My husband doesn't find it nearly as hilarious as I do when I tell him that living in Missouri feels like -- to this Northerner anyway -- living in Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia. He classifies Missouri as Midwest when everyone (read: me) OBVIOUSLY knows that Missouri is Southern.
Case in point? Down here, they serve sweet tea in restaurants. Hotels offer biscuits and gravy on the breakfast buffet. It's hot. It's muggy. Trees and brush and weeds take over EVERYTHING.
Also, tree frogs.
In Iowa restaurants, we just have regular tea. In Iowa hotels, we have cereal and waffles. In Iowa, we have -50 wind chills. In Iowa, trees know their place: in groves.
Also, no tree frogs.
Up north, things fly. Down south, they crawl. Or hop. And also croak.
Me? Slightly scared of the frog. Slightly more scared of the frog that tries to blend in with plants and bushes. Even more scared of the frogs that attach themselves to the side of our house when it starts to get dark out. Pretty much straight up terrified of the frogs that drop out of the patio umbrella when you crank it open.
I jump every time -- like a frog, you might say.
Iowa may be frigid, but at least you know where you stand when it comes to all things slimy. (Or sit, if you're me. I once saw a snake in our driveway when I was a child and spent the next 15 minutes sitting in our roasting hot minivan, determined to sweat to death rather than run into that snake again, until my mom came out and saved me.)
I'll give the tree frog this though: He makes a pretty comforting noise in the evenings. Whether we're sitting on our deck or going for a walk or laying in bed, the rhythmic croak of the tree frog will lull even the most stressed out CEO into a sense of calm. Couple that with the sound of cows moving through the pasture and the neighbor's dog barking at a truck driving by, and you have yourself a pretty sweet evening in the country.
Ok, ok. The South can have its sweet tea and biscuits. Heck, you can even have your bushes that take over entire counties and trees that swallow up small towns. But when it comes to tree frogs, dear South, you win.
(But just for the record, I'll be up here -- standing on the patio furniture -- if you need me.)