I have always thought that I was born in the wrong state, Ohio. My family lived there my entire life until 3 years ago when my husband & I moved to South Carolina. It always felt like I was a Southerner at heart. The beach, palm trees, front porches, and friendly people are all my favorite things! But the question remains, can a Northerner become a Southerner?
When we first moved to the area, we were very nervous about telling people we met where we came from. I had always heard the joke about people from Ohio coming to vacation and never leaving. We have been pleasantly surprised at how friendly and accepting everyone has been. The only negative things we have seen are online with comparisons of others being “authentic Southerners” because they have been born and raised in the South.
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Where does the North end & South begin?
According to our US government the Mason-Dixon line, the Ohio River, and the 36°30′ parallel are the markers. The official southern states according to the US government include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. I literally barely missed the Southern cutoff! Lol! When you think about the “South” what states come to your mind?
When the shutdown hit, and more and more people started working from home we noticed an increase of people moving to South Carolina. We have also heard that this is happening to a lot of other southern states.
What sets the South aside from the rest?
It’s interesting because my husband is from Michigan and when we first met, he thought I had an “accent”. I guess it must be that Ohioan accent! Lol! People from the North tend to speak faster than most Southerners.
I find it fascinating how dialects can be so different from area to area. These things can drive some people crazy; do you say pop or soda. Sometimes people can just refer to all soda as Coke. The longer we are in a location we pick up sayings, it’s just human nature!
Pace of life
Just slow down! Sit back and relax is all I can say! Typically, but not always life in the South is just a slower pace. People drive slower and I wouldn’t recommend that you use your car horn! Don’t be surprised if driving through your local neighborhood that most people wave to you. It’s not because they are mistaking you for someone, it’s because people are friendly!
Sweet Tea, Liquor Store
We live in Summerville which is the birthplace of sweet tea! I did a blog post on this that you can read here. The town does an entire festival around sweet tea so if you love sweet tea, I highly recommend that you put it on your list of things to do!
Another thing that took us by surprise was the 3 red dot stores, otherwise known as your local liquor store. In Ohio liquor could be sold in grocery stores but in South Carolina, they have different laws regarding alcohol, and believe it or not they were even stricter not too long ago! Beer and wine can be bought in grocery stores, but liquor can only be bought in a liquor store (3 red dot stores!). These stores are only allowed to be open from the hours of 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and are closed on Sunday. If you want to read more about South Carolina liquor laws, you can do that here.
* Until 2006, South Carolina bars served hard liquor drinks using mini bottles. Bars did not stock full-sized liquor bottles until the law was repealed.
Palmetto bugs, alligators
Our bugs are bigger in the South! Down here in the South we have Palmetto bugs aka roaches with wings! And let me just tell you that they are huge! If you have them in your home it has nothing to do with your house being dirty, it’s just a fact of life here! My best advice to you is to make sure that you keep up on your pest control spraying. Lol!
We have a pond behind our home, and it was one of the things we loved most about the yard. With all ponds in the South comes the possibility of it having an alligator. We have had multiple ones visit and stay in our pond for a few weeks at a time. I must admit they are fascinating to watch! We always know that one is near because the turtles that typically hang out all go into hiding! That’s when we know to be on the lookout for one! They are super stealthy.
I love living in the South, the weather is so much better. I get to wear my tank tops and flip-flops most of the year! Also wearing white all year is pretty much acceptable. Not everyone is a warm weather and beach person, but I love it! Which do you prefer? Please share in the comments.