Remembering My Yankee Roots

Although I’ve curently set up shop in the dirty South, in many ways I still am a Yankee at heart.  I  remember when I made my first move to Lousiana six years ago, I did experience real culture shock.  I thought, “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl!”

I remember speaking with one of my roommates from Michigan not long after I moved to the country, and she asked, “So what’s it like?”

I responded, “As far is the North is from the South, we are so different!”

“Like what?”  Michelle inquired further.

“Well…they put gravy on everything down here–not just using it at Thanksgiving on the Turkey!  And the other day we pulled up to a house and the ‘fella’ I was with asked me if I was going to ‘get down’, and as I wondered why we would dance in the driveway, he clarified by asking if I wanted to come inside. People are always fixin’ to do something in the South, whereas we just do it.  And why is everyone always wondering who my ‘Momma’ is?”  We shared a good laugh.

Despite the differences, I truly have come to love the people, culture, and atmosphere of the South.  I have welcomed the addition of y’all to my vocabulary.  I can hang on the dance floor from a Cajun Waltz to a Texas Two-Step.  I can Tex-Mex it up in the kitchen.  I feel like I’m able to embrace all the best things of my Yankee roots with my Southern nuances!

The beautiful beaches of Michigan, the "Great Lakes State"

The beautiful beaches of Michigan, the “Great Lakes State” 

I’m sharing a little Yankee humor with you in the spirit of remembering where I’ve come from; because, as I always say, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, someone else will.”  Trying to remain cutting edge, Jeff Foxworthy has expanded his comedic repertoire to include some well-founded Michigan humor.  So without further ado…

  • If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Michigan.
  • If you’re proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Pellston is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Michigan.
  • If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Michigan.
  • If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Michigan.
  • If someone in a store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you might live in Michigan.
  • If your dad’s suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Michigan.
  • If you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time, you might live in Michigan.
  • If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Michigan.
  • If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Michigan.

You know you’re a true MICHIGANDER when:

1.  “Vacation” means going up north on I-75.
2.  You measure distance in hours.
3.  You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
4.  You often switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day.
5.  You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching.
6.  You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).
7.  You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked
8.  You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.
9.  You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
10. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
12. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
13. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
14. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
15. Down South to you means Ohio.
16. A brat is something you eat.
17. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole barn.
18. You go out to Fish Fry every Friday.
19. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
20. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
21. You find 0 degrees “a little chilly”.
22. You drink pop and bake with soda.
23. Your doctor tells you to drink Vernors and you know it’s not medicine.
24. You can actually drink Vernors without coughing.
25. You think owning a Honda is un-American.
26. You know what a Yooper is.
27. You know that UP is a place, not a direction.
28. You know it’s possible to live in a thumb.
29. You understand that when visiting Detroit, the best thing to wear is a Kevlar vest.
30. You actually understand these jokes, and you share them with all your Michigan friends!

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2 thoughts on “Remembering My Yankee Roots

  1. Kate says:

    Those are hilarious! It’s almost the season for the annual Michiganders-in-New Orleans reunion – also known as NHL playoff season. 😉 They start coming out of the woodwork to congregate at the home of the one guy with the NHL package and the one bar owned by a former northerner. They buy Vernors at the one convenience store that carries it and root for the Wings, wearing jerseys that mean NOTHING to anyone else down here. It’s fun. 🙂


    • Lisa says:

      Kate, I’m sure you could probably add some experiences of your own as well as a few more to the list. 🙂 Enjoy this NHL time of year – sounds like a hoot! And thanks for the colorful commentary, my fellow Yankee gone South!!


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