Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly six years since we packed up and moved down here to North Carolina.  As much as I love it, there are some things to which I’m still adjusting.  And others that are simply endearing.

IMG_6433Spring sports season has officially kicked into high gear.  Mary Grace is playing soccer again, and Carson’s back at T-ball.  I’ve got the whole soccer thing down, no prob.  But baseball?  Shh, don’t tell Carson (because he’s the cutest ever in his little t-ball get-up. and I obviously love watching HIM play. and I’ll keep supporting him as long as he wants to.), but I don’t get the hype.

My sports-adoring husband thinks it’s blasphemous when I say such things.  “But it’s AMERICA, Catherine!  Baseball’s the ALL-AMERICAN SPORT!”  Clearly he’s right; kid baseball is a BIG DEAL around these parts.  Out here in sorta-rural North Carolina, four year olds sling ginormous bat bags across their backs like it’s their JOB, and entire extended families come out to rootrootroot for the home team, even if only for batting practice.  Suffice it to say I’m way outta my element.

IMG_6388Speaking of North Carolina, Carson misspelled the word “nail” on his spelling test last week.  What does this have to do with anything, you ask?  Well, people, he spelled it “nayil”.  I don’t blame the kid.  Because in our neck of the woods, I’m sure that’s precisely how his teacher pronounced it: “NAY-il”.  Two syllables.  He’s just doing, or spelling, as told.

IMG_6373Can we chat for just a sec about one more thing?  Red hot dogs.  They’re a staple around here.  RED hot dogs.  I will never, no not ever, get or support this phenomenon.  That is all.  (Pictured are my girls [MG, covered in her spilled drink, cheeseburger still in hand] at our infamous local downtown diner.  With a statue of the beloved red hotdog.  Because of course they insisted.)

IMG_6426I had a hard time when we first moved here.  I missed family.  Barnes and Noble.  Panera. You know, the essentials.  At some point along the way, however, this place started to grow on me.  Maybe it’s the postal workers who know my whole family by name.  Or my favorite grocery store employee and our weekly hair chats.  Perhaps it’s our librarians who will set aside books they come across throughout the week that remind them of my kids.  And then there’s my tamale lady at work.  Y’all, Panera is good; but it’s got nothing on our tamale lady.

IMG_6432Dearest Small Town North Carolina, I never thought I’d say this when we moved here back in ’08, but you kind of have me smitten.  (Though, let’s just be clear, I still wouldn’t be opposed to a proper bookstore within 25 miles.)