The trip was a welcome and beautiful, where I realized how much I enjoy seeing the leaves change, how nice it is when the air is crisp and how nice it is for strangers to smile and wave.
We went for a walk Sunday morning at 6:30 in the morning, then we walked to church (a miracle in itself) where everyone asked our names and then listened to the answer. The men open doors, people call you Miss and Ma'am and smile. Did I mention how people smile and wave?
After going through my life thinking I have no identifiable accent and loving that fact I started to hear how harsh my voice is. I pronounce hi as "high", harsh and to the point, I can be snarky and I'm very direct in dealing with people. This may be the excuse I have needed to further hone my skills in diplomacy and the effective smile. Who can be mad at you when you are always smiling? I sure as hell don't want to be known as that Yankee bitch!
The cultural differences are astounding. Even the concept of beauty is altered. Women really take care of themselves. The hair, makeup and nails are all done up. These women make sweat suits look classy. I even took the time to do my eyes and lips, it felt great to get it together for a moment.
I can finally say that I am excited to make the move up there. I can't wait to be part of a true community where I know my neighbors and care about them. Miami has been great and I have made lifelong connections but the day to day can be isolating. You are a number in a large sprawling beautiful city where you spend more time in your car than playing in your yard. Family & friend time requires a lot of effort here, I know that this will change. I already know groups of parents with small children in Alabama where in Miami I have struggled to meet other working parents.
Right now I am concentrating on all the positives and I know it is not always going to be pro Alabama but right now I am still in the dating stage and I'm hoping to fall in love.