It’s no secret that I am a west coast girl. I have lived all over the west coast in almost every state including California (please never refer to it as Cali), Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and spent summers in Arizona. For my whole life it’s all I have really known. Humidity- What’s that? I had only visited the Southeast a small handful of times and never enough to really know what exactly I was getting myself into when we decided the time had come to transplant this west coast girl into the Southeast.
Most of the time I go about my business and feel like I am settling in just fine here. Then something happens that reminds me- oh yeah this IS different and I am far from home. Sometimes I feel a twinge of sadness when these things happen or a small longing for what feels like “home.” Other times I chuckle to myself and relish in my new life.
So here are a few things I have noticed living in Tennessee that are different from what I am used to:
There are churches EVERYWHERE! This should mean a lot coming from me since I just moved from Utah. But seriously way more churches here. I was on one street and could count 10 steeples within a block radius, and this is typical.
First off, I found it a little odd that I needed to buy a trash can since most of the time out west they are provided, but I needed to buy one that was critter proof since Raccoons really enjoy a good snack of garbage. I distinctly remember one day not being able to open my trash can. I tried three times throughout the day and was super annoyed I couldn’t get it open. The next morning the coons had gotten into it and scattered trash everywhere.
Back where I grew up, when people had stuff they didn’t want anymore they would take it to Goodwill or Deseret Industries and donate the items. Here, they put it out on the curb and neighbors pick through and take what they want and the rest is picked up with the trash. I’ve seen people with trailers go around picking through trash.
When it snows, there is widespread panic and the city just shuts down. This week we received four inches of snow and school shut down for 3.5 days. In Utah we called this Wednesday. That is going to take some getting used to. I remember being in the grocery store last month and noting it was packed. I had no clue why. I asked the clerk and she said it was supposed to snow. It did, maybe an inch.
People are generally nice and have been welcoming to our family. I feel grateful for this because being so far from family and friends can be hard but I have felt our transition has been a natural one. I still miss the west coast for many, many reasons (In N Out). Will we ever make it back there? Time will only tell. But for now, I’m enjoying learning a new “culture” and widening my horizons. Plus living on a different coast has opened up new travel opportunities for us. And that is definitely something to be grateful for!