Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another Culture

Ahh, a nice sunset at my favorite place on Earth...the lake we now live on. This is the view from the dam/spillway. Just to the left of where the sun is setting is my family's lake lots. To the right is where we live now.

I'm telling you, it's cracking me up being back in Saline. I love it, but I seriously can't believe how much I'd forgotten.

Just a few examples:

1. We hear gunshots all the time. Now, every other place I've lived, if you hear a gunshot it causes great concern. Here,'s just another dead deer. :) It's hunting season...there's gunshots constantly. Even when it isn't hunting season, if someone wants to go do some target practice, heck, they just go out in the woods somewhere or in the backyard...not uncommon to hear gunshots at all.

2. Tonight at church we walked out into the parking lot about 10 feet from the church building (just the front of the church...not really a parking lot...not a paved one that is) and the teenage boys were looking at a big shotgun. Apparently it was a camouflage gun or something (didn't really get the full story) and they were seeing their friend's gun for the first time. It was just funny, because that is so common here. Joel remarked that anywhere else, that might be cause for alarm. :)

3. Also tonight, one of the teenagers there had a big knife in a sheath on his belt. It cracked me up...he and another boy were admiring it during class. So common...seriously, not a common thing in other places. Louisiana is the "sportman's paradise" I guess.

These are just a few things that are so funny. Nothing bad or anything, just funny to me. I totally grew up with that being the norm...I've just been away from that for so long now that I had forgotten, so it shocks me now and makes me laugh.

Some of the super duper things about small town south:

1. We opened an account at the general store downtown the other day. That's where you can just go in and have it written down what you got in the store, then pay the balance later...a charge account. I just put my name on the folder that they keep the receipts in and that was it. I didn't even sign anything. Talk about the honor system. It's great.

2. "Yes ma'am, yes sir." Now to some that didn't grow up with that, that might seem a little too formal, stuffy, and weird (Joel said he's getting used to it). But, I did grow up with it, so I love it (although it's weird when they say it to me). I have personally gotten out of the habit of saying that myself since it's been so long since I've lived anywhere where they really say that (even in Longview, 2 1/2 hours west of here, they really don't say that...don't call their elders Mr. and Mrs. either). But, I really hope that my kiddos can develop this habit...and of course that I will instill this in them. I guess it depends on our surroundings though. Not sure what they do in Brazil.

3. Southern drawl. Again, to some it is annoying. Some people automatically think "stupid hick" when they hear a drawl. It's a great sound to me...I love a good southern drawl.

4. The expressions. I love the expressions people have around here. I always have. Tonight, again in the youth class, a guy was reading a passage (the passage where Paul talks about doing the things that he doesn't want to do and not doing the things he should) in the King James Version. Of course the poor guy wasn't understanding a thing he was is quite the tongue twister in the KJV. But, in the middle of it, he exclaimed with disbelief at what he was reading, "By George!" If you ever want to see just a small glimpse at what Saline is similar to, just rent the movie "Sweet Home Alabama." In that movie at one point the Dad (Daddy as we call them) gives instructions to close the door saying, "You're lettin' all the bought air out." Now, of course he is talking about the air conditioner. I saw this movie at the theater in cracked me up, but nobody I was with got this or many other things in that movie (I was with a couple of from Phoenix, another from a small town, but not in the south). It was funny.

Welp, of course these aren't exhaustive lists, but just thought I'd comment on our life here a little. I personally felt like I had huge culture shock when I moved to was hard for me. Moving back here isn't culture's just culture remembrance. It's fun...and funny for me. You definitely don't have to move to another country to experience different cultures...that's for sure.


Anonymous said...

Michawn, I found your observations very very interesting. Thanks
Ken E.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it kind of like slipping into an old favorite coat you used to wear all the time? Then, for whatever reason went a long time without it and now rediscovered the old favorite. It didn't change a bit,the change you realize is in you. That's how I felt when I returned to Ephrata. A unique and delightful feeling. Going to a new place you expect change but coming 'home' it is another culture. Mum

Meredith said...

I loved that movie Sweet Home Alabama. I love the way you small town folks talk. It cracks me up...and the expressions too...sooo funny. Everytime I go to East Texas or hang out with you Louisianians or Madisonvillites :), I end up talking like you. Especially after going to college in East Texas. My family was shocked when my accent changed. Too funny.