Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Happens in Wisconsin

We've been in the great Midwest for 4 months. And during that short time, I have observed some interesting things about life here in lovely Wisconsin.

First, everyone, and I mean everyone, asks you if you own a snowthrower (read "snowblower" for my northeastern friends) when you meet them. What is that? Is it a mark of honor?

Second, the rule at Josh's school is that they play outside for recess until it is below 0 degrees. That's Fahrenheit friends, not Celsius. I guess we'll be sending him in with snowpants and boots starting, well, next week.

Three, everyone loves the Packers. Everyone wears Packers gear as often as possible to any type of event, up to and including Sunday morning church services. If you want to experience a sane grocery shopping experience never, I repeat, never go to the grocery store in the 4 hours preceding a game.

Four, people complain when it is 85 with low humidity. I, on the other hand, run around rejoicing that I can breathe and enjoy the outdoors in the summer.

Five, people like guns. There are signs on the sides of roads promoting gun ownership, revering guns, advertising gun shows. Kids play with toy guns like it's no big thing. What's with all the guns, folks? Are we afraid the corn fields are going to rise up and attack us?

Six, aforementioned corn. Everywhere. All the time.

Seven, those crazy accents I anticipated really do exist. And my neighbor even said "Don't you know?" in that fantastically Canadian way us East-coasters imagine people out here talk. Also, someone told me to "yak it up"(read "Yayk it uop") with my hubby. Apparently that's English.

Eight, everyone who finds out that we moved from North Carolina asks us why in the world we would move to Wisconsin and then they proceed to tell us the winters aren't really "that bad." They are lying through their teeth and I can see them holding back a mixture of hilarity and pity in their eyes. My neighbor actually admitted that he wants to watch us the first time we shovel our driveway. Possibly he'll bring popcorn. Maybe laughing at transplanted southerners is a form of winter entertainment during the dark months around here.

Nine, water fountains are now bubblers. I shall never call them that. At least not with a straight face.  
Ten, and I'll end with a straight-up nice one, the people are awesome. Down to earth, friendly and helpful. Our neighbors invited us over for "brats" the 2nd night we were here and are now good friends. A group of people we'd never met before helped us unload our moving van and provided friends for my son, as well as a heavenly coffee cake, towels and sheets so we wouldn't have to find ours that first night in a new house. They are now good friends, too. How could they not be? The coffee shop people are nice, the toll booth people smile and I promise you I met the friendliest receptionist ever born at my son's dentist office. She should have an award for nicest human.

So, Wisconsin, four months down, countless months to go. I love your accents and will continue to enjoy encountering your quirks of culture and language. Thanks for providing the prettiest summer weather ever to welcome us here - surely it provided a good enough foundation for us to make it through the winter that, apparently, started today with our first flakes of snow.

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