Most Asked….

I am what Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, calls an accidental country girl. Growing up I never thought I would marry a southern guy, I figured I would live in the city somewhere and, if marriage happened, great, if not, that would have been ok too.
But, as fate would have it, I did meet and marry a wonderful man. People who knew me growing up would never have guessed I could be happy as a country girl. 20 years ago I would have agreed. The world outside of the area I grew up in didn’t exist to us.
One of the questions I am asked the most is “What is the biggest difference between up north and where you live now?”
When I think about this question I can’t pin point one single difference that is the biggest. I can only speak on where I grew up in NYC compared to where I live now, in Razorback Country. But, this has been my experience.
When the Man and I moved to his home state, we had been married a few years and I had spent some time with his family during vacations and things. I thought I was ready to live in this part of the world. Hey, I lived in Alaska with him for three years, I could survive Arkansas, right?
Right?
Well, I wasn’t as ready as I thought, but I am a quick learner. I grew up with the notion that Arkansas was completely backwoods, that the residents have no teeth, and that everyone married their cousin. I was wrong, of course. But the differences?
One of the biggest has been the pace.
Things in NYC go quickly, everyone is in a rush, everything is scheduled. You don’t take the time to know your neighbors. Even the speech patterns are rushed in NY. People only say half of most words.
Down here, though, things move slower. The only schedule to keep is dictated by the rice and cotton crops for some people. There is nothing quite like sitting on the front porch in the evening with a glass of sweet tea and taking the time to know and care about your neighbors. They speak slower down here. They finish words and, I have to admit, there is nothing more heartwarming than a southern drawl coming from the Man.
Another major difference? Community.
In NYC, it takes major disasters to bring communities together. You can live your whole life there without knowing who plays for the college football team.
Down here? Well, if you don’t have what you need by game time Friday night before the high school team kicks off, it’s hard to find an open store until after church on Sunday. Everyone roots on the local high school team on Friday nights, unless you went to another school and they are playing each other. And there is never any traffic on Saturday during college football season, and Thanksgiving is a big day because it is the day before the Boot Bowl. A major tragedy strikes, such as the recent tornados, and there are boots on the ground in effected areas before the twister even lifts off the ground, and the local news stations hold a joint telethon for relief efforts.
The food.
In NYC, its not hard to find good pizza, or Chinese, at 2am, even delivered, or you can walk into a place and get a single slice of pizza, no problem. The bagels are out of this world. And two words: Street Food.
Down here, Papa Johns is considered good pizza, but they don’t deliver after 10pm, and forget about Chinese takeout, it’s all buffets that don’t deliver. Bagels are frozen hockey pucks, and the only hotdog carts are at baseball games. But, I know a few good places for catfish.
All in all, though, they both have their advantages. And I can’t really say one is better than the other. One is my past, it made me who I am and shaped the person I am, the other is my present and is shaping who I am becoming and who Mini Man is becoming.
I love being a proud member of The Accidental Country Girl Club and wouldn’t change it for anything!

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