Monday, July 6, 2015
A Year in North Carolina
Today marks one year since we arrived in North Carolina.
We have loved living here. It is a beautiful place, and the people are wonderful. Our ward (church congregation) is absolutely the best, and we've made so many wonderful friends here.
I've come full circle with all of the trees. There are tall trees everywhere. If there is any clear land, it's because they cut down the trees that used to be there. When we first arrived, Jason and I were both like, "Wow! There's so many trees here! That's great!" But after a couple of months they started to press in on me. They were so claustrophobic, tall and all together and always, always surrounding us. I missed the open-ness of the west, being able to see to the horizon. But after another couple months, the trees no longer felt like they were pressing in, and I was okay. And then we went back to California for Christmas, and when we came home to North Carolina and our airplane landed below the trees I felt like we were reentering a protective blanket. I'm still looking forward to the day when we'll live in the west again and I'll be able to see to the horizon, but I like the trees, and I'm okay with them now.
Living in the middle of the country is fun. I'm so glad we got a house that is between towns, and not actually in town. Sure, we have to drive at least ten minutes to get anywhere, but we're totally used to that now and I love living in the middle of farms. Having a huge yard with a forest in our backyard is great, too. It's so relaxing and peaceful to be so surrounded by nature.
Because we live so far away from the stores we used to frequent (like Target), we shop differently. We can't just run to the store for one or two things anymore. When we shop, we stock up so that we won't need anything for quite a while. We also shop a lot more online (woot Amazon Prime!) because that way we don't use so much gas money.
We've learned some funny things I never would have expected. Like the school buses they use to harvest the tobacco crops. In the fall, when they harvest the tobacco, some farmers use old school buses that they've cut the top of and basically converted into massive trucks to transport all the tobacco leaves.
We've also gotten used to how it's totally normal for people to talk to you at the grocery store, or at the park, or wherever. Everyone is just so friendly and open.
We love living here. North Carolina is a truly wonderful place.