some advantages for a Southern girl. I’m exotic here in a comforting way, like paella. I say “y’all” way more than I ever did back home. The Yankees love that talk. I make sure to keep a hold of my accent, even though I’ve been here close to 7 years now. It’s kind of difficult sometimes, so I call home and talk to one of my family members to get it back.
I fit here in many ways. It’s a blue state, and no one ever asks me if my nose ring pops out when I sneeze. I answered that question on a weekly basis in Arkansas. The answer is “no”, by the way. Okay, maybe it happened once.
Besides living too far away from old friends and family, the brutal winter is the hardest part of living here. I love warm weather. I love wearing tank tops and skirts or sun dresses and flip flops. I love being able to forgo the jacket in favor of sunscreen. The cold here soaks me to my bones. It feels like a nemesis, working to disable me.
We’re having a snow storm today. And we’re set to have record lows in the next two days. School is likely to be cancelled. I’ve been acting like a complete brat. Like this weather is something happening to me. My poor attitude makes me want to do nothing but remain on the couch with the TV remote in hand.
A life-line came through yesterday when a friend had my family over for pizza. The kids were able to play with her kids, running through the basement like it was a playground. I ate too much and stretched out on my friend’s couch instead of my own. We chatted and I remembered that I’m not alone. The weather might keep me from doing some of the things I want to do, but I’m not certainly not the only one.
I’m not likely to ever stop missing the South. Short-lived winter storms and Southern hospitality are things that I took for granted during my formative years. But I honestly like living in Michigan, for six months of the year anyway. The summers here are perfect for playing outside everyday with the kids. I know I’ll eventually have to buy myself a pair of snow pants and go outside in the snow. But today I’ll settle for the knowledge that I’m not alone. Many of us are transplants and even if those of us who aren’t are facing the same snowstorm.