A Big Change, (Exiled!)

When I married in 1969, I went north, first to New Hampshire, then New Jersey. Life changed. First of all, I was climate challenged. I did not own a coat. The cold weather, which shortly ensued, was a shock. I had never seen snow, ice, or sleet much less driven in it. At first, I was excited. It was beautiful. We made snow angels, had a snowball fight, and took a walk in a winter wonderland. Then reality set in. I had to drive to work in it or on it.

One day I walked out to the car to go to work. Snow lay on the ground. I had my keys in my gloved hand, and of course, I had no keys when I got to the car. I walked back into the apartment and told Peter my predicament. He said you don’t carry keys in a gloved hand. Really? To this day I don’t know why we didn’t have a second set. Peter probably did but wasn’t about to give them to me. Peter left to go to class and I called in stupid. I soon learned to drive in the snow, slipping and sliding. One day I slipped in and out of the middle of a semi on the highway. I really believe you’re not going till your time comes.

I was also map challenged. First, those New Englanders don’t pronounce things very well. My father-in-law nicely told me that Vermont was pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable, not the first. I learned that Worcester is pronounced Wooster; that Haverhill is pronounced Havril; and I learned how to pronounce Massachusetts Avenue from a young man at a gas station in Boston when I asked if the street we were on was Massachusetts Avenue. No, he said, that’s Mass Ave.

One time, when trying to get somewhere with me and a map in my lap, Peter pulled over and said, “Give me the map. Didn’t anybody ever teach you how to read a map?” Another time, he said “It would be nice if you told me the name of the street we turn on before we actually got there.” That was the time I tore up the map and threw it out the window in a fit of pique. No, I did not know how to read a map. Key West is a two by four mile island and the only direction we needed was straight up Route 1 for four hours to Miami. And we hardly ever even did that.

I was also time challenged. In Key West you could get anywhere you needed to get in ten minutes or less. In the North, it could take hours. Peter was always rushing me and I told him that he had a “Hurry Hurry Ding Ding” complex. We were always late for something. One day he told me. “We’re late and there is nothing we can do about it.” I totally did not understand the concept.

My husband is a Yankee. I’m a Conch; two completely different cultures, but not really. My family is from Green Turtle Key in the Bahamas and the sailing schooners from New England would stop occasionally. The Bahamians were called Conchs and when they migrated to Key West in the 1800’s they brought the name with them. There was a book written about the Conchs called ‘’Wind From the Carolina’s.” In it, there’s a quote. “Yankee sailor marries Conch girl”. That’s what happened.


3 thoughts on “A Big Change, (Exiled!)”

  1. Sitting at my desk in the office and DYING with laughter!! Thanks for my morning chuckles and lightness of heart! WONDERFUL!!!

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