5 Things I Miss About the South

If you know me personally or have been following my blog for a while, then you probably know that I am a recent transplant to the Midwest. I was born in Atlanta, Ga, moved to south Georgia when I was 11, went to college in middle Georgia, then moved to Asheville, NC where we lived for 6 years. Even though I felt like a little bit of an outsider in North Carolina, I was still in the South. The biggest difference was that basketball was more popular than football.

Then, about a year ago our world got flipped upside down. My husband took a new position with his company in Minneapolis, MN. The next thing I know we’re selling our house in North Carolina and I’m looking for a parka at Lands’ End. Even though my husband technically started his new position in February, the kids and I didn’t move up until March (we were just a foursome then). Now that we’ve been in Minnesota for 10 months, some of the newness is starting to wear off. As the differences between the South and the Midwest become more and more obvious, I find myself feeling slightly homesick. The sub-zero temperatures, arctic winds, and four-foot snow drifts I have to shovel out of our driveway don’t help either.

Here are 5 things I miss about the South:

 

 

  1. The Food. 

    Oh, the food! Fried chicken, fried okra, chicken-fried steak, fried green tomatoes. Ok, maybe it’s a good thing I’ve moved away from the South and slowed down a little on the fried foods. Seriously, though. There are some things that were a part of my regular diet that I just can’t find here; most notably, grits! My daughter loves grits (and so do I) and we’ve had the hardest time finding good grits around here. Luckily, my mom brings some whenever she visits. Also, I had to search high and low to find a peanut butter machine. You know, that thing in the grocery store that has a bunch of peanuts in the top. You just flip a switch and voila! Junk-free peanut butter. But apparently grocery stores don’t like those here. Real talk…I would kill for a Pimento Cheese Chicken BLT from Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack right now. I don’t care if it’s 2,500 calories. That’s why I have sweatpants!

  2. The Weather.

    This one might be obvious, even (or especially) to native Minnesotans. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people around here wonder out loud “Why do I live here? This is miserable!”. If the bone-chilling temperatures don’t get you, the months of dreary, gray skies will be sure to give you long-lasting seasonal depression. I grew up in south Georgia. In the middle of a swamp. It’s hot and humid almost all the time. I also spent a lot of time in north Florida at my family’s fishing cabin that had no air conditioning. I got so used to sweating from just sitting around that it doesn’t bother me anymore. I really miss the heat. Is that weird?

  3. Small Talk.

    There are few places outside of the South where it’s perfectly acceptable to strike up a friendly conversation with a complete stranger for a few minutes and then never see them again. People also acknowledge each other in passing. They look each other in the eye and say “Hey! How are you?”. I tried doing that here and people actually ignored me. It was sad.

  4. The Landscape.

    Some things just feel like home. Even though my family no longer lives in south Georgia, it will always be my home. It’s where I grew up. Sure, there are fields and trees in Minnesota, but not like back home. The cotton fields bursting with white, matching the little country churches set the background. Rows and rows of pecan trees. Wide rivers meandering through forests of evergreens. Cows, lots and lots of cows. That’s what I miss.

  5. Family and Friends 

    This one is obvious. It was hard to leave North Carolina because almost all of our friends and family were within driving distance. Family is such a huge support system for us and it makes it harder when you have to get on a plane to see them (although, it’s usually the other way around). We were crazy enough to drive down south over the holidays. It was better than flying because we got to see both of our families and a lot of friends we haven’t seen in a while. I will never do it again though!

Even though I’m a little homesick, I’m still so happy that we’ve moved here. My husband and I love being able to experience different parts of the country. We also love exposing the kids to new people and new cultures. Minnesota isn’t all bad. Actually, it’s pretty awesome.

Here are some things I’ve enjoyed about Minnesota:

  1. Cheese Curds.

    Fried cheese. Yes please.

  2. The Love of the Outdoors

    You better believe that everyone out here is outside every. single. weekend during the summer (which lasts about 5 weeks). There are a ton of parks and playgrounds. There are three that are walking-distance to our house. Lakes are everywhere and most of them have public beach access. And don’t think that winter stops them from being outside. Ice skating, sledding, snow-shoeing, ice fishing; there are tons of people outside almost every weekend making the most of it.

