(Picture of a waterfall in Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta.)
In the spirit of my post from last Friday, where I listed off five things I miss about Michigan, I’m going to post five things I love about Georgia today.
- The weather. I know that right now it’s not as hot as it was last summer, or as hot as it is during a typical summer. But one thing I always hated about Michigan summers was the crazy extremes. For instance, the day before I left to come to Georgia last summer, it got up to 93 degrees, but when I left home around 11 the next morning, it was only around 55. It seems like most of the time here you can safely assume the temperatures will be fairly steady from day-to-day. And even if the summers are muggy and sucky here, I’m really, REALLY looking forward to not having to shovel snow this winter.
- The food. OMG OMG OMG. We don’t really have too much in the way of regional cuisine at home. I do miss pasties, Vernors, and easy access to Polish food, but there’s just so much more in the way of delicious, interesting, totally bad-for-you food that the South can claim. Even the fast food is amazing here. (Zaxby’s!) It’s almost like food is supposed to be enjoyed. What a concept! And the variety of fresh produce in most grocery stores, and at farmers’ markets, is just wonderful. I’m so used to stuff having been trucked/flown in over long distances.
- The people. Maybe the stereotype about Southern people being nicer is true. Or maybe since I’m in a fairly young (as far as Georgia goes) town with people coming and going from various parts of the country all the time due to its proximity to an Air Force base, nobody really pays attention to my accent. Anyway, nobody I’ve actually held a conversation with has been unkind to me, and that makes me feel pretty good. That’s been hard getting used to–people down here seemed too nice when I first got here, if you know what I mean.
- The landscapes. Michigan is beautiful, and yes, I am still homesick for a sight of the Great Lakes, but I really like watching the sun set over the overgrown peach trees in the side yard. I haven’t had an item of clothing seriously ruined by the red clay here yet, so I still think it’s kind of pretty. And I really enjoy Atlanta. I’m always going to be a small-town girl but I love the tall buildings, variety of activities, and great people-watching opportunities of big cities.
- The history. Sure, there’s plenty of history at home, but I guess I just don’t find it as interesting as the history here. Most of the cities and towns here (with the exception of the one I live in currently) seem to be quite a bit older than towns in the area where I grew up, and people in general seem to be a little more preoccupied with history and historic preservation than they do at home. People are actually interested in genealogy down here, which is great because I can tell them all kinds of cool stuff about Dallas’ family tree. (Mine too, but they mostly went north from Virginia after the American Revolution, not south, with the exception of one branch that spent a couple generations in North Carolina before heading out to Kentucky and then up to Wisconsin. Some of Dallas’ ancestors were in eastern Georgia before 1800.)
I’m a little less homesick this week than I have been since I got here. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m settling into the new reality of my fiancé being almost five thousand miles away, or if I’m truly falling in love with my new adopted home state. It has been a much better week, though. Getting out and walking has helped, and trying to soak up as much natural light and breathe in as much fresh air as possible has made my mood so much better. I’m still not sleeping too well at night, but I never did before, so if that changed, I’d be really surprised (and not know what to do).