It’s been interesting moving to a small Midwest town. Here’s a couple of examples. A week or so ago we drove almost an hour to the nearest Krispy Kreme. Lest you think that’s quite a trip for donuts, the nearest chain grocery store is 35 minutes away, WalMart 30 minutes, so really we’re used to driving to get places. Except the library. It’s only a mile away.

So we’re driving to Krispy Kreme after church on Sunday, and I noticed something I hadn’t seen anywhere else I’d lived. Graveyards everywhere. I must have passed a dozen in that hour drive. Just plopped along the side of the road. Now I happen to like graveyards and one of these days want to go exploring and find out who those people are that are buried there. But it’s such a different thing from the large, gated cemeteries in the West, set on the outskirts of town.

Being a writer, I of course pay more attention to language than most people. Some of the differences I expected, like calling soda “pop.” It’s even printed on the grocery store aisles that way.

The other is more unexpected. I’ve had a few people say I wasn’t from around here because of my accent. Um, what accent? I’m from California. We don’t have accents. It’s the rest of y’all that do.

One Sunday at church I told Michelle I’d go get the kids and meet her back in the foyer. A lady turned to me and said, “You’re not from around here, are you?”

I said no, why? She told me it was because I said ‘foy-yay’ not ‘foy-yer’ and she has a friend from California that says it that way too. Obviously, her friend from California says it right.

I think I need to go take some pics in the graveyard. I’m sure my kids and the locals will think I’m nuts.