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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Hometown Game



If you ever move to a small area there's one thing you've have to deal with, especially if there aren't a lot of new people moving in.

If you meet someone local they want to know all your relatives and back a couple of generations too. At least that's how it is around here. That can be taken to extremes.

One time I met a guy while primitive camping on a wilderness lake. We discovered we were both from the same town. Eventually we figured out we were fifth cousins. How is that even sane? Who counts fifth cousins?

There are a few more new people coming into the area and the local desire to know all your relatives and relationships can drive them crazy. One of my new out of town friends tried to introduce me to someone last night. Little did my new friend know that she was trying to introduce me to my third cousin on my mother's side.

Actually, for me that was a problem growing up as I didn't want to date my cousins. Good thing I got my driver's license as soon as I turned 16 and my own car at 17. That allowed me to date girls from other towns. My lovely wife is from another state.

Moving to a small town has a lot to recommend it, but at some level you will always be an outsider. Your kids, not so much. Your grandkids will probably be accepted as local. That doesn't mean you can't fit in and be accepted. After all, I have new friends friends from out of town, don't I? They bring some much needed new ideas. As long as they aren't arrogant and look down on the locals, everything is cool. Some of the new people actually take greater pride in the area than the locals do. They see potential the locals don't.

I'm now sorta a half outsider myself. I moved 12 miles up the road to the next town about 26 years ago. To some of the people who's families have been here since colonial days, I'm a new comer.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. We moved remote 5 years ago. Luckily, we'd spent some time coming and going before taking the plunge and had met quite a few locals by then. Everyone has been very warm and welcoming. Yeh, our grandparents aren't in the local cemetry but if, like us, you are prepared to get stuck in and help out on a few community projects you get accepted pretty quickly. Of course, we are mindful of fitting into the area rather than trying to impose our outsider ideas. That can come slowly and osmotically...:)
    The close bloodline thing is all too real around here. I know of at least two local guys who rocked home with a new lady in tow only to be informed that they were actually cousins. Interupptus somethingus...

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    1. Certainly helps to pitch in where help is needed.

      You were smart to have some contact with the locals before moving.

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  2. My mother grew up in a small town. Every time she came home from school, enthused by some new fella, my grandma would tell her, "Oh, he's your cousin." They had to move to the next county before she found a decent fella that wasn't related to her (my dad).

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    1. I joke that I got my wife from out of state because my cousins are ugly.

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  3. Remember the old song "I'm my own grandpa."

    Sounds like it sums up the situation there. Most of my relatives are in South Georgia or Florida, so I don't run into that phenomenon up here.

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    1. I guess you wandered off the reservation. :)

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  4. Out of state ain't that far away in New England. Here in Texas (especially west Texas) a lot of towns are further away from each other than the states are up your way

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    1. True enough. I've driven across TX in a day. A very very long day.

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