Even though I have lived down South for a whopping four years now, I still haven’t perfected my “southern” apparently.
I’m a Washington Born, Alaska Grown Transplant. I’m pretty sure everyone here knows that by now. But down here? I like to fancy that I look just about like a normal Southern girl. And probably that’s all in my head.
The truth is, when you grow up in Alaska, you just have a different perspective on a lot of things like temperature, and distance, day light and what a mountain looks like, for example. You aren’t necessarily stronger, but maybe you’ve had to be tougher. After all, there’s not necessarily a Publix or a Dollar Tree or Walmart five minutes away up North. And the mention of snow isn’t going to get you out of School.
But that’s all beside the point. I really love my new Southern roots. I have fallen in love with the novelty of four seasons, seven foot tomato plants, humidity (I’m serious.) and fireflies.
And after four years, almost no one asks me about where I’m from anymore. Maybe I look like I’ve settled in.
But now and then, I get busted for the Northern girl I grew up. Usually this is when I say things about flags, bags or rags. And sometimes when I try to talk about berms.
And every once in a great while, I bump into someone who gets it. Someone who has been where I’ve been. Who knows “my” mountains. Who understands how cold and dark and long Alaskan winters are, and also how absolutely indescribably beautiful the Aurora Borealis is. Someone who knows why Fourth of July isn’t about fireworks up there. And can understand what it’s like to dodge a moose.
Because just like these new Southern friends who talk about childhood down south, unless you’ve lived there, it’s hard to really get it.
It’s crazy to realize how much cultural differences that there are in our own nation. And as much as I love my new home, sometimes it’s really good to bump into someone who can share survival stories from the days we roughed it up North.
And thank goodness for me, no one here has any reason to know or talk about berms because I’ve seen and shoveled through enough of those to last me for the rest of my life. I don’t miss my old home state as much as I thought I might. I think I may be a Southerner at heart in a lot of ways. But sometimes the memories are best shared with someone who understands it.
So to the new people who I had fun talking with recently, thanks for getting Alaska with me. It was a blast.