Friday, October 23, 2009

20 Things I Never Saw Growing Up in Michigan

I am a North Carolina transplant by way of Michigan, Ohio, and and Tennessee. Some things are different here in the South.....overall, I am delighted to be living here. Here are just a few observations:

1. Convicts working on the side of the road. Sometimes dressed in black and white stripes. The Sheriff's Officers watching over them with shotguns resting on their shoulders. Actually, I kind of like this except when they are working near my neighborhood.

2. Schools here close at the mere mention of snow.

3. Supermarkets run out of bread and water at the same mere mention of snow.

4. Hush Puppies: Deep fried cornbread.

5. There are no Cider Mills here to visit in the Fall. I miss "real" Pumpkin Patches. Pumpkins are sold at the grocery store or out front of Baptist and Methodist Churches as fundraisers.

6. Banks and drug stores on every corner.

7. Banana Pudding: Just not my thing. It is very plentiful down here and it is not complete without lots of "Nilla Vanilla Wafers".

8. Pepper Jelly: Now I am not sure if this is a Southern creation or not but I discovered it while living here in the South so that is who I am giving credit to. It is usually a pretty red or green jelly that I have seen and served myself spread over cream cheese and you put it on a cracker. It is sweet and spicy at the same time and DELICIOUS! My daughter and I love to spread some cream cheese on a "Wheat Thin" Cracker, a dollop of pepper jelly and then top it off with a dill pickle chip. You get it all. Sweet, Salty, Creamy, Spicy. Try these.....they are addictive!

9. Pimento cheese: The look of it makes me gag. Sorry! I have a HUGE aversion to anything made with mayonnaise!

10. Hurricanes

11. Okra: Slimy!! Now I had it deep fried once and that was okay but I hate finding it elsewhere.

12. Bermuda Grass: This stuff is EVIL!!! If left alone it would devour your house. You cannot kill it. It can grow vertically and has creeped up the sides of my garden boxes and invaded my vegetable garden I can't tell you how many times. It never dies. It looks dead in the winter but when the warm weather comes back it comes back to life with a vengeance. Once you have will wage a battle with it forever! Evil I tell you.

13. Kudzu Another green evil. However, it actually looks kind of nice the way it grows up telephone poles, climbs across fences and covers dead trees but it too will devour anything in its path. Thankfully, we don't have any Kudzu in our yard. (I recently heard that someone figured out a way to cook and eat it. I would turn down that dinner invitation.)

14. Boiled Peanuts: A Big Thumbs Up! I had them at a neighbor's house while watching a Georgia Bulldogs football game. How fitting is that?!

15. Magnolia trees: They can be humongous and gorgeous! The blossoms are white and creamy and gorgeous and the leaves are shiny green on one side and a fuzzy brown suede on the other.

16. Nobody honks their horns at you at the traffic light. If the light changes and you are daydreaming they just wait until you are finished! I love this

17. Sometimes traffic stops in both directions when a funeral procession drives by to pay respects.

18. People always hold the door for you. And they always stop to let you cross in front of their car in parking lots. Southerners are very polite.

19. Fields of Tobacco growing. No matter how you feel about cigarettes.....the fields of green tobacco are very pretty. I got very excited when I saw my first field of cotton too. (In Michigan it is corn fields that rule.)

20. North Carolina has beautiful flowers growing in the median areas of their highways. Absolutely gorgeous!!


Melissa Miller said...

How neat to read this fun post Lisa! You are right. Southerners are polite.

Many Blessings, ~Melissa :)

ButterYum said...

After growing up in NYC and now living in VA, I can totally relate to every single thing on your list! So true, so true!!!


Kelly said...

This was fun to read because I'm a native southerner. I live in GA and have all my life (over 40 yrs). I got a kick out of reading what isn't done or available up North. I've never been up North. I didn't realize that people don't go slow in parking lots to let people walk in front of you! I thought that was the law. Ha! All of the things you mentioned are true. Also, we call grocery carts "buggies" and we assume everyone drinks sweet ice tea and knows how to make it. I didn't know these were southern traits until someone told me. I just took it for granted. I love the south!!

Michelle said...

I grew up in MI too and went to UofM!

I also moved to FL for a few years so I know exactly what you talking about.

Cute post and I can so relate!! said...

We have banks and drug stores on every corner,now, too. Most of the other stuff you never see here i.e.MI--the prisoners working on the road reminds me of the movies--I didn't think they still did that! LOL! Can you post a pic of the kudzu and bermuda grass--not sure I've ever seen the former. I would LOVE to not have people honking horns--I'm even guilty of it. Part of our culture--my bro-in-law said when he moved to WI, that for the first month he nearly got into a fender bender every day because they don't speed up for yellow lights, like we do! LOL! I'll bet that is true in the south, too.

Gina said...

Very true! I thought I was a southerner(Texas born and raised) until I moved to south Georgia. The post office hours were posted as open on Saturdays "9:00 AM until Dinner"...I had to ask them what time was dinner!

julie king said...

yes, i agree! the differences between northern culture and southern are quite wide! but i just let so many things about both of them.

thanks for your visit to my blog and your sweet words!!

Melanie said...

I love this post! I am southern through and through and I enjoyed seeing it through someone elses eyes. I love fried okra, southerners have great manners (which I love) boiled peanuts are SO good, and we do make the prisoners work on the side of the road:) I am moving up north (from Florida) and it will interesting to see how it is different from the way I grew up. Maybe I will do a blog post like you did.

Richella said...

Hi there! I saw a comment you left at Just a Girl and wanted to stop by to say hello. Her post left me salivating for fresh apple cider!

Like you, I live in North Carolina (Durham), but lived in Michigan for seven years when my kids were small. In fact, two of my boys are native Michiganders! Although I am a native Southerner, I did love living in Michigan.

Have a great day!

Lisa @ akawest said...

After 45 years of living in PA, the South has held many wonderful surprises for me. While I wonder why I took so long to move here, I still am not an okra fan. It reminds me of what it would taste like to consume the contents of a dirt Kleenex...all that snotty stuff!

Bobbie said...

Do you also find that people wave and smile at you for no reason whatsoever? It was hard to get use to!