Families have traditions for all kinds of things; so do communities. It has been fascinating to see the commonalities and the divergencies of local cultural as we settle into our new locale.
Some of the common things we’ve noticed include:
- Pride in their community. When we lived in Montpelier, they touted that they were the center of the universe. Here in Lascassas/Murfreesboro, they raise statues to the fact that they are the dimple of the universe.
- Sports fans abound everywhere. The local Cracker Barrel carries the local team duds and paraphernalia. Big, bright, orange jerseys have made their way into our wardrobe. Given Central Tennessee has at least two SEC college teams, an NFL team, and an NHL team, we are full up on the sports front. In Richmond, they cheered passionately for a favorite team from DC or North Carolina. But here in Nashville, they just cheer for home teams.
- There are streets and/or suburbs that everyone argues over their pronunciation. You’ve got to get with a true local to get the scoop. We have finally learned how to pronounce the name of our city–Lascassas (as if figuring out how many “s”‘s it needed weren’t enough). Just think of the most southern, drawling way possible to say it….LASS CASS US–emphasis on the second syllable.
Some of the differences include:
- In Richmond, the RIVAH and the Outer Banks were big doings. No one here has a clue what that is all about.
- Seafood abounded in Virginia…the closer to the shore, the more likely it was to be on the daily menu (even part of your breakfast menu). In Tennessee we like seafood, but steak is the meat of choice (we are closer to Texas where beef is the ONLY choice).
- The houses in Tennessee are all bricked all the way around. It is just standard regardless of the size of your home. In Virginia, siding and a Williamsburg influence was standard–dormers optional. You might get a brick front, but you’d be hard pressed to talk a builder into including brick on all four sides. I might mention that builders here are also more customer focused. We showed up to find they had painted the entire inside of our home in my colors, built us a Christmas closet because they heard I had a lot of Christmas decorations, enlarged the patio because we had mentioned we love to live outdoors, enlarged our driveway because we have three cars to park, upgraded my hardwood and even put it in my closet, and gave me a custom island that I’d shown them a picture of. . .just because (no charge). The builder stops by fairly often just to make sure we still love our home and there’s nothing we want him to do. Who does that? Business is just done differently in the Boro.
- Virginians fly flags–cute, celebratory flags on their front porches, by their mailboxes, in their gardens. In Tennessee you erect a flag pole and fly the American flag AND the confederate flag–they are Southern to the core. It’s about the Mason Dixon line, not about a war. In Richmond, they were still fighting the Civil War; they even burned confederate flags. While Tennesseans don’t fly a birthday or Christian flag by their door, I’ve noted my Christian friends have carefully selected a meaningful verse of Scripture or a verse from a hymn and have had it engraved on rocks in the garden, carved into a wood sign or cut out of metal for the walls. And, many have had their choice created in those rub off letters they can put on their walls. My next door neighbor chose “He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing.” It just touched my heart. So I’m looking for the Holy Spirit to give me my special verses to add to my home–I have just the right spots all picked out.
- Virginians pride themselves in their ancestry. There’s a hierarchy of First Families of Virginia. And, if you aren’t in that bloodline, well. . .you are just a “come hither.” You may have money but you don’t have bloodline. Here in Tennessee they are rednecks and proud of it. The uppity folks that come from elsewhere are considered money grabbers; they don’t know anything about real roots and family. It’s not about money, it’s about commitment. Neighbors and friends may not be in your bloodline but they can most definitely be in your “family.”
- In Virginia everyone has those stickers on their cars that are nothing but three letters. No one in Tennessee would have a clue what that was all about.
All of this made me think about heaven. What will be the commonalities there to life here? What will the new customs be like? For starters:
- There won’t be any hospitals, rehab centers, urgent care facilities. The medical community will be out of work.
- There are no cemeteries; no funeral homes. Praise God!
- There are no clocks there. No rising and setting of the sun for He will be our light.
- There won’t be any race issues. We’ll all be born of the same Father and love will abound.
- There are no jails, no police.
- Money won’t be an issue. The streets are made of gold so even the street sweepers are sweeping up gold dust.
- Praise God we won’t have elections. No commercials, no placards in yards, no billboards. We’ll all just praise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In fact, there will be no politics. We’ll just do things His way.
- There are no slums. Mansions abound
- There’s no night there. We won’t need to sleep 1/3 of our life away.
- Everyone will know everyone. And we’ll have an eternity to sit and chat. How fun will that be?
- There will be beautiful music everywhere–praise music! So Music City. ..get ready to be replaced.
I was shooting for a top ten–I’ve always been an overachiever. Share your local doings. And what would you add to the list about heaven?