Our new home is in a smaller Southern town and there is a lot to learn about how to live and relate to our new neighbors. I grew up in a big city and am more familiar with living at a fast pace. South Carolina runs on its own clock and it is one that is much slower than the Atlanta pace. Although both cities are in the south, Atlanta has a much different rhythm than the one I discovered just a few hours away. We have not been here long, but the differences in culture are quite striking and noticeable once you spend some time here.
First, everyone goes out of their way to make you feel welcome. I am "Sweetie" to everyone from the girl at the gas station convenience store to the sales clerk at TJMaxx. Everyone wants me to "have a great day" and "stay cool" because the heat is a bit more oppressive with the added humidity.
With the slower pace, people take their time and appear to pay more attention to you. I am still not quite sure if they really are paying more attention to me, but it sure feels like they do. It really does take some getting used to the pace, but I think it will be nice once I can slow down to meet South Carolina time.
People like to bake and share their goodness. Two sweet neighbors brought over a homemade Angel Food cake and banana bread. These kindnesses help take the edge off of unpacking yet one more box.
Finally, the people I have met are not afraid to invite me to their church. It does not take long once someone discovers that you are new to town for them to ask if you have found a 'church home'. It seems that it is rude not to share your passion for your church and small group with someone who is new to town.
With all of the changes, I am still processing so much of what has happened in the past few months. I look forward to writing with more frequency and seeing what God has in store.