Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Always Thought Blankets with Arms Were Stupid....

There have been a lot of things I should have chronicled in my move back to the south.  Yes, I do realize that I am from Tennessee, born and raised.  However, I have been gone for about 12 years give or take a bit.  That is a great portion of my adult life, and certainly more than enough time to totally adjust to and absorb a different culture.  Second, I was born and raised in North Eastern Tennessee.  It makes a difference.  The people in North East Tennessee are just different.  They are truly in the smokey mountains.  The land is harder.  They have always been of a different spirit than most of the rest of Tennessee in some ways because of it.
So, readjusting has been interesting.
Learning to understand some of the people here has been a joy.  No.  Really.  I'm not sure if I published the blog (yet) about Midi (my new nick name for The One In The Middle and pronounced "MidE")'s first Kindergarten teacher not being able to say the word jewelry, but in cased I missed it, I will give you the short version.  It took me about 5 minutes to understand in our first meeting that she wasn't talking about a jury of some sort, but telling us the girls were not allowed to wear jewelry, and "jury" is her exact pronunciation.  She is a very nice woman, but I can't say I was entirely unhappy when they moved her to 4th grade.  Though, that meant The Big One has her for science.  That I am much more ok with, since The Big One learned to read, write, and speak more clearly elsewhere.
The is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to adjustments, and I will try to cover more of the fantastic ones again later.
My biggest adjustment right now, though, is the freaking weather.  It is cold here.  I mean really, really cold.  I was under the misapprehension that because we are about 3 hours south of where I grew up, it would stay at least a couple of degrees warmer than home.  I was wrong.  I failed to take a couple of things into account in that theory.  First, My home town is geographically blessed when it comes to winter.  It is one of the more low laying areas in the middle of the mountains.  You can think of it as sort of a basin, though not really low, surrounded by mountains all around it.  The mountains protect is from lots of different weather patterns, and manage to help it stay a little warmer.  Second, there are a couple of very large businesses who actually contribute to the weather.  The largest plant, the Eastman Chemical Company, probably keeps the town at least a degree or two warmer because of all the steam that it emits by itself, at least if you live close like we did.  I know, that isn't really good in some ways, but when considering the fact that I am freezing to death, in that regard alone, I would take it.
Now, I live int he land of lakes.  I live closer to the water's edge than i have since I had the Gulf of Mexico in my back yard (it really was when we lived on base in Corpus Christi, TX).  There must be 3 or four different large bodies of water here.  I blame the fact that it rains constantly on that, whether there is science to back that up or not.  So, we get wet weather most of the time, mixed with freaking cold temps.  For some reason, though, that doesn't mean snow so far, or not much, just ice.  Lots and lots of ice.  I'm over it already and it is just barely January.  The lows are into the 20's just about every night. The highs sometimes reach 50, but many days it doesn't.  Freakin' cold.  
I don't own a good coat anymore.  I have one that is too big now, but I will use it when I have too.  I don't want to buy another one because I refuse to buy either wool or a puffy jacket, and my options are limited because of that.  When I find one I love, I will snap it. Instead, I wear lots, and lots of layers with a thin jacket.  I have t-shirts from Old Navy made of fleece.  I wear fuzzy socks, even with shoes.
To top it all off, our house is a monster house, and who ever renovated it did some of the worst DIY jobs ever.  There is no insulation in the entire garage addition, something we didn't know when we rented it.  That isn't the only room like that, either.  Any room that was built on seems to be constantly freezing.  It doesn't help that at least three rooms have no heat in them, because lines weren't run from the heating unit.  We try not to run the space heaters until we have to, since they cost and arm and a leg to use.  So, I don't even get to really be warm inside.
That is all why I no longer think those blanket with arms things are totally stupid.  I would use one.  Every day of my life.  I would live in them, as just another layer.  I might even use two, one on the front, and one on the back to cover up the hospital gown opening.  Yes.  I am that cold.  No.  I don't care how stupid it looks.  At least then I might be warm.