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A Woman On The Verge

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Small town or Big City Girl – The Grocery Bags

English: Apartment buildings, corner Queen Str...

Two bags of food and a case of water, should I do this all in one trip or make it two? How many people out there live in apartments and know this feeling?  When I used to live in an apartment after my grocery shopping trip I would make sure I pulled out every single bag I had and schlep them up the stairs to my second floor apartment in one trip.  Until recently I realized I was still trying to do that when I got home to my little house, a house which has a private drive and only two steps up to the door I use.  I know why I did t his in the apartment, I didn’t want to leave the car unlocked or open, and honestly who wants to go up and down a flight stairs more than once? I also lived in apartments for just over 10 years.  One apartment I lived in the parking lot was not right next to our apartment so it was very not convenient in general to make more than one trip.  Often times I would limit my shopping to just essentials and was usually at the store during the week to get food for dinner.

master 006I don’t live in an apartment or even a condo anymore, and I have lived in my house for almost a decade and getting away from this habit has been hard, it does tell me I am a city girl and I would be comfortable in an uptown condo somewhere in downtown Columbia. But, I love my little house and I enjoy the peace of not sharing walls – well except for my neighbor Trixie who has been known to blow leaves off her driveway, which is right next to my bedroom at 7 am on a Saturday – so annoying. Anyway, My driveway is right next to my back door so the true schlepping is minimal especially since my kitchen is right next to the door.  And yet I still often attempt to grab up all my bags, leverage my case of water and lug it all to the door only to have to put half of my purchases down because I forgot to arrange my keys for easy lock access. Oh first world problems, I know but it always reminds me that I do not have to carry every single bag into the house one time. Maybe I need to consider moving back to a condo in the city instead of living with the peace of the small town?

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Southern Snow

English: Old Main Building on Western Washingt...

It is snowing here and everyone and the excitement builds as the snow keeps falling; shelves are bare of milk, bread, batteries and beer in anticipation of a day being stranded at home. Now I get the fact that parents want their kids to experience the magic of playing in the snow, but I hate it. It is wet and cold.

Every time it snows here I recall my college days in Bellingham, WA and one of our friends who was from California.  He was very excited the day it started snowing – we were nonplussed we knew what it meant.  He was dancing around singing about how he would play in the snow and have so much fun.  Until the reality hit him, or maybe it was the snow ball, he would have to wear pants.  We had been wearing shorts up until that fateful day. He froze for about a week before his pants arrived from California. We had brought ours with us when we moved in. At least that is how I like to think about how it went down, it has been almost twenty-five years now so things might have happened differently.  Regardless his discomfort was nothing compared to the entertainment value of watching southerners prepare for snow.

My first winter here I learned that a winter weather advisory meant that you must run to the store and buy 20 loaves of bread, a million batteries, 10 gallons of milk and 3 or 4 cases of beer to get you through the snow day. I was very confused, because growing up in Seattle it doesn’t snow that much and we never had that kind of rush to the store, plus the terrain was far more hilly. I still do not fathom the need for all the supplies, but I do notice that many natives make a huge joke out of it now, so they also see the humor of it.

Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the proactive behaviour of employers, the highway dept, and other places who want to encourage resident safety. But sometimes you just need to have something to laugh at.

IMG_2945Like the fact that yesterday the shelves at one grocery store were quickly selling out their stock of bread and the Organic milk was apparently gone too. Honestly I wish we had been this cautious when I was growing up, except I wouldn’t have learned to drive in the snow and ice because driver’s ed would have been cancelled.  I bet we only get a light dusting.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

 

I thought about the fact that really the bank owns this, but this is the biggest thing I have ever made my own.  Even when it looks like this outside I am proud of it:

 

15 years how the time as flown?

It is hard to believe I have lived in North Carolina for 15 years, most days it feels like I just got here – until I am reminded that I have a mortgage which I have paid on for 4 years.

I still remember my first day when I was walking in uptown Charlotte trying to find a bank, I walked into the first branch of a bank I could find which actually took me about 20 minutes they weren’t at all easy to locate, even my drive around the small part of town where I lived before going uptown did not reveal any banks.  Ironic since North Carolina has been the financial center of the Southeast since I moved here.  I remember feeling like Margo Thomas in “That Girl” walking the downtown streets gazing at water fountains that were actually spraying water – I admit I was a bit shocked by that since I had come from a place where fountains were rarely turned on because of water conservation efforts.

The first years here were a major learning experience.  The South does not do things like they do on the West coast.  You have to learn the art of small talk and you can’t just get right to the point.  Wearing jeans in the summer is just too hot, but wearing shorts always seems wrong now, I usually end up in a dress.  Flip-flops are apparently the casual shoe of the south, I still don’t get that but I own a pair.  When you walk or run in a neighborhood you really need to wave to people or they think you are odd, even if they don’t know you.  If you don’t know people it is harder to get to KNOW people, but once you have made an acquaintance with someone the doors are open.  While the younger generation loves to socialize and party, the older folks still see it as a taboo.  September is hurricane month; usually that is when the worst storm affects Charlotte.

Even with all these differences I still love it here.  I couldn’t move back because I love the hot warm summers and the short mild winters.  I have also worked too hard at networking here to give it up now.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

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