  3. Shoes

    I thought this was weird, but apparently Minnesotans don’t realize they actually do this. When going over to someone’s house, Minnesotans always take their shoes off. I have to take my shoes off when I go to the doctor’s office. Whenever we had someone over to fix something in the house, they would always take their shoes off. It makes sense during the winter when everyone’s shoes are covered with snow and muck, but they do it in the spring, summer and fall too. I actually like this. I rarely wear shoes inside anyways. It keeps the house cleaner and makes me feel more relaxed.

What are some things you miss about where you grew up? What do you love about where you live now? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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11 thoughts on “5 Things I Miss About the South

  1. Hi Sweetie! I loved reading this blog! I grew up in upstate New York, and here is what I miss about that area: lots of excellent live music and visual art, white hots, ice skating in the winter, beautiful summer days, Octoberfest. I also love where I live now, in North Florida. What I love about my new home is beautiful summer-like winter days and proximity to the beach. You are right: there is something to love about just about anyplace!

  2. Loved this blog! Kudos to you girl, I would live in sweatpants and never leave if I had to shovel my driveway to get out!

  3. LOVE this blog! It made me nostalgic for Nagpur (my hometown in India) and at the same time miss you all like crazy!

    1. There’s something about the places we grow up that has such a special place in our hearts. Your mom talks about how she’s reminded of Goa a lot. Thanks for reading. Miss you!

  4. hey Alllison,
    I like saying “hey” since I moved south, and I love the friendlyness of people, which was also prevalent in California. But I REALY miss the food -Real Bagels, good Italian food, good pizza, variety of ethnic restaurants. Also miss designer clothes oulets (spillovers from NYC), world class theater and orchestras, and my youth, which I guess I cant get back just by relocating. I got the same coldness from people the year I spent in Charlotte, so thought friendlyness must be a mountain thing. Keep being friendly, you will find the other friendlys, and show the cold people how to warm up. I missed the Rochester winters for a while here, used to brushing off my car and defrosting it most mornings befor work, enjoy it while you have it, its FUN! ha ha

  5. How funny–I never really noticed the shoe thing in the Twin Cities, but I guess it’s true! I loved the outdoorsy lifestyle of the Cities. I was on the crew team in college for a while and spent a lot of time running along the river. I’m in Colorado now, and it’s actually pretty similar to the Twin Cities in lifestyle and general attitudes of the people.

    I do think the concept of “Minnesota nice” is kind of funny, though–college was great, but outside of that it’s not super easy to meet people. I imagine it doesn’t compare to the south in that way. And I’m sure the weather is a rude awakening–it’s milder here most of the time, and I definitely don’t miss the brutal winters!

  6. I am in the same boat as you! I’m a military kid, but I spent most of my childhood in North Carolina. I moved to Ohio 6 years ago for my job, and I’m still adjusting. The winters are what always get me, and people still make fun of how much I bundle up in the cold. I miss the heat too! I hear people who are sad if there is no snow for Christmas. I shrug and say, “When I was a kid, it was warm enough to go to the beach.” When people complain about the humidity in the summer, I laugh to myself and think, “You call this humidity?!”

    The lack of greeting people didn’t really bother me because I went to grad school in Baltimore, so I got used to people not saying hi. Now, I’m actually taken aback when people on the street say hi to me!

    YES to good Southern cuisine!! The only way I get to have good grits is when I make them at home. I even got my boyfriend who swore he didn’t like grits to LOVE them.

    I am not an outdoors person, but I do love our parks system with all the walking paths. I also love the restaurants. Cleveland is foodie heaven! It was also really cool being here when the Cavs won the NBA Championships. The city pride was AMAZING!!

  7. First of all, I love that your Mom commented. Mine does that too sometimes 🙂 I’ve never heard of this peanut butter machine!! I’m a total peanut butter addict, so I think it’d be dangerous to have the ability to purchase fresh ground peanut butter every week. I’ve actually started making my own in the food processor and its SO GOOD.

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