Moving back to the South in the summer has been refreshing.  In much the same way that walking into a sauna can be refreshing.  You’ll have a better complexion but you’re going to sweat for it.

In all seriousness, we’re excited to be back in the South and much closer to family, but it’s definitely an adjustment from life in New England.  In getting accustomed to a new city, I also find myself getting reacquainted with certain aspects of Southern life.  Here are some things I’ve noticed:

1.  When checking out at the grocery store, I no longer have to ask the sacker to put my milk in a grocery bag.  I never went to a grocery store in Massachusetts where they automatically bagged my milk with the rest of my groceries.  And they always gave me a strange look when I asked them to do so.  Weird, but true.  It might sound trivial but it’s the small things that can make or break a day sometimes.

2.  I keep forgetting that I don’t have to keep my hand on the gas pump when I fill up.  Because of Massachusetts’ air quality laws and their deep-seated fears about fuel vapors, they won’t let you squeeze the lever on the pump handle and then slide it into the little notch so that you don’t have to hold on to it.   The notch is literally not on the pump.  And let me tell you, that metal pump handle gets very cold in the winter.  Don’t have to deal with that anymore.  Score two for me.

3.  When you ask where to find good barbecue, people don’t direct you to a burger place.

4.  I am still a hopeless snob about Mexican food that I eat outside of Texas.

5.  Campaign commercials are very different.  I’m not saying they are better in one place or another.  I’m just saying they are different with a capital D.

6.  I now feel a strange compulsion to explain to people that, despite the fact that we moved here from Massachusetts, we are not Yankees.  And yes, it does matter to them.

7.  The letter R is miraculously back in the alphabet.  However, G has gone missin’.

I’ll stop at seven, since it’s the biblical number associated with completion.  And let me be clear, once again sleeping under the same roof as my washer and dryer has satisfied my soul.