Tuesday, July 29

Culture Shock 48

School Districts by county, not by city. I am totally confused!

Antioch Unified School District. That's a city.
Pittsburg Unified. City. (Yes. That is how California spells Pittsburg!)

South Pike and North Pike are counties. I was confused with South McComb and North McComb.

I think I got it now.

Friday, July 25

Culture Shock 47

Accents. Nope. I don't have one. So I thought a year ago!

I can understand most accents. I call it ear-tuning. I have to lean in a bit and watch the lips carefully at times.

My husband has found out from the locals that quite a few people moved up this way after hurricane Katrina hit. These people from the gulf of Louisiana are difficult for me to tune in to. Otherwise, Mississippians don't have too much of a draw in their speech!

I have found a few things that I say funny, though. "Leg" with a long 'a' sound, as well as "eggs." I pronounce the word "I" as the long letter sound, whereas the locals tend to say it with just the beginning sound. (Say it out loud slowly and you can hear 2 distinct sounds!)

I am sure there are other things I say that sound strange out here. In fact, children often stare at me when I say hello. I'm either funny looking or I sound weird to them!

Culture Shock 46

Wave. I must remember to wave. Take my hand off the steering wheel and wave. Shake my hand in the air as a car drives by the house to wave.

My little guy has this down, especially if you are in a truck! I am sure that I have been seen as rude because I forgot this little cultural thing to do. It is not second nature for me to wave to strangers or passers by.

Back at home, if I did this, I would be stuck with my hand up in the air! The only time I waved was when I actually knew the person.

Culture Shock 45

Time. Goes by. So slowly...

But not in California!
As the saying goes: If you're on time your late; if you're early you're on time.

But it's more than that! People talk slower here. They walk slower here. They drive slower here. It's just a matter of priorities and taking your time to enjoy the journey. There is no hurry to get through the grocery line or beat the red lights. It simply is what it is!

Wednesday, July 16

Culture Shock 44

Front doors.

We all know what they are.

Very few people here use them. I think they are for decoration or to let light in. Or they just come with the house. I'm not sure.

Our front door is actually enclosed within the front porch. We call it the screen room.

My husband works in peoples homes and says it can be confusing to find the door a particle family actually uses.

I thought front doors were for walking into the house.

Wednesday, July 9

Culture Shock 43

Time Zones

I am not liking this time zone difference. My family is 2 hours behind me here in Mississippi. That means that when it is 6:20 here, where we are done with work and dinner, it is only 4:20 in California. My sisters are not home from work nor have they considered dinner yet. My parents are probably thinking of dinner which means it is not a good time to call.

Same thing in the mornings. I get up st 7. By 9 a.m. I am ready to call my friends who are just getting up because of the time difference.

Friday, July 4

Culture Shock 42

How do you celebrate Independence Day?

For 14 Fourth of Julys, my husband and I have celebrated by going to a fireworks show. Fireworks are illegal to set off in California without special permits and licenses. We always brought snacks to munch and blankets to sit on.

One year, we bought fireworks in Washington to set off at a family reunion in Oregon. I believe they are not legal in Oregon either. My dad used to tell stories about setting some off down by the train tracks when he was a kid.

For the last 2 years, we have had our own mini show in our front yard here in Mississippi. So fun! This year, my little guy was awake enough to ooo and ahh over the mortars and bottle rockets. We are very careful, Grandpa! Our neighbors across the street have joined us and it's been really fun!

My husband and I started dating on July 4th, 1998. 17 times we have celebrated Independence Day together, even though two of those years were over the phone.

It's different for us here. Lots of state laws that are not the same have caused us pause. People ARE different out here, but mostly that has been a wonderful, refreshing change from the hustle of California.

I hope you had an amazing time with your family this past weekend!

Thursday, July 3

Culture Shock 41

Everything is bigger and better in Texas!

I remember hearing this as I grew up in the 80s. Bigger hats. Bigger DQ icecream sandwiches. Bigger trucks. Bigger houses. Bigger hair! Always bigger.

Now I can say that about California. Bigger highways than Mississippi.  Bigger towns than Mississippi.  Bigger buildings and stores. More people.

But Mississippi has it's glory too! Bigger families. Bigger yards to play in. More churches. Bigger trailers for hauling the bigger atv or bigger horses or bigger tractors.

Each place has it's charms. It's been a year; 365 days ago that I flew with my kids to be here with my husband. We are still adjusting, still learning, still missing California.  But we are glad to be a family that is together.

So, I've actually never been to Texas, but everything is definitely better when we are together!

Wednesday, July 2

Culture Shock 40


While driving on the west coast, I have hit squirrels and birds. I've seen possum and a gray fox ran in front of my moving vehicle once. I even sliced an already dead coyote in half. (Sad but true: the guy behind me was tailgating me and didn't see the body come flying at his vehicle. He got a flat tire.) Oh yeah, skunks too! Lots of skunks.

I know these animals are part of North America and can be spotted dead or alive just about anywhere.

But, here in Mississippi,  I've seen bunnies, snakes, turtles, and a baby armadillo, who was alive when I saw him!
The amount of roadkill is higher here. Cats and dogs mostly. Actually, my 9 year old and I  passed this dead red fox on the way home for a couple weeks.  We would check out its state of decomposition.  (Hey! Homeschool science!)