I’m a transplant living in foreign territory. A Southerner who wandered up to New England.  Sometimes I’m okay with it, and sometimes I’m not. 

As with all of the places I’ve lived in my life, I have a fickle relationship with my current residence.  Frankly, there’s a lot to consider when evaluating where you live.  There is the good and the bad.  And then there’s just the weird.  So, please indulge me while I share with you a few of the things I’ve noticed about the region where I now live. 

  • They keep Christmas wreaths on their front doors until Easter (complete with red velvet bows).  I have yet to understand this (and my husband wishes I would quit talking about it).  It’s generally just the wreath, not Christmas lights or other yard decorations.  Just the wreath.  With the bow.  I mean, technically, it looks like the dead of winter until May, but really I think it’s time to move on.  Does it give them the feeling that they’re living on the edge if they have a fire hazard on their front doors?
  • The number of roast beef eateries far outweighs the number of Chick-fil-a restaurants (about 50 to 1 because there is only 1 and it’s 20 minutes away!).  Truly, I respect the diversity of food preferences in the world, but please don’t assume I would give up the chance to eat a chicken biscuit for a roast beef sandwich.
  • While we’re on the subject of food, there is a serious dearth of Mexican restaurants.  As a Texan, I consider this particular cuisine part of my own personal food pyramid.  Perhaps it will become my personal mission to expose all of the New Englanders I know to the beauties of spicy goodness wrapped up in tortillas!  I can rarely find my favorite salsa, much less buy it in bulk (a behavior to which I’m greatly accustomed), so the Lord is teaching me not to live on salsa alone.
  • The roads.  Really, it’s probably not beneficial to me to even discuss this one with you because I can feel my heart rate rising as I type this, but I’ll just leave you with the reminder that this area of the country was established a few centuries before our country developed the interstate system.  They kind of had to put them where they could find space when they got to New England.  And I think that they forgot to include a line item in the budget for repairs.
  • Winter.  It’s not so much the temperatures or the snow.  It’s the fact that it never ends. 

BUT …

  • There are colors of leaves I had never seen before I witnessed fall in New England.
  • I love the way you notice every tiny branch on trees after a big snowfall.  It looks like a postcard.
  • You rarely see anything resembling a billboard from the highway.  It’s natural and uncluttered.  I love it.
  • History.  Granted, it was my major in college, but I love the fact that people have deep roots here.  Churches have deep roots here.  Ours was founded in the 1600s and Paul Revere made the bell.  I kid you not.  There’s a legacy of faith there that is important for me to understand.  God has been doing things here long before I came to be.
  • The people.  Let me just say that our church is exactly what I love about the people of New England.  There is no pretense.  What you see is what you get.  And what you get is people who genuinely care.  They take pride in their community, and they haven’t cloistered themselves inside the walls of their church.  They do not pretend to have everything figured out, but they embrace life as people in need of a Savior.  I have witnessed them care for each other and care for us in some very tender ways, and I am humbled that they have welcomed us with such open arms. 

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  (Acts 17:26-27)

 

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