Living in Augusta, Georgia, after a decade of living in Virginia is weird. You wouldn't think it would be that different, but it kind of feels like we up and moved to Neptune. The land is different (there are hills!), the weather is different (we never saw a single snowflake this winter and Spring came at the end of February!), and the people are different. OH, HOLY HELL ARE THE PEOPLE DIFFERENT. You know, I grew up in the Real South, in Tennessee, but this is a whole new ballgame here. EVERYONE wants to be your friend. EVERYONE wants to hug you. EVERYONE wants to make you feel welcome. One day when I needed an I-9 notarized, I ran into the bank to see the notary and even with no wait time left an hour later, carrying a list of the best restaurants to eat at, the owner's names, and a note to tell them that "Gary sent me." Last time I went to Kroger, I left having been hugged by three different old ladies and having been told by a couple of other people that I had "beautiful hair" and "needed to stand up straight." IT SCARES THE EVER LOVIN' FUCK OUT OF ME.
Despite being terrified to leave the house because I know I'll have to talk (or at least listen a lot) to a bunch of strangers who want to welcome me to Jaaaaw-ja (that is the correct pronunciation of "Georgia" if you grew up in Augusta, it seems), I love it here. It's fabulous. People told me I was crazy as hell when I let Blaker buy a house I had never seen in a town I had never been to, but it's perfect. I still get confused about where some of the doors lead (every time I'm trying to go to the garage, I walk into the pantry and once I spent five minutes wandering around upstairs trying to take linens to the guest room before I remembered that the guest room was DOWNstairs, but that's probably just my ADD issues and not the fault of the house) and I have no idea what all the light switches operate, but I'm learning. Slowly. We have amazing neighbors who seem to mostly be a handful of doctors and dentists except for the guy next door whom I'm convinced is running some kind of high-class drug situation out of his home, but I haven't actually met him, just spied on him, and I suppose there's a chance that he just works in IT or something. The doctor across the street actually came over and gave me an ear exam one day in the front yard while I was planting impatiens because he had been sitting in our yard visiting our dog (people tend to visit the dog, not us-- not that I blame them) and I was telling him that I was convinced a spider had crawled into my ear several weeks earlier while I was sleeping and laid spider babies on my eardrum. (It turns out, this was not the case. I just had fluid in my ear from having a cold and it was making things feel kind of tickly in there.) How neighborly is THAT?
I do miss my old friends in Virginia. When all of your friends live in your neighborhood, it makes for easy impromptu drunken barbecues, and when you're bored you can just wander from house to house and have a glass of wine with everybody and never have to worry about having a DD. That's what we had in the KP. Maybe we'll have that here too, but I can't tell yet. I miss the librarians knowing me so well at the public library that they would hoard new books for me because they knew I wouldn't have them long enough to matter to anyone else who was waiting on them. I do NOT miss 12-hour drives to get to TN (less than 4 is mo' betta) or everything being flat and sandy. I did NOT miss the ton of snow Suffolk got this year, or being there when a horrible tragedy took the life of one of our former neighbor's six-year-old in March.
Anyway. We're here. We're home. Welcome to Georgia.