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When you grow up in the south

There are things you read about, maybe even sorta remember if you spent some time up north, but they're not really part of your existence.

- basements/cellars
- windows without screens
- summers without mosquitoes
- starting seedlings indoors because it's too cold outside
- hardening those same seedlings so they get used to life outdoors
- frost warnings
- fireflies
- school not starting until September (wtf, that's late; Southern schools start in mid August usually)
- houses without air conditioning
- soft grass
- walking barefoot without worrying about fire ants
- the ability to grow plants accustomed to northern climate zones (most stone fruits, apples, all those beautiful northern flowers)

feel free to add your own if you grew up in the south, or, alternately, make your own list for the north

This entry was originally posted at https://laridian.dreamwidth.org/2890093.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2018 12:17 pm (UTC)
Things you take for granted when you've lived your whole life on the southern coast of Norway:

- Winters normally only put in a serious effort between late January-early February to the middle of March. Getting feet of snow is an every-third-year-on-average experience, and "arctic" temperatures happen once or twice per decade. (Guess which year 2018 was. Last dirty crust melted last week...)

- Easy access to lots and lots of beaches. Pick the one that suits your mood! Choose between salt and fresh water! Salt has stinging jellies, fresh has leeches. Long sandy shallows, deep water with natural diving-boards on the rocky hillside, or perfectly sloping bottoms with sea-glass and cool shells: We have it, less than an hour away! PS: Come at high tide.

- Take a 30 minute drive, and you can be in the countryside or in the forest. Drive for two hours, and you're in the mountains! (And then you have a sort of strange feeling, as you realise that you're properly in Norway, now.)

- It's almost as if several different worlds meet, right here. There's a bit of everything. The new exists side by side with the old and the ancient. You can go around with a camera for one day, and the pictures may look as if you've been on a somewhat lenghty trip.

- Outside of a certain couple of towns, this is an area that's generally safe in a way most Americans foreigners can't really understand. Free-range childhoods are still a thing for many kids! Many (if not most) pre-schools have a priority on getting children used to playing outside.

- Summers are long and generally warm, although there's never a guarantee a sunny day won't end in a rainstorm. Thanks to the proximity of the sea, the air stays fresh and cool long after the inland succumbs to the heat. You can grow many, many different sorts of fruits, vegetables, herbs and perennials, if you're so inclined. :-)

- There is very little pollution, and you'll see honey-bees, bumblebees, butterflies and hundreds of other little insects buzz around between the wildflowers. Pro-tip: Plant a Butterfly Bush.

- If you own a boat (which at least half of all households do), you can spend the whole summer lazing around the archipelago. Boat culture is strong. There's really nothing like a summer night spent at sea.

- We have a lot of intricate and unique history, tied both to the old-timey ship trade and regular life near the sea. There's a strong sense of cultural identity that's not so much "Norwegian" as just "coastal Scandi." From what evidence I've seen (mostly in form of pop-culture) we share a lot more with our Swedish, Finnish and possibly also Baltic coastal-dwelling counterparts, than the rest of our respective countries do.

- There's no lack of interesting lore, and paranormal hot-spots are said to abound! My neighbourhood is supposed to be one...

- It's probably not an exaggeration to say that it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Even UNESCO agrees. We're often compared to the riviera. Places that look right out of a romantic painting are everywhere. And we're just so used to it, we don't even notice, most days. We see it in rain, fog and sleet, covered with sludge, and can't wait to get inside and just block it out. But then spring comes around again, and... hopefully, we remember that we're very lucky.

Edited at 2018-05-04 01:20 pm (UTC)
May. 4th, 2018 05:24 pm (UTC)
Awww. <3 Norway has a huge piece of my heart...except for the bathroom humor. ;D Seriously, I don't know why, but your description here made me feel oddly homesick. Maybe it's an ancestral thing. My people came from Drammen, which I've probably told you before. Maybe I could come visit you someday, and we could also check out Drammen. :)

(Sorry. Butting in here.)
May. 4th, 2018 11:12 pm (UTC)
If I have a car by the time you come to visit, we'll definitely spend a day or two in Drammen. It's not a spectacularly beautiful city, but it's got that something something. I've always sort of liked it, although I've only been there on short visits. It's about three hours away from where I live, if you take the not-scenic route.

I think Norway is probably your true homeland. x)

(Sorry to hijack!)

Edited at 2018-05-04 11:12 pm (UTC)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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