Saturday, August 15

Culture Shock 109

Just had a thought.  Don't be too shocked!

I have been paying attention to the new laws being passed in California.  Gun restrictions; vaccine schedules.  Scary things are happening all around the country.

If I lived in California still,  I honestly think I would simple live.  I would be (not completely) ignorant of politics and government antics.  When I was there, I didn't have time to dwell on these things, even the future of our country.

Now I have a freedom I never did before. Times are tough and if I could find a way to help bring income to my family, that would be good.  But I have a simplicity I never knew in California.

In Mississippi, I don't sit in traffic at all. In Mississippi, I'm not working 40 hours at work, commuting 10 hours a week or more, working from home 10 or more hours.  In Mississippi, work is left at work.  In Mississippi, we sit and talk together as a family in the evenings because we are all home.

I know that this has to do with circumstances and isn't a difference because of the actual place I'm in. It just happens that we are in Mississippi.

Friday, August 14

Culture Shock 108

I couldn't get a picture of this one. Too bad because it would've been good!

The Finger
That is one of the most legally rude things you can do without actually saying something. I was beaten up in junior high over a mistaken finger gesture made by my best friend. (I don't recall how I became the protector.)

Driving down a country road, passing a tractor, seeing someone at their mail box, you politely lift your pointer finger off of the steering wheel and gesture,  "Hello." Am I right?! Oh,  I think there is a slight nod of the head.

Another win for Mississippi, the hospitality state.

Tuesday, August 11

Culture Shock 107

Short and sweet.

One of THE WORST roads I have ever marched on for band was in my hometown of Antioch, CA.

Thank you, Mississippi, for keeping up with the roads. They are well taken care of.

Monday, August 10

Culture Shock 106

I'm still in shock as the summer heat picks up full force here.

Where, oh where, are the swimming pools!? No community pool. No college pool. No high school pool. No Grandma's house to go swimming.

My husband reminded me that even if we had a pool, the water would be 98 degrees.

California, here's we come! Oh, that's right.  You are having a drought and probably don't have many pools right now either.  But you have the cool Pacific Ocean. Enjoy!

Friday, August 7

Culture Shock 105

I caught myself starting to complain about the noise the other night. You know, the neighbors wouldn't keep it down, it kept getting louder and louder.

No! Wait!

That noise is cicadas and bull frogs and crickets.

Wow! They are really loud! There are not that many bugs in California! And one cicada can be heard up to a mile away.

Neighbors vs bugs. I'll take the bugs as long as they stay outside!

Culture Shock 104

Bridges. Overpasses.

There is the Antioch Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Also quite a few bridges within the delta where I grew up. But for the most part, I personally only crossed these bridges for vacations, for fun. I drove over and under A LOT of overpasses though. If you've seen the movies with shots of LA traffic and all the freeways, I've lived there.  And the Bay Area, CA, has it's fair share of interchanges.

Here near McComb, I go over a lot of bridges, too.  Most of them are over water.  Little creeks, rivers, low spots where water collects after the rain.

It just hit me the other day that I don't have a lot of freeways to go over or under, but I still see a lot of bridges. Not to forget one of the longest bridges in the United States that stretches over the Louisiana bayou.

Thursday, August 6

Culture Shock 103

I had to make a call to California to deal with some bank things.


For 2 years, TWO YEARS, I have not had to sit on the phone and get lost in a circle of recordings.

I cannot begin to tell you how fast and how high my blood pressure rose.  "Press 3 for payment; press 4 for adress." There might have been tears in my eyes as I sat in the church parking lot trying to get a hold of a real person.

It's been awhile since I've had that experience.  It used to be a daily, or at least weekly, existence thing.  Not here in the south.  Not anymore! Thank goodness for that.

Wednesday, August 5

Culture Shock 102

Something you may not know about Beth: I'm allergic to grass; all of it.

I still love sitting down in it and playing with my boys. Not for long, mind you, but we watch the chickens and move toy tractors around!

BUT! Y'all know about the ants by now. They bite.  Little ones. Big ones. Black ones. Brown ones. THEY WILL FIND YOU! No matter where I settle down with the boys to play, the ants find us!

I miss getting a picnic blanket or beach towel down on the grass and not worrying about ANTS!

Something else you may not know about Beth:
I'm not allergic to poison oak or ivy.

Culture Shock 101

I never watched "The Blair Witch Project" for those of you who remember that one. I'm not one for scary movies or for shaky cinematography.

That said, the scariest thing in the previews was the music.  I was aghast at the thought that these teenagers would be scared running through the skinny twigs, I mean trees. Seriously, these sticks they were calling trees had me laughing at the previews.

Now, imagine running through a forest where the trees are as big around as your car. You can't see around them.  Anything could jump out at you from a number of locations. If you don't see your buddy turn to the left, chances are you will lose him quickly amongst the trees. These are redwood trees, or gnarly oak trees, or a one hundred year old pine forest. It's not a little birch tree you are leaning against!

I thought "The Blair Witch Project" took place in a fantasy forest.  I really did. Until I went on a retreat in Atlanta and saw the skinny trees...

I did a ropes course on retreats in the redwood forest.  Those are big strong trees holding you up! I braved the ropes course on these skinny trees in Atlanta and I'm so glad I did. It was amazing! It was different watching the trees sway in the breeze as I climbed through the obstacles.  The massive redwoods never swayed!

So I look at these young forests here in Mississippi and I miss my redwoods.
I wish I had a picture to show you...