By Moe Bay

“We had some folks from New York here once…but they didn’t stay long”.  Now being from the land of the Soprano’s this could only mean one thing to us.  My husband and I listened to a fellow land-owner and director of our POA at our first meeting in 2005 say this to us.  We quickly blurted out that we were from New Jersey–way different from New York!  We decided to keep our point of origin quiet for a while. No point in taking chances.  Besides, our philosophy was assimilation, not do-it-our-way.

Discovering the ways of the South has been fun for us.  Like how southern girls handle the heat.  Just for the record, southern girls do glisten.  They do not sweat!  I haven’t yet put in nearly enough time to qualify for this phenomenon.  Occasionally I get a comment about menopausal symptoms, but No.  That’s not it!  I’m just helplessly processing the summer heat and humidity like a Northerner.  I think I have a few years to go.

I do think that there are some time-honored acquired tastes here in the South.  When I first ordered country ham for a breakfast out with my husband I had no idea what I was getting.  I thought “country” indicated farm grown, homey, or hardy.  When I took that first bite it was a shock to the taste buds.  Holy pig!  They put a whole container of salt on this ham!  And, they made it extra chewy!  No offense but that may take a bit longer to get used to than the sweating thing.  And speaking of pig cuisine, the term “pork belly” has never, to my knowledge, been used north of Virginia.  The northern sensibility could never tolerate anything so anatomically graphic.  They’d never eat it!  When I have a question of the source, like what chitlins are, I check first…then maybe eat.

Dogs are super important here.  You might take someone’s parking space by mistake but you’d better not mess with their dog.  We decided that when one of us retired, we would finally get our first dog.  Our Scooter is now five years old.  We were amazed that there are even special days devoted to dogs here.  All three of us spent the day in Saluda for the Coon Dog Festival.  Clearly, dogs are right up there with senior citizens and Sundays.

Another refreshing change from the North was the nightly local news.  We were used to an hour of unending crime with gut-wrenching proportions that seemed to be happening just feet away from us!  The Tomato Festival news is far more desirable

How could I not love a place where the boys are as sweet as the tea, and there are more trucks in the parking lot than carpenter bees and someone’s heart is always being blessed. ‘Think I’ll stick around

Moe Bay is a Lake Lure resident.